Boxing

Can Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez be denied the pound-for-pound crown after latest win?

May 9

His nickname translates to "cinnamon," but he's anything but sugary sweet. 

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez earned his 58th professional win Saturday night after Billy Joe Saunders didn't answer the bell for the ninth round in their super middleweight title tilt. 

Alvarez now owns the WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight belts, wresting the WBO from Saunders on Saturday. 

A handful of credible outlets rank boxers on a pound-for-pound basis, such as The Ring and CBS Sports, which both have Alvarez ranked as the top fighter in the world. 

ESPN ranks Alvarez second behind undefeated welterweight dynamo Terence Crawford

But after Saturday night, is there any denying that Canelo is the king of boxing, regardless of weight class? 

It's hard to argue that his résumé isn't the best in the sport from a wins and competition standpoint. His lone loss came at the hands of a legend, a decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sep. 14, 2013. 

He owns victories over Carlos Baldomir, Shane Mosley and Austin Trout at light middleweight, wins over Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto and Daniel Jacobs at middleweight, and light heavyweight wins over Sergey Kovalev and Saunders. 

As for what's next, Alvarez could face IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant in hopes of overtaking the division entirely. 

Or, if Saturday night's post-fight press conference was any indication, it could be WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade

Or, maybe not.

*NSFW language*

Chances are it won't be Andrade. 

Regardless, the momentum for Canelo as the best in the business is only picking up more steam.

In addition to quality wins, Alvarez is the busiest of the top fighters in the sport and has been for over a decade. 

Alvarez fought five times in 2010, four times in 2011, and twice per year every year from 2012 to 2019. He only fought once in 2020, but has already fought twice this year: a third-round TKO win over Avni Yıldırım on Feb. 27, and the win over Saunders on Saturday. 

In contrast, Crawford – his staunchest competition for the pound-for-pound crown – fought 24 times between 2010 and 2018, but only three times since 2019 and has yet to fight this year. 

The pound-for-pound debate is one that incessantly rages on in boxing circles, even when the undefeated Mayweather was still active (Manny Pacquiao, anyone?).

But a good mixture of activity, moving up in weight (Canelo has moved from welterweight all the way to light heavyweight), defeating veterans and young challengers, and drawing a huge fanbase usually equates to pound-for-pound legitimacy. 

And at this point, no one has a better mixture than Alvarez. 


Get more from Boxing Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more.


share story