On this day in 2013, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez faced off against Floyd Mayweather in a super welterweight bout.
Mayweather fought an almost perfect fight, beating Canelo comfortably. The American inflicted the first loss onto his opponent, with the Mexican having won 42 without defeat prior to facing ‘Money’.
After the fight, however, Floyd was very complimentary of his opponent, praising him at every opportunity.
At one point, he said: “Canelo does everything well, he goes for the body good, he’s got a good jab, he’s a good combo puncher. He’s not 42-0 for nothing…Well, now 42-1 but in my eyes he’s still a champion.”
Four years on, Mayweather’s kind words have rung true and Canelo is now one of the undoubted stars of boxing.
He will face Gennady Golovkin, rated by many as the greatest boxer still fighting, in one of the biggest boxing matches in years. The two will face off in Vegas on September 16.
Mayweather began the post-fight press conference in 2013 by hugging Canelo, and the American had more kind words for Canelo as the press conference progressed.
“This is a champion man, you know I take my hat off to Canelo, he’s a true champion. A true champion can take a loss and bounce back…you know, I only got 24 months left, and this is the man after that.”
This 2013 press conference felt like a passing of the torch, from Mayweather, to the man he clearly believed would be his successor.
“This strong, young champion…will carry the torch. Tonight, experience played a major key (sic). Canelo got everything it takes to be a legend in this sport, tonight was just my night.”
With Mayweather having finally retired after his return to fight Conor McGregor, the fight between Golovkin and Canelo will truly decide who the greatest still-fighting boxer is.
You can watch the press conference in the video below and see for yourself what Mayweather had to say about Canelo.
Canelo himself yesterday was reminiscing about his fight with Mayweather almost half a decade ago, with the Mexican saying he’d relish a rematch.
“Yeah it would be good, that [his defeat to Mayweather] is a thorn I have and I would like to take that thorn out. But it is not an obsession. If it happens, great, if it doesn’t, that is ok too.”