Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez recorded career win number 56 on Saturday night, stopping Billy Joe Saunders after eight rounds at AT&T Stadium.
The victory saw Canelo add Saunders' WBO super middleweight world title to the WBC and WBA Super championships that he already held. His capture of the WBO belt means Alvarez has now won a staggering 15 world championships (including Ring Magazine titles).
In hitting such a massive number, Canelo has not been afraid to move up and down weight divisions. The Mexican star has won genuine world championships in no less than four separate weight classes.
What might be most impressive, though, is the speed at which he has racked up these accomplishments. In fact, it was only a little over a decade ago that Alvarez won his first world title, outpointing Matthew Hatton in March 2011 to lift the vacant WBC super welterweight crown.
Top honours kept flowing from then on for Canelo. However, the standard of competition kept increasing too. A victory over Austin Trout in April 2013 saw Canelo claim two further championships at 154-pounds.
It was just five months, later, though that Canelo suffered his sole career defeat. In agreeing to face the exceptional Floyd Mayweather Jr at a contracted weight of 152-pounds, Alvarez was taking a gamble which he believed would see him become the first man to defeat the American.
As it turned out, Mayweather simply had too much experience for a weight-drained Canelo - and handily outpointed him over the 12 round distance.
For many fighters, this would have been the beginning of the end. By the time of his loss to Mayweather, Canelo had already earned enough to be financially set for life. Having fought 44 times since turning professional at the age of 15 years old, the defeat could have seriously damped the hunger of Alvarez to compete.
Canelo, however, quickly proved that he was cut from a different cloth. Bouncing back from the Mayweather disappointment, he returned to the ring less than six months later.
After a trio of wins at light middleweight, Alvarez moved up to middleweight to dethrone WBC champion Miguel Cotto in October 2015. A second 160-pound crown followed when Canelo defeated Liam Smith the following year.
Alvarez narrowly emerged from a pair of close encounters with Gennady Golovkin with his middleweight supremacy intact, before then setting his sights on super-middleweight glory. A win over Rocky Fielding saw Canelo claim a WBA regular world title on his first trip to that division.
Alvarez was soon on the move again in his next fight though, returning to middleweight to defeat Daniel Jacobs. He would not stay in the division for long.
Making a jump of two full weight classes, Canelo moved to the 175-pound light heavyweight division to dethrone WBO champion Sergey Kovalev. Although the move was a bold one for Alvarez, it marked the fourth different weight class in which he had won a world title in less than five years.
For his part, Canelo treated the feat as though it was nothing out of the ordinary. The scary part of all this is that he appears to be getting better too.
Settling in the super middleweight division for his last three fights, Alvarez has defeated Callum Smith, Avni Yıldırım and now Saunders. Each of these bouts has taken place in a combined period of fewer than six months. Canelo has been keeping a mental schedule - and shows no sign of slowing down.
Which world titles has Canelo Alvarez held?
Per a tweet from talkSPORT's Michael Benson, Canelo has now won the following titles:
- WBA super welterweight
- WBC super welterweight
- WBO super welterweight
- Ring super welterweight
- WBA middleweight
- WBC middleweight (x2)
- IBF middleweight
- Ring middleweight (x2)
- WBC super middleweight
- WBO super middleweight
- Ring super middleweight
- WBO light heavyweight
What is next for Canelo Alvarez?
It did not take long for Alvarez to call out his next opponent after defeating Saunders. Canelo now holds three of the four recognised world titles at super middleweight - and he wants the final piece of the puzzle before the end of the year.
IBF champion Caleb Plant is the only man standing between Alvarez and total dominance of the 168-pound division. Expected to be back in the ring in September, Canelo wants Plant to be the man in the opposite corner when he does make his return.
If it does happen, Alvarez will be a heavy favourite to win that fight. Should he be successful in unifying the division, do not expect him to hang around at super middleweight for long.
Clashes in a number of other weight divisions will surely also appeal to Canelo. A trip back to light heavyweight to take on Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev or Joe Smith Jr are all possibilities if Alvarez wants to seek more gold in that weight class.
At a lighter weight, current WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo has made no secret of the fact that he would love a clash with Canelo. A trilogy fight with Golovkin is also out there for Alvarez.
Canelo is a modern-day great - and an absolute beast. Boxing's pound-for-pound best is far from done.News Now - Sport News