Canelo, Chavez, Marquez, Sanchez: Ranking the top 10 best Mexican fighters in boxing history

  • Tom Ward
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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is daring to be great against Dmitry Bivol in Las Vegas.

Boxing‘s pound-for-pound king returns on Saturday in a WBA light-heavyweight title challenge against Bivol, 31, at T-Mobile Arena bidding to write his name in the history books.

The Mexican star, also 31, achieved his quest of becoming the undisputed super-middleweight world champion with a 11th-round TKO victory over Caleb Plant to cap off a remarkable 2021 and is widely regarded as the best boxer on the planet.

So there’s no better time like the present to take a step back and look at the best fighters from that part of the world to have ever graced the sport.

Here’s GiveMeSport.com‘s list of the top 10 best Mexican boxers of all time – and why.

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Marco Antonio Barrera in action

10. Marco Antonio Barrera

Fights: 77 | Wins: 67 | Losses: 7 | Draws: 0 | No Contests: 1

From Amir Khan to Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales to Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera fought many of the all-time greats.

He only lost seven of his 77 fights and is the only man to beat Prince Naseem Hamed in a boxing ring.

It was also recently confirmed he will come out for retirement for an exhibition bout against Ricky Hatton later this year.

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Erik Morales trades punches with Pablo Cesar Cano

9. Erik Morales

Fights: 61 | Wins: 52 | Losses: 9

Morales, 45, was famed for his ability to bite down on his gumshield and swing for the fences.

Not only did he defeat 15 former world champions, but he was also the first Mexican boxer to win world titles in four different weight classes: super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight and super lightweight.

Beaten by fellow legends Barrera and Pacquiao, ‘El Terrible’ retired with a record of 52-9 (36 KOs). Not bad.

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Ricardo Lopez lands a blow on Alex Sanchez

8. Ricardo Lopez

Fights: 52 | Wins: 51 | Losses: 0 | Draws: 1

Ricardo Lopez is the longest reigning mini flyweight world champion of all time.

He is also one of only 15 former world champions to retire without a loss.

Despite defending his title a record 21 times, ‘El Finito’ would no doubt be higher up on the list had he faced more formidable opposition.

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Canelo Alvarez is the current pound-for-pound king

7. Vicente Salvidar

Fights: 40 | Wins: 37 | Losses: 3

Nicknamed ‘Zurdo de Oro’, Vicente Salvidar is loved and adored by many boxing historians and critics alike.

Salvidar holds the record for the most wins in featherweight unification title fights at eight, and, before challenging for a world title, had beaten every man he had ever faced inside the ring.

He died in 1985.

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Canelo Alvarez will take on Dmitry Bivol on Saturday night

6. Alberto ‘Baby’ Arizmendi

Fights: 138 | Wins: 87 | Losses: 26 | Draws: 14 | No Contests: 1

Alberto ‘Baby’ Arizmendi captured the vacant NYSAC featherweight title with a 15-round masterclass over Mike Belloise in 1934 but was never the same again after that contest.

However his relentless forward pressure made him a true force to be reckoned with.

Arizmendi retired in 1942 after losing to Roman Alvarez on points.

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Juan Manuel Marquez celebrates after beating Manny Pacquiao

5. Juan Manuel Marquez

Fights: 64 | Wins: 56 | Losses: 7 | Draws: 1

Marquez, or to give him his full name Juan Manuel Marquez Mendez, has been forgotten by some boxing fans – despite having impressive wins over Barrera and Pacquiao to his name.

In fact, he twice bested Pacquiao in his career – the latter of which came via knockout.

For that reason alone, ‘Dinamita’, or Dynamite, should never be forgotten about – not to mention the fact he is also a former four-weight world champion as well.

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Ruben Olivares waves to the fans

4. Ruben Olivares

Fights: 105 | Wins: 89 | Losses: 13 | Draws: 3

Ruben Olivares is widely regarded as one of the greatest bantamweights of all time, period.

He held the trio of crowns from August 1969 to October 1970 and though he may have taken some losses along the way, he was very popular among Mexicans.

Olivares, 75, was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991 upon his retirement.

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Salvador Sanchez’s nephew is also a pro boxer

3. Salvador Sanchez

Fights: 46 | Wins: 44 | Losses: 1 | Draws: 1

The numbers speak for themselves: nine successful title defences, 44 wins, 32 knockouts, one loss and one draw.

‘Chava’, ‘Iron Lung’, ‘Mr Lungs’, ‘The Champ’, ‘The Invincible Eagle’ – take your pick.

Many believe had it not been for his premature death, Sanchez would have gone on to become the greatest featherweight of all time. Unfortunately he died in a car crash at the age of 23.

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Canelo

Where was Canelo Alvarez born?

2. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez

Fights: 60 | Wins: 57 | Losses: 1 | Draws: 2

The only active boxer on the list, Canelo, 31, is the only undisputed super-middleweight world champion in the history of boxing.

Incredibly, Canelo kicked off his career at welterweight, before moving up to super-welterweight, middleweight, super-middleweight and finally light heavyweight.

Alvarez beat Plant in Las Vegas last November to win the IBF super-middleweight title.

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Julio Cesar Chavez is the greatest Mexican boxer of all time

1. Julio Cesar Chavez

Fights: 115 | Wins: 107 | Losses: 6 | Draws: 2

Arguably the greatest Mexican fighter of all time – although Canelo is giving him a close run for his money.

Hall of Famer, Julio Cesar Chavez, paved the way for future generations of Mexican stars.

It’s just a shame his son Julio Cesar Chavez Jr never managed to live up to his reputation.

READ MORE: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol: Bernard Hopkins makes ‘mashed potatoes’ predictions

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