Mexican fighter Canelo Alvarez won his third middleweight belt on May 4, winning by a unanimous world decision.
At the Las Vegas arena in front of 20,000 fans, Alvarez beat Daniel Jacobs, and became one title short of becoming the undisputed champion.
The 160-pound champion is the first Mexican boxer to hold three major world titles in a single division, something that six other athletes attempted, but failed to win.
Some of the odds seemed against Alvarez from the beginning. Jacobs ad the size advantage at the weigh-in on the day of the fight, Jacobs weighed in at 173.6 pounds and Alvarez at 169 pounds.
In fact, Jacobs had to pay $1 million in penalties because he exceeded his 170 pound weight limit.
Alvarez ended up making $35 million for the fight while Jacobs made $12 million.
For Alvarez, it means now a win with the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Association and now the International Boxing Federation.
Alvarez went into the fight with 51 wins, at 51-1-2 and Jacobs with 35-2.
The 28-year-old Alvarez was born outside Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico, and began boxing at 13 after watching his older brother become a professional boxer. He grew up the youngest of eight children, and he has six other brothers, including former WBA World Champion Rigoberto Alvarez and welterweight boxers Ramon Alvarez and Ricardo Alvarez.
Having his brothers as mentors helped him at an early age because he won the silver medal at the Junior Mexican National championships in 2004 and a year later became the Junior Mexican Boxing Campion at age 15.
He went on to hold the WBA Unified title, the WBC and Ring light middleweight titles and WBO light middleweight title. He is ranked as one of the world’s best active boxer and is known for his counterpunch, finding an opening in his opponent’s guard while avoiding punches with his dodging.
He got his Spanish nickname of “Canelo” meaning cinnamon, because of his red hair.
His brothers couldn’t be prouder, and Rigoberto remembers, not too long ago, when he said, “I helped him put the gloves on. I had no idea what I was about to see. He was 11 years old and a kid of that age shouldn’t be able to punch like that. ‘God this is a great gift you’ve given us.’ “