Fighter of the Decade: Canelo

The Fighter of the Decade award was still up for grabs and in the 11 round of the 11 months of the final year in the decade, Canelo Alvarez scored a sensational two punch knockout of Sergey Kovalev to capture the WBO light heavyweight title, which he would quickly relinquish but also captured our Fighter of the Decade Award from Andre Ward. Canelo was able to do what Kell Brook, Amir Khan, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Mikey Garcia all failed miserably at. Jump up two weight classes and take out a world champ. Canelo was able to pull off the feat and did it in dramatic fashion to become a four-division world champ and did so capturing all four titles this decade. In addition to the Kovalev knockout, the redhead from Guadalajara secured victories over Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Danny Jacobs, GGG, Austin Trout, Liam Smith, Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, Kermit Cintron as well as a laundry list of other high caliber names. Although, it was crushing Kovalev that put the Mexican icon over the top and captured our award.

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Canelo Alvarez burst onto the scene for most of us at just 19 years old on the undercard of two legends Floyd Mayweather vs Shane Mosley. May 1, 2010, the decades first mega-fight, a teenage Canelo was briefly stunned by Miguel Cotto’s older brother Jose Miguel Cotto before rallying back and scoring an impressive 9th round TKO over the legends big brother. However disappointing the main event was, and it was disappointing, to say the least, boxing fans all over the world got their first look at Canelo and left saying “Man, I really liked that Canelo kid” HBO and Golden Boy seized the moment and got him rugged veterans like Carlos Baldomir and Lovemore Ndou to beat up on, setting up his first world title fight. This time against Ricky Hatton’s brother Matthew Hatton. A fight that was completely one-sided, entirely dominated by Canelo. Just 10 months after the teenager burst on the mainstream boxing scene the now 20-year old Canelo was world champ.

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When Canelo stopped Cotto’s big brother little did we know that he would go on to not only fight Cotto’s legendary brother and beat him but also go on to fight both guys in the main event, Shane Mosley and Floyd “Money” Mayweather… Canelo has dared to be great and it has paid off! He reached for greatness time and again fighting for and winning a world title at the age of just 20 and then stepping up and risking his mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather and taking a unification fight with undefeated champ Austin Trout. Then at the age of 23, fought the best fighter of his era and one of the ten best to ever do it, Floyd Mayweather. After losing a one-sided 12 round decision to Floyd he went on a fought the next best pure boxer in the world. Erislandy Lara and did so against the advice of his promotional team. He then took the big risk in November of this year jumping up two divisions and in a fairly even fight heading into the championship rounds Canelo dug deep and knocked out Kovalev with a perfectly timed two-piece. capturing the WBO 175 pound belt from Kovalev and stole the Fighter of the Decade award from Andre Ward.

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