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Canelo Alvarez almost KO’d? Mexican star showed durability and courage at 19 (Video)

Lee Cleveland Updated
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In two weeks, Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KO) will face Billy Joe Saunders (30-0-0, 14 KO) in a unification battle of super middleweight champions.

Saunders is talking tough and appears to be in great shape but has quite a task ahead of him. After all, he’ll be facing an experienced, strong, supremely skilled opponent whose durability is underrated.

Isn't his durability overlooked?

All too often, Canelo is praised for his defensive prowess, athleticism, and punching accuracy and power but seldom receives credit for his durability. Perhaps it’s because he’s so good he seldom allows himself to fall into a precarious state?

Canelo’s durability was tested in Round 10 of his rematch with knockout artist Gennadiy Golovkin in 2018; Alvarez weathered the storm, rose to the occasion, and won a split decision that night over one of combat fighting’s most dominate fighters.


Canelo vs Saunders Official FightSaga Page
WBC/WBA/WBO Super Middleweight Championship
(WBC/WBA - Canelo defending; WBO - Saunders defending)
May 8, 2021
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX

Broadcast: DAZN

 … But that wasn’t the only time Canelo Alvarez was buzzed. In fact, he was seemingly hurt worse early in his career.

Let’s cycle back to May 2010 when a relatively green, 19-year-old Alvarez (then 31-0-1) faced a very good Jose Miguel Cotto whose record was 31-1-1 at the time. Despite the similar records, Cotto had been a pro for 14 years while Alvarez had just entered just his fifth year in the paid ranks.

Wisely, the 33-year-old Cotto didn’t waste any time, pouncing on the teenage Canelo in the first round. And just 94 seconds into the fight, Cotto wobbled Canelo with a hard left hook that sent the Mexican reeling into the ropes. Jose then unleashed wicked combinations on Alvarez, buckling the Mexican who was trapped near the corner.

Dazzed, Canelo fired several hard shots to create some space between himself and his opponent before skillfully spinning off the ropes and out of harm’s way to buy himself some time and recover from the short beating he’d just absorbed. And he managed to do it while still wobbling from Cotto’s assault.

The pounding from Cotto ensued for several moments while Canelo, with the cobwebs starting to clear, unleashed vile shots of his own to blunt Cotto’s attack and finish the round in relatively good condition.

Not once did Canelo clinch, an illegal tactic hurt fighters often use that’s usually permitted by referees (so long as it isn’t egregious).

Canelo would win most of the ensuing eight rounds before stopping his brave but beaten down foe at the end of Round 9.


Will Saunders be able to hurt Álvarez on May 8? If he does, he’ll catch hell trying to get a knockout. Canelo has a steel chin.

(Highlights of Canelo vs Jose Cotto attached) 

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