Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s pugilistic CV is an impressive one, incorporating a professional ledger of 57-1-2, ‘world’ titles in four weight classes and – at present – the undisputed crown at super-middleweight.
Now 31, the Mexican appears to be at his peak and although he is not unbeaten – Floyd Mayweather having made sure of that back in 2013 – Canelo certainly looks pretty invulnerable right now.
So, will Canelo ever lose again? Or will he end his career with just that sole reverse against his name? The Boxing Social team weigh in…
Canelo can remain unbeaten for the rest of his career… if he chooses to. If he campaigns at 168lbs until he hangs up the gloves, I can’t see him losing. David Benavidez poses the biggest threat, but I’d still favour Alvarez. If Canelo continues to move through the weights, however, I can envisage him suffering a defeat. He has previously captured a world title at light-heavyweight but Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol are more dangerous than a faded Sergey Kovalev was. Could Canelo go to cruiserweight? I suspect he would start as the favourite against current WBC champion Junior Makabu. How about Bridgerweight? Once more, I feel the Mexican would be favoured against Oscar Rivas. If the heavyweight titles fracture and one falls into the possession of a Charles Martin-type, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Canelo attempt to capture a title in sport’s marquee division. But with each move up the weight classes, Canelo would find himself at a greater physical disadvantage. That is what I feel could ultimately beat Canelo. His mantra is: ‘No boxing, no life,’ will he struggle to retire from the sport? Few greats walk away without suffering a defeat to a boxer they wouldn’t have lost to a few years previous. So, with that in mind, Canelo will lose to Jack Massey at bridgerweight in 2026. – John Angus MacDonald
Canelo can remain unbeaten for the rest of his career if he and his team choose a risk-free approach. He hasn’t yet shown any signs of wear and tear or any chinks in his armour but Smith, Saunders and Plant were not the fighters to find that out. Bivol and Beterbiev present the biggest threat to his unbeaten run. Golovkin, Charlo and Benavidez would have their moments but they wouldn’t just be fighting Canelo. You’ve got to do more than beat the fighter. It may be left to a young gun in a few years from now to fight and beat Canelo in a passing of the torch style match-up. – Shaun Brown
Canelo is at a strange juncture now. He’s achieved so much, and has also gained the almost-universal acclaim and respect of boxing fans for hunting down the stiffest tests possible. Where does (or can) he go next? If, as John mentions, he keeps climbing and fighting men far bigger as he grows older, he could lose. But it would take something special – or lucky – to beat him. The fact is, we’ve never really seen him hurt. Plant and Saunders ducked and dived. They evaded monstrous blows for tiny parts of the fight, but never once threatened to stop the Mexican in his tracks. I’d like to see Canelo fight Benavidez, Charlo, Joe Smith Jr and then, why not a Makabu or a Goulemarian? It’s going to be a hell of a few years writing the remaining chapters of an exhilarating career… – Craig Scott
Although Canelo looks pretty impregnable right now history teaches us that the vast majority of boxing careers go on too long and about the same number end in anti-climactic failure. For every exception to this general rule – Mayweather, Marciano, Tunney, Lewis – there are dozens of examples that prove the point, often painfully and embarrassingly so (think Ali-Berbick, Jones Jr vs any number of opponents he would have toyed with in his prime, Sugar Ray Robinson vs Terry Downes, etc etc, ad nauseam). The biggest threats to Canelo right now are Benavidez (at super middle) and Beterbiev (at light heavy). However, the canny Mexican has learned well from his conqueror Mayweather how to pick the right opponent at the right time – in the current rush to acclaim him P4P king the fact he ducked GGG for a couple of years until he’d slowed a step or two seems to have been conveniently forgotten. I’d make it around a 60% probability that Canelo continues to match himself well nigh perfectly and quits while he’s still ahead, against a 40% chance that he boxes on too long and loses to someone who wouldn’t have been fit to lace his gloves in his prime. – Luke G. Williams
Feature image: Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions