After a brief and unexpected beef between a boxing great and a football icon, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has waved the white flag under pressure from some of the best attackers in the world.
Following Mexico’s defeat to Argentina in the World Cup group stages, a video of the winners’ celebrations circulated online. In it, Lionel Messi was seen touching a Mexico top with his boot – and that was enough for Canelo to threaten that he should ‘pray to God’ the pair never met.
So wrong was the boxer that the captain of his home nation, Andrés Guardado, even came out in defence of the Argentinian.
“Unfortunately, perhaps, Canelo does not understand what is experienced in a dressing room, and that is why I can understand the reaction of being offended by seeing the Mexico shirt on the ground and everything that has gone viral.”
“In fact, that shirt was mine, I swapped it with Leo and I also threw his on the ground so that they would wash it for me. In the locker room it is understood that way because we are footballers, we know what lives in a dressing room and we did not give it greater importance.”
Now, following days of back and forth that included the likes of Sergio Aguero, Cesc Fabregas, and an MMA star from Argentia, Álvarez has thrown in the towel.
“These last few days I got carried away by the passion and love I feel for my country and made comments that were out of place for which I want to apologise to Messi and the people of Argentina.”
“Every day we learn something new and this time it was my turn.”
Estos últimos días me dejé llevar por la pasión y el amor que siento por mi país e hice comentarios que estuvieron fuera de lugar por lo que quiero disculparme con Messi y la gente de Argentina. Todos los días aprendemos algo nuevo y esta vez me tocó a mí.
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) November 30, 2022
It’s not often we see the top talent from Mexico backing down, but it turns out that facing off against a line-up of footballers will do it.