Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has men queuing up to fight him in boxing, but he’s found time to start beef with an entirely different sport.
Following Argentina’s win over Mexico in their most recent World Cup group game, a video of the dressing room celebrations was circulating on social media. In said video, Lional Messi grazes a Mexico top – presumably one he swapped with an opposing player after 90 minutes – with his foot.
The undisputed super middleweight champion didn’t take it well. He took to Twitter, threatening what might happen if the two sporting greats ever crossed paths.
“Did you guys see Messi cleaning the floor with our jersey and flag? He better pray to God that I don’t find him. Just like I respect Argentina, he has to respect Mexico! I’m not talking about the country [as a whole], just about the bulls*** that Messi did.”
Not everyone would have it in them to stand up to Canelo, especially if they were well aware of his 39 knockout record, but one man who does is Sergio Aguero – a man who played alongside Messi for club and country.
“Mr Canelo, don’t look for excuses or problems, surely you don’t know about soccer and what happens in a locker room. The shirts are always on the floor after the games are over due to sweat and then if you see well, he makes the movement to remove the boot and accidentally hits it.”
Canelo responded, not backing down, but doubling down. He called the now-retired start striker a ‘b****rd’ and a ‘hypocrite.’
“You too, b****rd? You used to write me, ‘oh, oh, Canelo’, and now you’re crying. Don’t be a hypocrite, b****rd.”
Aguero, somewhat comically, followed up with a boxing analogy.
“I admired you Mr. Canelo. But what he did today with Messi was a low blow. And you know better than anyone that this is unfair. Disqualified.”
The former Man City man wasn’t the only one to stand up to the boxing icon, though. Cesc Fabregas – who has played for Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona, and his native Spain – told Canelo that he didn’t understand the sport.
“You neither know the person nor do you understand how a locker room works or what happens after a game.”
“All T-shirts, even the ones we wear ourselves, go on the floor and are washed afterwards. And more when you celebrate an important victory.”
Most fans were on football’s side too, with many dismissing Álvarez’ outburst as sore loser syndrome following his country’s two-nil defeat. With the video evidence quite clear to see, and Messi’s history of respect and sportsmanship, it’s hard to not to agree. 10-8 Aguero.