Every Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fight seems like a historic occasion for one reason or another as he remains one of the biggest stars in all of combat sports.
His homecoming bout in Guadalajara against John Ryder in May was an event that saw 60,000 of his countrymen and women flock out in fervent support at the Akron Stadium and will no doubt go down in the pantheon of Mexican sporting history.
However, his clash against Jermell Charlo on September 20 will have a legacy of a different level, as it will be the first time two male reigning undisputed champions have fought each other in the four belt era.
This happened this year in the female ranks when Katie Taylor – undisputed lightweight champion – challenged for Chantelle Cameron’s undisputed status at super lightweight.
Previously when there were less belts in the sport, WBA and WBC light heavyweight champion Bob Foster stepped up to heavyweight to challenge Joe Frazier, who held both sanctioning body’s belts in that division.
Alvarez has held all the marbles at super middleweight since his 2021 stoppage win over Caleb Plant, whereas Charlo knocked out Brian Castano to be crowned undisputed at super welterweight – 14lbs and two weight classes below Canelo – earlier this year.
Despite the current weight difference between them, both fought at 154lbs at the same time and there is a sense that the size differential may not be as significant as some might initially think.
Canelo was expected to take on Charlo’s twin brother Jermall, however he withdrew from negotiations at the last hour and ‘Mell stepped in to save the day
Many in the sport also believe the Mexican is on the decline, and in his last three fights against Ryder, Gennadiy Golovkin and Dmitry Bivol, he has not looked the destructive force he once was.
Should ‘Iron Man’ spring the upset in Las Vegas in two and a half month’s time and be crowned undisputed in a second weight class, he would have a real shout for pound for pound number one status.