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De La Hoya: Canelo on the path to superstardom

See below for part two.

What does Canelo have to do for the Mexican fans to embrace him as one of their best? How does he become one of the best in the rich history of Mexican boxing?

“Mexican fighters have long been known for their toughness, their ability to walk through fire, their willingness to take three punches to land a solid shot.

“That is Canelo Alvarez.

“There is no doubt that Canelo is today already the biggest boxing star in Mexico and the United States. He is in the process of crossing over as a worldwide superstar, but he will never forget where he came from and the rich boxing tradition of Mexico.

“Canelo is built from the mold of all-time Mexican greats like Julio Caesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez and Ruben Oliveras – strong fighters with knockout power that focus on two things; being the best fighter in the world and putting on a show for the fans. And that’s what Canelo will continue to do for the rest of his career.

“Incredibly, he has been embraced as Mexico’s biggest and best boxer for years, despite being only 26 years old, and that’s because the Mexican fans know a true champion when they see one.

“The only thing that has even remotely tempered his star power is the lack of availability of the two biggest days in boxing on Cinco De Mayo in May and Mexican Independence Day in September.

“Now that Canelo has locked down those dates (Sept. 17 will be his first time as the A-side, headlining a fight on Mexican Independence Day), the sky is the limit for his popularity not just in Mexico, but around the globe.”

The HBO Sports special ROAD TO CANELO/SMITH debuts Saturday, September 10 at 12:45 a.m. (ET/PT) immediately following HBO World Championship Boxing.

Alvarez challenges Britain’s Liam Smith for his junior middleweight crown when Canelo vs. Smith takes place Saturday, September 17 from AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, live on pay-per-view beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.