As Canelo Alvarez began making huge waves in the sport despite his tender years claiming the WBC World Youth title in 2009, there was always an odd anomaly on the Mexican’s record.
The then 19 year-old was pushing for a world title chance but boasted a record of impressive victories with the addition of a four-round draw from a 2006 contest with little-known Jorge Alberto Cabrera Juárez.
How this solid young welterweight had been held to a stalemate so early on was startling, but considering he began boxing professionally at the age of 15, Canelo could be forgiven for having an off night.
Juarez was many years Canelo’s senior at the time but was able to stifle the young contender and come out of the clash with a career-defining result.
Reflecting to ESPN some years later, Juarez recalled their fight by saying: “They brought me in to read him, to test him but it ended up that we were almost alone in the arena. There were no people left because Hector Velazquez’s feature fight had finished, so it was practically just the judges, the referee and us.
“That kid, because he was still a kid, he threw his right hand at me with all his force. He was a one-hit fighter, and the truth is, he was strong. But he got tired in the second round, and I started to get my hands in there, and at the end, they had to make a decision.
“At the time, I felt that I had won, but they called it a draw (37-39, 39-37, 38-38), they favored his youth and desire.
“The fight was hard-fought, he was a bit of a novice, but we got it on good. I had already had a lot of fights with tough rivals. I was like 27 years old and he was like, 16.
“At the time, that fight didn’t mean anything to me because I never thought he would thrive the way he is doing now. I never thought that people would end up admiring him the way they do now, which is why now this is a story,” he added.
Sadly – since then, Juarez has struggled in the paid ranks. Five wins from twenty-one bouts in the half-decade that followed led to retirement.
Four years later, and Juarez launched a comeback but lost every one of his nine contests up to January 2018, including a first-round knockout at the hands of current super-welterweight champion Jaime Munguia.
Who knows whether Juarez has written the final chapter of his career as Canelo prepares to amass further millions against Gennady Golovkin – the only other fighter to boast a draw on an amazing C.V.
Canelo’s solitary defeat remains that of Floyd Mayweather in 2013, when the 27 year-old took possibly the only opportunity he would ever get against the pound for pound king and came out second best as all the American’s foes before him and since have.
For Juarez, his next paycheck is uncertain as he waits for the phone to ring, whilst that night in 2006 will forever be his claim to fame in the squared circle and be a story he can tell his grandchildren about in the years to come.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay