Five times Mexican superstar and three-weight world champion Canelo Alvarez has faced British opposition and only once has he gone the distance.
Back in March 2011, Alvarez faced the then European champion Matthew Hatton for the vacant WBC world super welterweight title. This was both fighters’ first attempt at world title glory.
Alvarez won by a unanimous decision. And history shows us what Canelo has gone on to achieve.
“I think as soon as I shared the ring with Alvarez I knew within the first round what a special fighter he was.” Hatton exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Going twelve hard rounds with such a good fighter, I obviously gave away big size difference that night. It’s a fight even though I lost I look back on with proud memories.
“Seeing what he has gone on to achieve, he fought a lot of top quality fighters out there. I think I’m the only British fighter to have lasted the course with him.
“Ultimately I lost the fight, but it’s a fight I look back on with pride and fond memories. It’s not really surprised me how he has gone on.”
When Hatton fought Alvarez the Mexican was young and only starting out on world domination.
“He was very popular then, he was such a good fighter, very young (still) when I fought him,” continued Hatton.
“He has got better and better, as all young fighters should do. But he’s an amazing fighter. I’m a big fan of Canelo.”
Canelo is amazingly going to step up in weight once more to fight Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight on November 2nd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Hatton was surprised at this move on first hearing about it.
“It does surprise me how he has moved up through the weights but he looked so good when he fought Rocky Fielding,” Hatton pointed out. “I think he was several leagues above Fielding, no disrespect to Rocky, he has been several leagues above most of his opposition.
“To be moving up to light heavy against Kovalev, it has surprised me a little bit. But when I saw him in with a huge super middleweight in Rocky, physically Canelo looked quite good.
“It’s a brave attempt to jump up to light heavy to take on Kovalev, who has shown against Yarde that he still has plenty left. Who is to say he won’t do it, that he couldnt beat Kovalev.”
Who would Hatton pick in a fight between Canelo and Kovalev?
“It’s a big, big jump, a big ask but if he fought Kovalev I’d probably back Alvarez to be fair.”
Mick Kane is a Staff Writer to World Boxing News. Follow Mick on Twitter @MickKaneMMA