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Home » Canelito to Canelo – How did Santos Saul Alvarez get his nickname?

Canelito to Canelo – How did Santos Saul Alvarez get his nickname?

Pound for Pound number one Canelo Alvarez has explained all regarding his unique nickname given to him during his younger years.

Born Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán to a fighting family, Canelo fully changed his moniker back in 2014.

Since then, the 29-year-old is one of the only boxers in history to be known by a single name.

Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are two of just a handful. Both are recognizable by their surname only.

So how did Canelo eventually become mononymous? – It all started back in the gym when he was just a kid.

“My nickname was given to me by my trainer Jose ‘Chepo’ Reynoso when I first started training at Reynoso’s Gym. It was because of my red hair,” Alvarez explained.

“First they called me ‘Canelito’ (Little Cinnamon) because I was still very young, around 12- or 13-years-old.

“As I grew older, it changed to ‘Canelo.’

“Since I started fighting in the U.S. as a professional on U.S. television, I dropped the ‘Saul’ altogether because it has become a brand name. It is my persona in the ring and out of it.

“What some people may not know is that I named my daughter Canela. I told her: ‘Once you grow up, you will understand what your name means. You will be proud of it,'” he added.


Earmarked to return to action on May 2 in Las Vegas, Canelo is currently linked to facing one of two foes.

Either Billy Joe Saunders is expected to be in the opposite corner for the Cinco de Mayo show, or ex-opponent Gennadiy Golovkin.

Briton Saunders is thought to be slightly ahead in the running. Although broadcasters DAZN are thought to be favoring ‘GGG’ in order to boost subscriptions.

Canelo vs GGG III would boost lower-than-expected United States numbers, which have seemingly peaked at 650,000.

If Saunders does get the nod, the winner will almost certainly be nudged towards Golovkin for the second half of 2020.

The plan may well be to battle Saunders first in order to be in the running to fight at the in-production purpose-built 70,000-seater stadium in Las Vegas.

Needing a massive fight to fill the new venue. Golovkin could be in the blueprint for September once the brand-new arena opens in August.

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Conor McGregor are all said to be vying to be the first combatant to headline there.

Time will tell.