Mexican fighter who drew with Canelo won just eight fights in entire career
Canelo Alvarez has been in the ring with the best. Not many people know about the lowly draw at the beginning of his exceptional world title run in four divisions.
In 2006, the then 15-year-old Canelo boasted a record of four wins, having turned professional at that tender age eight months before.
His record now reads an amazing 56-1-2.
Canelo’s solitary loss to Floyd Mayweather is joined by a draw with Gennadiy Golovkin from 2017, with the distinct addition of a four-round draw from a 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 grown men before finishing school, Canelo could be forgiven for having an off night.
Juarez was many years Canelo’s senior at the time but somehow came away without a reverse to the young contender. However, it wouldn’t be a career-defining result.
Reflecting in an interview with 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.”
He continued by recalling the result.
“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 27 years old, and he was like, 16 [in fact 15, not 16 until one month later].
“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, Juarez struggled in the paid ranks after facing Canelo and retired in 2018. Five wins from twenty-one bouts in the half-decade that followed led to retirement.
Four years later, Juarez launched a comeback but lost every one of his nine contests, including a first-round knockout at the hands of current super-welterweight champion Jaime Munguia.
For Juarez, that night in 2006 will forever be his claim to fame in the squared circle. It will be a story he can tell his grandchildren about in the years to come.