Here’s a current phrase for those who leave a significant mark in music, sports, or life in popular culture: it’s “giving someone their flowers.” This phrase was created with the recognition that many people are recognized for their accomplishments once they have passed away and therefore they cannot bask in the prideful glow while they are alive.
Saul Canelo Alvarez (57-1-2) is the undisputed king of the Super Middleweight division and continues to be the face of the sport. There was a time when Floyd “Money” Mayweather was that face, and he would fill arenas with tons of A-listers.
Since Floyd retired, Canelo was the one that grabbed the baton and ran with it.
This past Saturday night was no different from recent Canelo fights as the stars were out. In attendance were stars like Mike Tyson, Dave Chappelle and others who were there to see Alvarez make history.
Everything with Canelo has been strategic. He built his brand while with Golden Boy Promotions but outgrew it. When the opportunity presented itself, he was able to get out of his contract to pursue bigger things. He understood that the politics in boxing would get in the way of achieving those career-defining fights, so he started to make deals with different networks and promoters while avoiding anything long-term.
During this time, Canelo's star power, especially within the Latin media world, continued to move at a bullet train's pace. It seems as if every day there is news of Canelo on the Spanish networks.
Seeing how he turned himself into a pop-culture icon on the Latin side of the spectrum, he now looks to cross over and become more significant than boxing within American society.
Alvarez teamed up with Dolce & Gabbana and made the wearing of pajamas to certain events the “thing” to do. Along with him now speaking English fluently, this fashion statement has positioned the Mexican star to become more significant than the great Julio Ceasar Chavez.
All of this couldn't be possible without him staying busy and winning his fights. The activity wasn't there as he fought only twice a year from 2012 to 2019 and once in 2020. Canelo knows that being active and in the public eye is the only way to reach superstardom. Fighting three times this year and becoming the undisputed champion has Canelo on his way to becoming a massive cross-over star.
I would not be surprised if he shows up to do a late-night like a Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel soon to start that process of tapping into the American market.
After Saturday night's performance, everyone was quick to move past the victory and start discussing his potential opponents. Although that is fun to discuss, a victory lap is well deserved. Canelo is leading by example and showing these other champions the blueprint on how to become a star. To the Spences, Crawfords, and Davis' of the world, take notes, because that's how you become a star.
And to Saul Canelo Alvarez, here are your flowers and a salute to you on all of your achievements. May you continue to push the limits and carry the sport of boxing for years to come.