Canelo Alvarez puts a little extra oomph onto his punches nowadays. The sound it makes is loud, deafening even but that’s just the way he likes it.
There was a sharp pain whenever Alvarez threw a jab with his left hand. It was like that for years. It wasn’t ideal for someone who uses his fists to make a living to go about his business but Alvarez gnashed his teeth and dealt with it.
It couldn’t have been too bad right? Alvarez eventually went on to aggregate every world title at 168 pounds, stopping practically every super middleweight along the way. But while he found a way to mitigate the pain through sheer will, it apparently cost him against Dmitry Bivol.
Alvarez lacked energy and his normal dogged personality roughly 14 months ago. Bivol took full advantage, winning a close unanimous decision. Alvarez was despondent about it but not for a single moment did he give an excuse, even when he believed he could have. Now, over a year later, the 33-year-old is letting the cat out of the bag. From his poor training regimen to prior injuries during the lead-up to his Bivol showdown, Alvarez revealed it all.
“I wasn't 100% physically speaking,” Alvarez revealed to Hugo Sanchez Presenta. “My hand wasn't 100%, I couldn't train 100%. A week before the fight, I suffered a rib injury during training. I shouldn't have fought.”
All of those unfortunate incidents are now ostensibly behind him. Alvarez claims that he’s back to training with a full gas tank. His upcoming matchup against Jermell Charlo has him feeling confident, more confident than usual.
Even if a Charlo beating does take place, Alvarez won’t be placated. Bivol has left a chip on his shoulders the size of a boulder. It doesn’t matter what happens next. More wins? World titles? Gigantic checks? They’ll all make Alvarez happy but only transiently.
By and large, Alvarez now plays second fiddle to Bivol. Not in terms of accomplishments but from a skills standpoint. That statement, however, is a misnomer.
“That defeat is still a pain in my heart; I still haven't gotten over that moment. It affected me deeply because I shouldn't have lost, I am simply better than him.”