Fighting isn’t always innate but for Canelo Alvarez, it was as if he was born and bred for the violent sport.

Growing up in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) went from fighting in the street to fighting in the ring. Ultimately, with trainer Eddy Reynoso by his side, the two got started on their pugilistic journey a bit earlier than most.

At the age of 15, Alvarez fought in local club shows and built a fan base that would eventually follow him as the years went by. From fighting in desolate bars to filling up arenas on the other side of the globe, Alvarez has become one of the sports pound-for-pound luminaries.

With a career filled with the sort of accolades that will eventually place him in the Hall of Fame, Alvarez’s greatest achievement came in 2021. During the year, Alvarez nabbed the final piece of his undisputed puzzle against Caleb Plant, stopping the fleet-of-foot former champ in the 11th round.

Although he was once viewed as essentially the best fighter that the sport had to offer, Alvarez has ostensibly lost a step. The pernicious power that would immediately put his opponents to sleep appears to be a bit more benign. Also, Alvarez once flaunted a flawless face after most of his fights. His defense now, however, ensures that he leaves the ring a bit more bruised than usual.

Oscar De La Hoya, from a distance, has noticed some of Alvarez’s slippage. Although his birth certificate indicates that he’s in his early 30s, De La Hoya points to the miles on Alvarez’s odometer as a clear indication that his time near the top of the sport is just about over with.

“Canelo’s an old 33,” said De La Hoya to a group of reporters recently. “Not because he’s been in wars but because he started professionally when he was 15.”