While on the red carpet at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, superstar boxer Canelo Alvarez was asked the usual questions in promotion of his November 2, 2019 assignment in Las Vegas against Sergey Kovalev by reporters. The typical how is training camp, what does this fight mean to him, is he going to win, were all asked.
Canelo readily answered the repetitive questions while making his way down the red carpet which also featured his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions head Oscar De La Hoya, GBP partner Bernard Hopkins, stablemate Ryan Garcia and Teams Canelo and Kovalev.
Yet one reporter asked a question in which Canelo gave deep thought to. The red-head from Guadalajara spent time thinking about his response to this question, asked by reporter Albert Baker of Under The Hand Wraps: “How much did you make for your first fight?”
That moment can be viewed here.
Standing in his black themed dapper custom suit and designer shoes, Canelo was presented with a reflective question. Canelo looked downward for a few seconds, giving deep thought even though his time was limited as other reporters waited for their microphone-to-mouth interviews.
With a serious tone, the man who at one point last year was the recipient of the highest contract ever given to an athlete at an astounding $365 million from DAZN, answered solemnly.
“Forty or fifty dollars.”
The three division titlist then grinned when asked if he had to sell tickets himself for his first professional fight, which boxrec.com lists as taking place at the Arena Chololo Larios in Tonala, Mexico on October 29, 2005. Alvarez was 15 years old at the time.
“Half of the tickets,” Canelo replied.
The dollar amount rise from $40 in 2005 to $365 million in 2018 is a strong testament to both the amount of blood, sweat and tears dropped in the ring by Alvarez, as well as the work put in by Golden Boy Promotions, themselves only beginning their promotional outfit in 2002.
Canelo began his career in his home country of Mexico and after amassing a 21-0 record with one draw, Canelo traveled North for his first professional bout in the United States.
On October 24, 2008, on a Golden Boy Promotions fight card in Cabazon, California, which this writer attended, Alvarez put in a workmanlike performance against Larry Mosley, the cousin of future Hall of Fame inductee Shane Mosley, whom Canelo would later go on to face and defeat in May 2012.
Canelo then had a second bout in the United States, in Miami, before heading back to Mexico for two-handfuls of fights.
On the undercard of a Floyd Mayweather card, (also another future opponent), the future superstar was tagged, hurt early in the fight and knocked against the ring ropes by the cousin of Miguel Cotto (yet another future opponent), Jose Miguel Cotto, in what could have been correctly ruled a knockdown. Canelo ultimately stopped Cotto via TKO in round nine.
Canelo wasn’t an immediate attraction in the early stages of his United States fights, which was never more evident than when the fighter was positioned under an Ez-Up tent in the parking lot at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on the day of a Golden Boy Promotions fight card taking place that night.
No more than ten fans were lined up for a photo/autograph opportunity with a fighter who would turn into the premier fighter in the sport with titles in three divisions, with a fourth weigh class title win awaiting him should he defeat Kovalev later this year.
Golden Boy Promotions soon signed Canelo to a contract, with the company putting the gloves on themselves against the fighter’s former promoter, All Star Boxing, and what lasted as a years’ long legal dispute ultimately ended in a KO win for GBP. Canelo also won a separate suit filed by the company prior to his bout against Gennady Golovkin in September of last year.
Throughout his tenure with Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo believed in his own self-worth. Canelo declined a co-main event showcase slot on the undercard of the Las Vegas set Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz bout in September 2011, instead willing himself to a main event card of his own at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California in defense of his WBC super welterweight title against Alfonso Gomez as Golden Boy Promotions pulled double duty in holding both shows.
In May 2012, Canelo would acquiesce to a co-main spot on a Mayweather undercard against Shane Mosley, yet the impact was made as the fighter had shown that he was a star in his own right and deserved the coveted main-event status.
Following the Mosley win, Canelo would fight the rest of his career in the main-event slot as he won titles in higher weight divisions and propelled himself to a nine-figure contract from the fledging DAZN streaming service.
In turning $40 into $365 million, Canelo has shown the power of believing in oneself by not settling, never stopping, and seeking to reach heights others may have not believed he could not excel to.