Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán (Spanish pronunciation: [saˈul ˈalβaɾes]; born July 18, 1990), commonly known as Saúl Álvarez, or by his nickname “Canelo” Álvarez, is a Mexican professional boxer. He has held the WBO light middleweight title since 2016, as well as the Ring magazine and lineal middleweight titles since 2015. Previously he held the WBC light middleweight title from 2011 to 2013; the WBA (Unified) and Ring light middleweight titles in 2013; and the WBC middleweight title from 2015 to 2016. As of December 2016, Álvarez is ranked as the world’s best boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec; eighth by The Ring; and tenth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
In an interview, Álvarez explained that he was born in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, but his family was at the time living in San Agustín de Tlajomulco de Zúñiga. At the age of five, his family moved to their current home of Juanacatlán, Jalisco. Growing up on his family’s farm, he learned horseback riding, which he continues today. Álvarez is the youngest of eight children, seven of them boys; all of his brothers also became professional boxers. Among his brothers are welterweight boxers Ramón Álvarez, Ricardo Álvarez and former Interim WBA World Champion, Rigoberto Álvarez.
“Canelo” in Spanish is the masculine word for cinnamon, which is a common nickname for people with red hair.
Álvarez started boxing at 13 years old, after watching his older brother Rigoberto Álvarez’s debut as a professional boxer. In 2004 he won the silver medal at the Junior Mexican National championships, held in Sinaloa. He became the 2005 Junior Mexican National Boxing Champion in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, at the age of 15. Canelo has an amateur record of 44-2.