World super middleweight boxing champion Canelo Alvarez placed his handprints and footprints in cement in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood Saturday, beginning a new emphasis on embracing and celebrating cultural game changers with the unique honor.
Interim World Boxing Council lightweight champion Ryan Garcia was among those introducing Alvarez at the 11 a.m. ceremony, which was streamed on his Facebook and Instagram pages, www.facebook.com/SaulCaneloAlvarez and www.instagram.com/canelo.
Born Santos Saul Alvarez Barragan on July 18, 1990 in San Agustin, Mexico on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Alvarez was given his first boxing gloves when he was 10 years old by his brother Rigoberto.
Alvarez’s fair skin and freckles — inherited from his mother — made him stick out when he was growing up. He suffered bullying at the hands of schoolmates and local children who nicknamed him “Canelo” (cinnamon-colored).
“I can’t find words to express how I feel now,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “When I was a child, I dreamt about being a world champ. … I dreamt with the best, but I never imagined so much.”
Alvarez added that he was “very proud to be Mexican” and “very proud to be putting my handprints here at the Chinese Theatre.”
Alvarez turned professional when he was 15 years old in 2005 and won a World Boxing Association regional welterweight title in 2008. He won the World Boxing Council youth world welterweight championship for up-and-coming fighters in 2009.
Alvarez won his first world championship, the WBC super welterweight title, in 2011 with a unanimous decision over Englishman Matthew Hatton. Alvarez would go on to win world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.
Alvarez improved his record to 55-1-2 with 37 knockouts when he successfully defended his WBA and WBC super middleweight championships on Feb. 27 when Avni Yildirim’s corner stopped the fight after the third round.
Alvarez is next scheduled to fight undefeated Englishman Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 at A&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with Saunders’ World Boxing Organization world super middleweight and Alvarez’s WBA and WBC titles at stake.
The only blemishes on Alvarez’s pro record are a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013 and draws with Gennadiy Golovkin in 2017 and Jorge Juarez in 2006 in his fifth professional fight.
Alvarez handed Golovkin the only defeat of his professional career, winning by majority decision in their 2018 rematch.