I was born ready
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez knows very well that those words could go on to live in infamy. He stands only a few hours away from the sort of oppurtunity very seldom presented to a man of his age. Time will tell if is indeed prepared for what lies ahead.
Bravado and confidence are two things very few professional boxers lack. Most exhibit it in abundance. This is surely down to the confidence a man must have in his own fists to enter the ring and be prepared to put his very life on the line in pursuit of victory.
The bravado of course comes from the knowledge that you are capable of the sort of extreme physical exertion the sport requires of you, as well as the knowledge that you can hurt a man with your two fists. What were once just hands can become sledgehammers, forged steel with an incredible weight behind them. Especially when you’re launching them at an incredible velocity towards another mans head.
There isn’t too many people who aren’t aware of the immense bravado, which often times crossing the line into complete and utter arrogance, that Floyd Mayweather Jr. displays. He’s made a career out of proclaiming himself the best, showing of the abundance of riches the fight game has given him.
Canelo Alvarez on the other hand has been understated throughout his career. A testament to the character of the man whose been seemingly hand picked by Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions company to be the next face of the sport.
The pressure which has been placed on the shoulders of the 23 year old from Guadalajara is immense. The sort of pressure that has seen many before him crack, unable to handle the adulation and expectation that come with being one of the sports top stars.
Through it all Alvarez has proven himself capable of dealing with the pressure both inside and outside the ring. He’s never been one to boast about himself or belittle an opponent. He maintains a high level of respect for any many who steps into the ring with him.
He often deflects praise, appearing to be uncomfortable with all the fame and accolades others want to heap upon him. Perhaps it’s because, deep down, Alvarez is simply a fighter. The unimaginable fortune thats come along with it a byproduct of doing what he loves.
It’s this personality that has endeared him to so many. Whole Mayweather attracts no shortage of fans with his brashness, Canelo manages it by appearing to be a guy who really just wants to fight. At yesterday’s weigh in he had no interest in participating in any theatrics. When Mayweather was trash talking Canelo was simply smiling.
Which made it all the more shocking when the question of whether he was ready was posed to him and he answered assuredly, with no hesitation, “I was born ready”. It came with authority. It came with unabashed confidence. It came from a man who surely believes he’s capable of beating Mayweather.
In the biggest fight of his seven year career, in the biggest fight the boxing world has seen in decades, Canelo is unshaken by it all. Many fighters like to try and project confidence before a big fight. Canelo wasn’t trying.
When he’s standing in the hall at the MGM Grand Garden Arena preparing for the biggest fight of his life and “El Rey” starts up, there will be goosebumps for thousands of people in the arena and millions watching globally. They are certainly to raise on the skin of Alvarez as well.
He will be standing on the cusp of unparalleled fame and fortune. On the cusp of immortality. And on the cusp of the biggest fight of his career.
He enters the ring trying to do what so many before him have tried and failed to do, unlock the Mayweather mystery. To find a way to penetrate what, up until this point, has looked like an impregnable defence for the ages.
He has tools that many other have had, but he has more of them at his disposal. He’ll surely outweigh the champion. He’s younger as well. None of that will matter.
What will matter is that the confidence never leaves him, that frustration never gets the better of him. Belief in self will be an immeasurable tool in this fight. When the going gets tough he needs to suffocate the voice telling him it’s impossible.
If he was, indeed, born ready that is what will shine this evening.