Two days after his spectacular sixth-round knockout of former welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir, rising star Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez inked a multi-year contract extension with Golden Boy Promotions, the company announced on Monday.
"If anyone wasn't convinced that 'Canelo' Alvarez is a future world champion, they have to be believers now," said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "At just 20 years old, he knocked out a tough former world champion who had only been knocked out one time in 64 fights and that was 16 years ago. He is going to be a star in this sport for a long time, and we're proud to have him on our team."
Alvarez, 20, has quickly emerged as Golden Boy's top prospect. A star in Mexico, Alvarez (34-0-1) has attracted fans in the U.S. with his electrifying style. Alvarez knocked out Jose Miguel Cotto, brother of junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, on the undercard of the Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather fight last May. And on Saturday, Alvarez put down Baldomir with a savage left hook that sent Baldomir careening face-first to the canvas.
"Saul Alvarez is one of those special fighters that can transcend the sport and become a star not only in Mexico and the United States, but around the world," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "He has it all, in and out of the ring, and the next step is to get him ready a shot at a world championship."
That could happen soon. Alvarez fought Baldomir at a catch weight of 151 pounds but says that he plans on campaigning at welterweight (147 pounds) for the foreseeable future. While many big names (Mayweather, Mosley, Manny Pacquiao) compete at welterweight only Pacquiao, the WBO champion, holds a recognized title. Other titleholders include Andre Berto (WBC), Jan Zaveck (IBF) and Vyacheslav Senchenko (WBA).
Since signing Alvarez in January, Golden Boy has relentlessly marketed him as the next De La Hoya, pushing his good looks and overwhelming power. The strategy has been successful: Alvarez was cheered loudly during his Los Angeles debut on Saturday and again when he made an appearance ringside before the main event.
"Golden Boy Promotions has been the perfect partner for Team Alvarez on the road to the top and I'm confident in their plans for Saul in the coming years," said Alvarez' manager, Jose Reynoso. "I think we're all aware how special a young man Saul is, and with his talent, hard work and focus, he will one day be a world champion and eventually, one of boxing's best pound-for-pound fighters."