Canelo almost QUIT boxing as he couldn't afford a car on £35 a fight… now he's top-paid star with £10m fleet of motors | The Sun

CANELO ALVAREZ once considered QUITTING boxing as he could not afford a car on his £35 fight purses… now he is the sport's richest star.

The Mexican ring legend turned professional aged just 15 but was making tiny paydays at the start of his career.

Now almost 20 years on and Canelo is boxing's prized asset and the biggest box office attraction.

The current undisputed super-middleweight champion's journey began on the Juanacatlan streets as a nine-year-old.

Canelo would lace up the gloves and challenge all comers, inspired to box by his oldest brother Rigoberto.

In a DAZN documentary, he revealed: "I started boxing because of my oldest brother. I saw his professional debut.


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"Since then, it's like my eyes turned into gloved-shaped hearts. Since then, I said, 'I want to be a boxer, I want to be a boxer.'

"Since then, I couldn't get it out of my mind. Then he moved for two years to Tijuana, I would ask, 'Please take me with you. I want to be a boxer like you.'

"But my dad wouldn't let me go."

Canelo, the youngest of seven brothers with three of them also fighters, was eventually given the green light to chase his boxing dreams at 13.

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And it led him to Chepo Reynoso's gym, which the trainer co-run with his son Eddy, with the pair coaching Canelo still till this day.

Canelo had 46 amateur bouts, losing just twice and winning national titles while also impressing against seasoned veterans in sparring.

Brother Gonzalo said: "I loved to see him training with world champion "Chatiti" Jauregui and he was just a 15-year-old boy.

"He would stand stand his ground and the world champion couldn't dominate."

Canelo turned pro in 2005 after just two years worth of experience and fought for little pay across Mexico.

It proved such hard work that the future fight icon was ready to prematurely hang up his gloves to earn money a normal way.

Gonzalo said: "There was a moment when he was considering quitting boxing, because, I remember, they paid him almost nothing when he started.

"Sometimes they would pay him $40 and the rest in tickets for him to sell.

"If he'd sell them he would make a bit of money, if not, that was his problem.

"He wanted to buy a car so he'd say, 'I'm going to look for a job.' He was losing his patience.

"So, I told him, 'Brother, you have something that almost nobody has, you're a Mexican, redhead and very good at what you're doing. I believe you'll be world champion and you will make history.'"

Canelo's life changed at 17 when he became a father, to his eldest daughter Emily.

He said: "There were very complicated moments, when I couldn't afford milk, diapers, or the bus fare to go to training.

"But one way or another, I would figure it out and push forward."

Canelo, who now has three daughters and one son, drew inspiration from his father Santos and credits him for his success.

But in the early days of his career, he found motivation from his first daughter.

Canelo said: "At home, I would think, 'I don't want this for my daughter, I want something better.'

"So I aimed to give the best to my daughter."

Canelo made a name for himself in his homeland with 21 wins before making his Stateside debut in 2008.

By 2011, and already 37 fights in, he became world champ for the first time, beating Ricky Hatton's brother Matthew for the light-middleweight title, aged only 20.

Around 1.4MILLION people watched and a star was born overnight.

In the decade since, Canelo inherited the pound-for-pound throne vacated by Floyd Mayweather, who beat the Mexican in 2013.

The 32-year-old has won belts up to light-heavyweight and become the highest-paid fighter in the process.

According to Forbes, Canelo made around £74m for his two wins in 2021 over Billy Joe Saunders, 33, and Caleb Plant, 30, alone.

And he makes just under £5m in sponsorships while also previously claiming he earns £1.1m a month due to his investments, mainly in real estate.

And for the man who once could not afford a car to get around, Canelo is now spoilt for choice.

His collection has included a Bugatti Chiron, worth £2.8m, a £1m LaFerrari and a £520,000 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ.

A bulk of Canelo's wealth come following his two fights with Gennady Golovkin, 40, which both sold over 1m pay-per-views.

He is said to have earned £24 for the 2017 draw and then around £43m for the rematch he won a year later.

The pair are finally set to complete their trilogy this weekend in Las Vegas, which promises to further boost Canelo's net worth.

But the fight means more than any number on a paycheque, with losing simply not an option for Canelo.

He said: "I think we had a really good two fights. People want the three fights.

"For me in my mind, at the end of the second fight, that was the end of the fights with Golovkin. It's enough.

"But the people want to know who is the best. He always says I'm not a good champion, I'm embarrassing for my country, but when he is in front of me he doesn't say anything.

"That's why I'm mad. He's a good, difficult, strong fighter. One of the greatest of all time. Our styles are perfect for a good fight.

"I think I'm more mature, more strong, have good experience, and I'm in my prime. That is going to be the difference.

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"I think it is going to be a good fight, but my goal is to end the fight before the 12 rounds.

"Nobody likes to lose, but losing is not an option for me."

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