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Mexican boxer Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez puts undisputed world title on the line against compatriot Jaime Munguía

By Jonny Velasquez and Gonzalo Alvarado, CNN

(CNN) — Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has made fighting on Cinco de Mayo weekend – which celebrates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 – a habit.

This year, the undisputed super middleweight champion faces fellow Mexican Jaime Munguía on May 4 in Las Vegas, a day before his compatriots celebrate their national holiday, widely recognized as an occasion to eat tacos, drink and make merry.

“I feel so proud about this fight because it’s two Mexicans in one of the best weekends in Las Vegas. Everybody is watching us. The first time two Mexicans fighting for the spirit, for the four belts,” Álvarez told CNN en Español. “I feel so proud about this fight.”

In boxing, there are four governing bodies, the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF. Each governing body has a title belt for each weight division, and if a fighter captures all four, they are known as the undisputed champion of that division. Álvarez is putting all four of his super middleweight belts on the line as he takes on Munguía.

In May 2022, the world was stunned when Álvarez suffered a shock defeat to Russian Dmitry Bivol having made the step up to light heavyweight, but he avenged that loss with three consecutive victories back at the more familiar super middleweight level.

This will be the first time Álvarez has fought another Mexican in May since his unanimous win over Julio César Chávez Jr. in 2017.

“I think [Munguía] is a good fighter, but we will see,” Álvarez said. “He has something dangerous in front, so we will see.”

Who is Jaime Munguía?

Born in Tijuana, Mexico, the 27-year-old Munguía has put together a perfect 43-0 record, 34 of them by knockout.

He is coming off a dominant win over John Ryder in January 2024, dropping the Briton in the second and fourth rounds, as well as twice in the ninth en route to a technical knockout (TKO) victory.

After the fight, Munguía said it would be an “honor” to fight his compatriot Álvarez, who is still one of the biggest names in boxing. Álvarez posts a professional record of 64-2-2, 39 of them by way of knockout.

The 33-year-old Álvarez is coming off a victory over American Jermell Charlo in September 2023, which also took place at the T-Mobile Arena. Although the fight went the distance, it was a dominant performance by Álvarez who won by a unanimous decision.

The Oscar De La Hoya factor

Former boxing great Oscar De La Hoya is Munguía’s promoter. The multi-time world champion’s Golden Boy Promotions previously represented Álvarez until they parted company a few years ago.

Now, Álvarez will share the stage with his former promoter.

Boxing YouTube channel Seconds Out asked Álvarez’s promoter Eddie Hearn the boxer’s current relationship with De La Hoya.

“No, never. Not with the conversations I’ve heard,” said Hearn. “The way I see Canelo Álvarez, I don’t see him having grudges against people, but he doesn’t want to entertain any conversations about Oscar De La Hoya.”

In March 2024, Álvarez said he didn’t “like that kind of person,” referring to sharing a stage with De La Hoya at a pre-fight press conference for the fight against Munguía.

De La Hoya spoke to FightHype about his relationship with Álvarez in April 2024.

“Let me give you exactly what happened, why he is so mad at me,” De La Hoya said. “So one day, a reporter asks me, you think Canelo needs another trainer? I had seven trainers in my career. I learned from every trainer. [They] taught me something new. You know, maybe Eddie Reynosa can use a little help.”

“Well guess what, they called me, not being loyal. He said I wasn’t loyal. That, how could you do this.”

“Have I received a thank you, never. When I got him the biggest deal of his life, did I receive a thank you, never.”

‘We want to see Benavidez’

Although Álvarez is one of boxing’s biggest draws, he has been criticized by some of the biggest stars in the sport for not fighting undefeated David Benavidez.

The 27-year-old Benavidez is a three-time WBC super middleweight champion. At age 20, the American became the youngest super middleweight title holder in the history of the sport.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., who dealt Álvarez his first defeat with a majority decision win in 2013, has also been critical of the Mexican boxer not fighting Benavidez.

“My personal opinion, he is ducking Benavidez,” Mayweather Jr. said to Fight Hub TV in 2022. “We want to see Benavidez, let’s make it happen.”

CNN en Español asked Álvarez about the possibility of a future bout with Benavidez.

“No, never, not a possibility, because he brings nothing to the table for me,” Álvarez said.

How to watch

The All-Mexican showdown is set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight is available on DAZN PPV.

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