Guadalajara, Gall. . In the Teatro de Gollado, an emblematic 19th-century building in Guadalajara, under the fresco of the dome representing Canto IV of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, Mexican boxer Sail “Canelo” Alvarez does not say a word at the weigh-in ceremony. He just took off his classic Dolce & Gabbana silk pajamas that he usually wears on trips and ceremonies before his fights.
The show was called The King Returns Home and as a king, the red-haired hero could not subject himself to the indignity of undressing from balancing on one foot to taking off his pants and climbing on the scales. In his underwear, with an appearance of fragility almost nudity, he showed the disciplined action that made him the Mexican athlete of world greatest width. Even though he hasn’t fought since September 2022, Guadalajara’s physique looked very carefully sculpted and weighed in at 167.5 pounds, less than the super middleweight division limit prevalent across all organizations.
Before John Ryder, a Briton little known outside the UK and a contender for the super middleweight belts that Canelo defends, asserted that he had done whatever was necessary to win that right to face the greatest figure in international boxing. Without a chair he could reach to make the act of stripping less uncomfortable, he also ended up in his underwear on the scale weighing 168 pounds, half more than the Mexican monarch.
Face to face, part of this ritual before the fight, was the moment of staring at him, as if they wanted to break the opponent with the strength of the disciples, but without fuss or bravado disrespectful to the other. Exchanging glances marked by courtesy.
Prior to the voting process, he was greeted by the governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, who described the Canelo Raider fight as a historic event for Guadalajara and Mexico.
“This will be a celebration of 200 years that our nation is free and sovereign,” the governor said. “Our hero has raised Mexico’s name in the world and is an example that sport is an engine of social transformation.”