Canelo on kidnapping, COVID, Mayweather, Oscar
Boxing superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez SPEAKS ENGLISH and reveals for the first time that he was responsible for negotiating the release of his kidnapped brother, suspects local law enforcement may have been involved and is spending less and less time in Mexico due to safety concerns.
On this weekend’s episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, the historically private athlete invited Graham Bensinger to his Guadalajara ranch and also opened up about his family, his battle against COVID-19 just six weeks prior to his last fight (vs. Yildirim), and a request he made to his siblings after his brother’s murder allegations.
Plus, Canelo shares harsh criticism for Oscar De La Hoya and the entire team at Golden Boy Promotions, and he talks of hypothetically knocking out Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The episode also features the first video tour of Canelo’s Guadalajara mansion and horse ranch, as well as biting remarks towards the one opponent he does not respect.
The full episode debuts across the country this weekend.
Canelo reveals that in 2018 he privately spent three days negotiating the release of his kidnapped brother – just days before a fight in New York – and that he couldn’t go to the police for help as he suspects they were involved.
CANELO: For three days I negotiated with those a**holes so that they would let him go. Three days… And in addition I had to fight that Saturday, and a thousand interviews and everything and no one ever knew anything about this… They see me up there and they say, ‘Wow, it’s very easy.’ But nothing is easy in this life. Everything is difficult….
BENSINGER: Did you have to involve the police or no?
CANELO: No, no, never. Because, it’s even hard in Mexico… Because maybe they were involved in that situation.
BENSINGER: Oh. Did you feel like that had happened – that the police were involved – or you just weren’t sure?
CANELO: I think so.
BENSINGER: But that probably makes you concerned for the rest of your family being here… Would you want to move them to the States?
CANELO: I would like [to], but it’s difficult. They have their life here in Mexico. I can’t do it.
Canelo also spoke more broadly about safety concerns while in Mexico, and that he’s spending less time in his native country.
CANELO: I have security here because of people who can be greedy, those who steal at stop lights. There’s a lot of insecurity, too much insecurity. This is why I’m not here in Mexico much anymore, because it’s not safe. Worse still for me and for my family… And the government is not concerned about this. They’re concerned about other things.
Canelo states for the first time that he got COVID earlier this year, just six weeks before his bout with Avni Yildirim in late February.
CANELO: I started first with no sense of smell or taste. I got tested and I had to be 15 days in isolation, because my wife had it too. But I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t really feel anything. I had no other symptoms except what I said: no taste or smell. But I got COVID, and after I got well, I did the test again. I went to San Diego and trained for only one month.
Canelo talks of helping prove his brother, Víctor Manuel ‘Palettes’ Álvarez,’ innocence in the face of murder allegations in 2012, and the subsequent request to his siblings:
CANELO: It was very difficult because the public figure is me, right? I always try to tell my brothers and sisters, when they tell me, ‘I love you a lot.’ I said, ‘That’s good. It’s good that you love me a lot. But if you love me, don’t do stupid things. Because the person who they’re gonna go after, the one who’s gonna be affected will be me.’ So, it was very difficult for me at that time when they accused him… We proved it wasn’t true, but imagine your brother being accused of killing someone.
Canelo states he was less experienced and less mature when he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, and that he’d knock out Floyd in a hypothetical bout where they fought each other in their primes.
CANELO: He’d have nothing to do with me. If we were both at our prime – our best prime – he wouldn’t have anything to do with me. Nothing… I would knock him out.
Later on, Canelo is dismissive of the upcoming exhibition fight between Logan Paul and Mayweather, but says the obvious outcome is another Mayweather victory.
BENSINGER: What do you think of his fight against Logan Paul?
CANELO: … It’s about making money is all… It’s really not relevant at all… It’s stupid.
BENSINGER: Who do you think wins?
CANELO: I think even the question is offensive: Mayweather, obviously.
Canelo and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions parted ways in November, after 15 years together. Recently, De La Hoya told DAZN he could see a reunion in the future – “I’ve had one fighter who in the past, in all those 20 years, that wasn’t happy. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll be working with him once again. I have no doubt whatsoever. I mean, look, people always think that the grass is greener on the other side.”
Canelo’s strong words while speaking with Bensinger say otherwise:
CANELO: Look, I don’t like to talk much about people, but I’ve been a very loyal person, always. And I was very loyal, always with Golden Boy. [De La Hoya] is not Golden Boy. He doesn’t do anything in Golden Boy. He’s worried about drinking, and being involved in other things… The decisions are made by other people. When Richard Schaefer left Golden Boy, he took all the boxers… And he also wanted to take me – and I was the only boxer that stayed with Golden Boy, because I’m a loyal man. But then, later I understood why everyone had gone and why Richard Schaefer left. Because those who are in Golden Boy, they are only looking after their own benefit, not the boxer’s benefit.