(Bloomberg) -- Just hours before one of his biggest bouts to date, four-time world champion fighter Canelo Alvarez is as focused outside the boxing ring as he’s ever been inside it.
Alvarez, 33, the Mexican-born fighter hailing from Guadalajara, has been a natural competitor since his foray into sparring at 15 years old. While his current title as the face of boxing is self proclaimed, it’s a realistic one after eclipsing just about every metric in the sport.
He has won every super middleweight title belt at all four weight classes — 154, 160, 168 and 175 pounds. The demand for Alvarez is displayed in his favorable contracts with high-paying guarantees of millions just to show up, plus lofty percentage cuts of pay-per-view revenue. And everyone wants what Alvarez has earned.
“I’ve been in this position for a very long time,” Alvarez said during a special edition of Bloomberg’s Business of Sports podcast. “I know everyone wants to beat me but that’s going to be hard to do.”
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Jermell Charlo, also an undisputed world champion but at junior middleweight level, is one of the people hoping to upset Alvarez on Sept. 30 in Las Vegas. The hard-hitting head hunter – also the twin brother of boxer Jermall Charlo — was so eager to upset Alvarez that he jumped two weight classes to take on the opportunity.
The two will touch gloves for yet another Showtime network super fight on pay-per-view. Alvarez, if successful, will become the first man in the four-belt era to defend all four titles successfully in three consecutive challenges.
“I’ve prepared myself really well,” Alvarez said. And a knockout is the goal, he said, saying he aims to end the match in the eighth or ninth round.
While boxing is still his main focus, Alvarez knows the stakes are high outside of the ring too. He’s been focusing on building his business empire, which includes investments across real estate and adult beverages.
“Boxing is not forever and you need to invest in other things,” he advised. “I think that’s one of the most important things for young fighters.”
As for post-retirement, Alvarez isn’t shunning the idea of exhibition-style fights similar to the ones taken up by Floyd Mayweather. But he’s of the belief there’s so much more left in the tank before hanging up his gloves.
“I’m still in my prime,” Alvarez said. “I feel young and I feel fresh.”
--With assistance from Justin Milliner and Ariel Agami.
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