Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is ready to come out swinging—on the links.
The four-division champion and reigning pound-for-pound king will briefly trade in his boxing gloves for golf clubs as he has joined the roster for the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. Alvarez (57-1-2, 39KOs) is one of 22 celebrities and the only boxer currently guaranteed to appear in the annual tournament, which will be held January 31-February 6 at Pebble Beach, California.
“See you soon,” Alvarez noted to the rest of the field Friday evening.
The celebrity field will eventually fill up to 156 participants, matching the number of professional golfers in the PGA Tour-branded event. Each celebrity golfer will be paired with a pro, playing one round on each of the three course— Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. After the third round, the top 25 teams will advance to the final round of competition which is played on Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Guadalajara’s Alvarez took up golf during the pandemic, quickly growing addicted to the leisure activity and proving to be a natural. During his undisputed super middleweight championship tour, Alvarez found time to enter two celebrity tournaments and even claimed top honors in the 2021 BMW Charity Pro-Am tournament last June in Greer, South Carolina.
The feat came one month after the legendary Mexican’s eighth-round stoppage of then-unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders to add the WBO super middleweight belt to his WBC/WBO collection last May 8 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Alvarez went on to participate in the American Century Championship, placing tied for 35th among a field of 88 celebrities last July at Edgewood Tahoe South in Stateline, Nevada.
Alvarez resumed his boxing career soon thereafter. His final win of his 2021 Fighter of the Year campaign was for the undisputed super middleweight championship, which he claimed in an eleventh-round knockout of unbeaten IBF titlist Caleb Plant last November at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The buildup to the fight revealed—among other things—Alvarez’s admitted obsession with golf.
“I love it; I will hit balls for three hours a day,” Alvarez told reporters during the buildup to the Plant fight. “I’m golfing every day. My handicap is about nine or 10 [as of last October]. It’s hard. Sometimes when I don’t play well, I get mad.
“But I’m looking forward to playing a lot more when I retire. I really enjoy those tournaments.”
Alvarez’s upcoming placement in the AT&T Pro-Am tournament is a pit stop to his planned first fight of 2022, which is being targeted for May 7 in Las Vegas.
Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s manager and head trainer was granted approval by the WBC for the sport’s leading box-office attraction to pursue a direct shot at the WBC cruiserweight title, with such a win making Alvarez the first five-division titlist ever to come out of Mexico. Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu is the reigning titlist, due to next defend in a rematch with mandatory challenger Thabiso Mchunu on January 29 at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio.
However, it is far greater speculated that Alvarez—whose win over Plant topped a successful Showtime Pay-Per-View event—will instead remain put at super middleweight and with Premier Boxing Champions. Such a path would lead to the first defense of his undisputed championship versus unbeaten two-division titlist Jermall Charlo, who would move up from middleweight where he currently holds the WBC middleweight title.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Original posted at www.boxingscene.com