HIS victory over Caleb Plant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night will rank as one of the most satisfying of Canelo Alvarez’s long career. He has capped a remarkable sequence of performances with another win, sealing the world super-middleweight championship.

It is the stuff boxing dreams are made of. Canelo was received rapturously by an arena full to its 16,586 capacity. “It was truly a historic night and I’m so proud to be a part of it,” he said afterwards. “The connection [with the fans] has always been there and I’m really happy and really glad that the Mexican fans are able to come and witness the fight and share the success with me. It means a lot to be a Mexican undisputed champion.”

He could afford look back and think of the teenage boy he was when he first turned pro 16 years ago. “I would have told myself to remain disciplined, to believe, to never lose my passion and my love for boxing. That’s exactly what happened. I love boxing so much, that I love it just as much now as I did 16 years ago, I never lost the discipline, that passion and that’s how I’m here to today,” he said.

Canelo Alvarez
Al Bello/Getty Images

He acknowledged though how demanding an opponent Caleb Plant proved to be. “The fight itself was exactly as I had envisioned it. The first few rounds, they were tough. But then just as we had envisioned it, we were able to execute our game plan and we were really happy with how it turned out,” Canelo said. “I was a little frustrated, especially in the first five rounds. But then again also the second half of the fight, it was exactly how we envisioned it and in the end we came out with the win. That’s all that matters really. In the end even though the frustration was there in the first five rounds, the second part – it was ideal.”

In those testing moments, it was Canelo’s trainer, Eddy Reynoso, who celebrated both Canelo’s victory and his own birthday on Saturday, who steered him through. “Eddy was the one that calmed me down whenever I got to my corner and I was getting a little anxious, he’s was always telling me the right things, kept me on my way, kept me on the right path and then the gameplan came to fruition. And now, thanks to him, I was able to come out with the win,” Alvarez said.

The bad blood that simmered between the two fighters, that boiled over at a pre-fight press conference and even saw them then exchange a couple of blows, has now cooled off. “We don’t have to take away anything from Caleb Plant. He’s a great fighter, a great boxer, he made a great effort tonight,” Alvarez said. “He [Plant] told me after the fight that he wanted to keep fighting, he wanted to continue and he also apologised to me and what he said about my mum – he didn’t mean it and he truly was sorry about that and I told him look, ‘It’s okay, It’s water under the bridge.’ I told him he was a great man.”

“I only wish the best for him,” Canelo adds. “We are human and we want the best for each other in a sport where we have to hurt each other. We are human and what happens in the ring stays in the ring.”

Read our account of the action here