Miguel Vazquez got off to a very unconventional start to his boxing career when he made his debut against future pound-for-pound greats.
In 2006, just turned 19, the Mexican began his professional career in an unremarkable show in Guadalajara.
We can forgive Vazquez for expecting an easy touch given in his first professional fight. This is the norm for young boxers who are just starting out.
And he definitely would have felt even more confident when he was informed that his opponent was a 15-year-old ginger boy with a non-intimidating appearance.
Unfortunately for El Titere, the young man went by the name of Saul Alvarez and was called “Canelo” by his friends.
“We knew each other because we were amateurs,” Vazquez recalled to PBC years later, confirming that he knew Canelo well before facing him in his first professional fight. bottom.
However, this was not Alvarez’s debut. Because he had already won two matches a few months ago.
Despite his four-year advantage, Vazquez had a tough fight against a boy with more professional experience than him.
Their four-round contest was a split decision.
Judge Juan Jose Chavez scored Canelo 40-36 and Judge Jesus Hernandez scored Vazquez 39-37.
Judge Roberto Rodriguez-Barajas settled the dispute as he scored the match 39-37 for Canelo, making the 15-year-old Canelo the narrow victor of the day.
Years later, Vazquez is still contesting that verdict.
As it happened, when the pair met again two and a half years later, he got the chance to put things right.
This time, Vazquez was 21 and Canelo was 17. Their rematch took place in a unique show that featured all seven Alvarez brothers in boxing in separate fights.
At this point, however, Canelo was undefeated in 20 professional matches, while Vazquez suffered another loss, losing to a future world champion named Tim Bradley.
There was no discussion of the outcome this time as the teenagers made a unanimous decision after 10 rounds.
“I feel like I beat Canelo Alvarez in my pro debut,” Vazquez said.
“My second fight with Canelo was my mistake, because I fought at 150 pounds.
Vazquez learned from his mistakes and dropped the weight.
Ultimately, five years after losing his professional debut, he won the vacant IBF world title in the lightweight division (135 lbs).
Vasquez defeated Kim Ji-hoon to win the belt, and held that belt from 2011 to 2014.
He was eventually usurped the throne by Mickey Bay, became a gatekeeper in his later years, and was beaten by Josh Taylor before losing controversial decisions to O’Hara Davis and Louis Ritson.
Vazquez is now 35 and nearing retirement.
At the end of the day, Canelo will undoubtedly be the best fighter he has shared the ring with, but even after stepping into the ring with him, I don’t believe his debut opponent will be world champion. did not.
“Canelo, honestly, I didn’t,” Vazquez told PBC.
“But in my heart I thought I was going to be a champion. People would see what I was. That was my dream.”
Make your dreams come true.