Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is ready to swing on the links.
The four-division champion and reigning pound-for-pound king will briefly trade his boxing gloves for golf clubs as he 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 compete in the annual tournament, which will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 6 in Pebble Beach, Calif.
“See you soon,” Alvarez noted to the rest of the field Friday night.
The celebrity field will eventually fill up to 156 entrants, matching the number of professional golfers in the PGA Tour marquee event. Each celebrity golfer will be paired with a pro, playing a round on each of three courses – 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 the competition which is played at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Alvarez de Guadalajara took up golf during the pandemic, quickly becoming addicted to the leisure activity and proving to be a natural. During his undisputed super middleweight championship tour, Alvarez found time to compete in two celebrity tournaments and even took top honors at the 2021 BMW Charity Pro-Am tournament last June in Greer, South Carolina. .
The feat came a month after then-undefeated Mexican legend Billy Joe Saunders stopped in the eighth round to add the WBO super middleweight belt to his WBC/WBO collection on May 8 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, in Texas. Alvarez then competed in the American Championship of the Century, tied for 35th among a field of 88 celebrities last July at Edgewood Tahoe South in Stateline, Nevada.
Alvarez resumed his boxing career shortly thereafter. His final win of his 2021 Fighter of the Year campaign was for the undisputed super middleweight championship, which he won in an eleventh-round knockout of undefeated IBF title slate Caleb Plant last November at MGM. Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The build-up to the fight revealed, among other things, Alvarez’s avowed obsession with golf.
“I love it; I’m going to hit balls for three hours a day,” Alvarez told reporters while preparing for the Plant fight. “I play golf every day. My handicap is around nine or 10. [as of last October]. It’s hard. Sometimes when I don’t play well, I go crazy.
“But I look forward to playing a lot more when I retire. I really like these tournaments.
Alvarez’s next placement in the AT&T Pro-Am Tournament is a pit stop of his scheduled first fight of 2022, which is scheduled for May 7 in Las Vegas.
Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s manager and head trainer has received WBC approval for the sport’s top box office attraction to pursue a straight shot at the WBC cruiserweight title, with such a win making Alvarez the first list of titles in five divisions to come out of Mexico. Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu is the reigning roster, who must defend next in a rematch with mandatory challenger Thabiso Mchunu on Jan. 29 at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio.
However, it is much more speculated that Alvarez – whose win over Plant topped a successful Showtime Pay-Per-View event – will instead stay at super middleweight and with Premier Boxing Champions. Such a path would lead to the first defense of his undisputed championship against two-division undefeated titlist Jermall Charlo, who would move up from middleweight where he currently holds the WBC middleweight title.
Jake Donovan is Senior Writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox