Four months ago, undefeated junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez strode confidently up to a podium in Houston to share his thoughts about an upcoming battle against then-titleholder Austin Trout.
A four-piece mariachi band strummed its songs gleefully for him in the background. Everyone was smiling.
The crowd of gawkers and stalkers who came to greet their Mexican idol was unlike any in the venue’s short history of boxing press conferences. Canelomania was out in full force.
No one asked him about Archie Solis.
The very next month, Alvarez defeated Trout by skillfully boxing the southpaw from the outside. His powerful punches doubled the tough-minded Trout over at times, and he floored the brave American once en route to a close—but clear—decision victory.
Alvarez is something special.
Just days before the fight, though, Miguel Rivera of Boxing Scene reported on a possible arrest warrant being issued for Alvarez in his home state of Jalisco, Mexico.
The warrant stemmed from an alleged altercation with another fighter back in October of 2011. According to the plaintiff, 108-pounder Ulises "Archie" Solis and several eyewitnesses, Alvarez confronted and attacked Solis before leaving the scene without being apprehended by authorities. The comparatively tiny Solis was left with a broken jaw and a chipped tooth.
According to Boxing Scene, Alvarez denied the accusations almost as soon as the reports had surfaced.
"It's not true at all,” Alvarez told Rivera of Boxing Scene. “[The fight] wasn't with me. It was with one of my brothers, but not with me. I was there. I just want to clarify that it's not true."
Despite criminal charges looming, the already popular Alvarez continued to build his personal brand into a household name in Mexico. Moreover, the soft-smiling redhead made serious inroads with the American boxing public, as well.
Alvarez defeated former titleholder Kermit Cintron just a month after the alleged incident. The next year, Alvarez nabbed impressive wins over future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley and tough slugger Josesito Lopez.
Now lobbying openly for a fight against elite superstar Floyd Mayweather, Alvarez was looking for a signature win to add to his ledger in order to bolster his chances. And in 2013, against Austin Trout, he found it.
But there was that warrant now.
So what happened upon his return to Mexico? Was the warrant served? Was an arrest made? Did Alvarez face authorities, or even Solis, in a court of law?
Actually, according to Paul Magno of Yahoo! Sports, nothing happened at all:
Instead of being taken into custody and sent to defend himself against the long-standing charges, Canelo reportedly avoided his home state of Jalisco and went straight to Mexico City, where he was given a hero's welcome and invited to meet with Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto. In a forty-five minute private meeting, the 22-year-old champ would present Nieto with the gloves he used in the Trout fight.
Everyone loves a winner, right?
It may very well be true. It seems Mexican authorities ultimately decided to accept a statement from one of Alvarez’s brothers, who took responsibility for the attack, and let Canelo off the hook.
And maybe that’s what really happened.
Still, it’s strange an arrest warrant would’ve been issued in Jalisco so long after the alleged incident occurred without at least some legitimate evidence. Stranger still that the newly submitted warrant would disappear just days after his biggest win to date.
Alvarez is a popular guy. He’s seems genuinely likable outside of the ring, and he’s a really good fighter inside of it. If he defeats the aging Mayweather in September, he’ll become the biggest boxing superstar in the sport.
Canelo is a star.
But so was Mike Tyson when he ruled the roost in the early 1980s. Tyson’s outside-the-ring behavior eventually caught up with him in a bad way when he was convicted of rape in 1992 and sentenced to six years in prison.
To a lesser extent, former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was also on top of his world, too, before the recent incidents unfolded that have threatened to send him to prison for the rest of his life, according to a report by CBS Boston.
The problem, of course, is that news has come out afterward, via Bridget Murphy of Huffington Post, of numerous brushes with the law. This includes possible cover-ups—according to Kevin Manahan of USA Today—for Hernandez from people who should have been protecting the interests of the human race rather than just those involved in some silly sport.
Again, Canelo Alvarez is almost assuredly no Aaron Hernandez. He’s probably not Mike Tyson either, and he might even be as pure as human being as there is on the planet. We just don’t know.
Maybe Canelo Alvarez’s trouble with the law was illegitimate in the first place and should get ignored.
But shouldn’t we at least ask the question?