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González at the roadside with her painting of Saúl Álvarez. González at the roadside with her painting of Saúl Álvarez.

Boxer buys portrait to support young artist in her studies

Boxing champion Canelo Álvarez bought the painting, helping Nicole González with her tuition

An appeal from a young artist seeking buyers for her paintings in order to fund her university studies got a positive response from the subject of one of her works, champion Mexican boxer Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez: he bought the piece from the Sonora high school student.

Nicole González, 17, attempted to sell the portrait of Álvarez by displaying it on the side of a busy boulevard in Hermosillo.

“Hi I’m Nicki, I’m 17. I’m selling all my works to pay for university in Mexico City,” read her sign advertising the painting.

Posts on social media helped to publicize the paintings further: “My dream is to study visual arts at a university in Mexico City. After 37 days I’ve finished my painting of @canelo, acrylic on canvas. It is one of my greatest achievements. He [Canelo] has inspired me to follow with my dreams, to try and never stop. This painting means a lot to me,” her post read.

The Hermosillo student’s activity gained traction, and caught the attention of the Jalisco native, who is currently the unified super middleweight world champion.

“Thank you very much to all the people interested in this painting, it is no longer available, it is going to Canelo,” Nicole confirmed. “I hadn’t ever expected so many people to be interested in this painting, I am very grateful,” she added.

Despite her success, Nicole has not received any professional training as an artist. The 17-year-old’s paintings are for sale on her Instagram page: @nicki_arte.

CORRECTION: The artist’s Instagram address was incorrect in the original version of this story. We regret the error.

With reports from El Universal and El Sol de México

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