Three Mexican sports stars had a successful weekend – in a Nevada boxing ring, on a Mexico City racing track and on a Quintana Roo golf course.
Saúl Álvarez won his unification title fight against American boxer Caleb Plant with an 11th round technical knockout. With his victory, the red-haired boxer widely known as “Canelo” (Cinnamon) became the first undisputed super middleweight champion.
“Getting here hasn’t been easy but with you, my team and my family we’ve come very far,” Álvarez said after the bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“It’s an achievement for my family and team but above all for Mexico. This means a lot to me and a lot for the history of Mexico,” Canelo said, noting that he is just the sixth boxer to hold all four belts in a single weight division.
Some 3,000 kilometers to the south, Red Bull-Honda driver Sergio “Checo” Pérez finished third behind his teammate Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the Mexico City Formula One Grand Prix, held Sunday at the Hermanos Rodríguez Autodrome.
It was the first time that a Mexican had appeared on the podium at his home Grand Prix. Pérez, who has had two F1 wins in his decade-long career in motor racing’s most prestigious championship, described his third place as an “incredible” achievement, although he lamented that he and Verstappen just missed out on the 1-2 positions they were looking for.
Golfer Carlos Ortiz went one better than Pérez on Sunday, finishing runner up at the World Wide Technology Championship, a PGA event held at the El Camaleón golf course near Playa del Carmen. Ortiz finished with a five under par 66 on Sunday to end the tournament at -19, four strokes behind Viktor Hovland of Norway, who won the event for a second consecutive year.
Another Mexican, Abraham Ancer, finished tied for seventh with a four-round score of -15. Ortiz rose 29 positions to 49th in the world golf rankings as a result of his second placing.
While there was plenty of cause for celebration in Mexico, there was even more reason for jubilation in Guadalajara, where Álvarez, Pérez and Ortiz were all born.
In addition to being tapatíos, as natives of Mexico’s second city are known, all three men were born at the start of the 1990s. Canelo and Checo are both 31, while Ortiz, who doesn’t (yet) have a publicly known catchy nickname, is the youngest of the three at 30.