Superstar Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez discusses new Michelob Ultra Super Bowl campaign, golf, and his return to the ring
The multi-time World Heavyweight Champion spoke to AL DÍA about his latest campaign set to air during the upcoming Eagles-Chiefs showdown.
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Multi-time World Heavyweight Champion, and Mexican superstar boxer, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, is one of two new Team ULTRA faces to be a part of Michelob Ultra’s newest Super Bowl campaign for Super Bowl LVII between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. But the campaign, called “New Members Day,” centers golf rather than Canelo’s preferred sport of boxing.
It celebrates how the increasingly popular sport has successfully crossed into mainstream culture, while showing some friendly competition between Succession star Brian Cox and other superstar athletes, as they relax at the Bushwood Country Club on their day off.
The commercial, inspired by the 1978 classic Golf comedy Caddyshack, features two new Team ULTRA faces and self-proclaimed golf enthusiasts – former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Canelo, as well as Team ULTRA athletes Serena Williams, Jimmy Butler, Alex Morgan, Nneka Ogwumike.
It is also a reflection of the Michelob Ultra’s commitment to increasing visibility of women in all sports, as this year’s commercial will once again have an equal number of female and male athletes during the largest sporting spectacle of the year.
In a conversation with AL DÍA, Canelo discusses his first ever Super Bowl campaign, his love for golf, how it has helped him better learn English, how brands like Michelob ULTRA are making golf a more inclusive space for everyone, and his anticipated return to the ring.
Canelo’s first Super Bowl campaign
Canelo has accomplished a lot over the course of the last two decades, such as having one of the best all-time boxing records at 68 wins, two draws and two losses, as well as being a multiple time world championship winner in four weight classes from light middleweight to light heavyweight — including unified titles in three of those weight classes and lineal titles in two.
But this is his first Super Bowl ad.
“The truth is that it is an honor for me. I am very pleased that Michelob Ultra has spoken to me to do this campaign with Serena Williams and with all these great athletes. I feel very happy, very honored to be able to be in this commercial and partnering with Michelob Ultra,” Canelo said.
With a combined social media following of over 16 million, it makes him one of the more marketable and known athletes in the world. It makes it easy to understand why Michelob Ultra would want the superstar boxer in their campaign, but for Canelo, it was also an easy deal to accept.
“My marketing agents spoke to me and offered me this collaboration and they told me who was going to be there and obviously happy, as I told you, it is an honor for me to be with great
personalities and more than anything being a partner with Michelob Ultra,” he said.
Passion for Golf
Like many other athletes as of late, Canelo has taken up golf as not only a new sport to master, but as a way to de-stress from the everyday hardships of life and a way to better learn English, his second language.
“I started three and a half years ago, and it is a very addictive sport. If I played every day I would be very happy,” he said.
The 32-year old first started playing golf in 2020 and had even made comments that he would retire at 37 and dedicate his life to golf as well as his company – Canelo Promotions – where he now acts as a boxing promoter.
It was established in 2010 and his business partners are his trainers — father-and-son team Chepo and Eddy Reynoso. As of 2013, the company has already represented 40 boxers throughout his native Mexico.
“It is a very addictive sport that I love, that I enjoy a lot with my friends and having fun distracts me and it has also helped me a lot in my career, to be able to get away from the stress of boxing,” the superstar boxer said. “I feel very lucky to have met this beautiful sport that is golf.”
Canelo hitting the PGA tour?
Most sports are not the easiest to grasp at first, specifically golf, where athleticism is taken out of the equation and is a game strictly of strategy, poise, and accuracy.
While we should not expect Canelo to be on the PGA Tour anytime soon, he has, however, practiced and played enough to a point where he feels comfortable out on the green just as he feels tranquility inside the ring.
“The truth is that I defend myself very well, I practice a lot, so I can hold my own. It is a very difficult sport, but I play well,” Canelo said.
And like other major sports, golf can be very intense, especially if you have a wager on the line. It’s why Canelo makes sure to take some Michelob Ultra’s with him to the course.
“I play when I can and when I have the opportunity,” said Canelo. “I take some Michelob Ultra and I play it to distract myself, put my phone down, get out of my routine, play golf with my friends, so it's a sport with a lot of emotion, with a lot of adrenaline too, and more so when you bet with your friends.”
How golf has helped him learn English
Guadalajara-born, Canelo has taken up a new sport and a new language in English recently, and with the power of sports, is also able to learn a second language with a little help from his friends too.
“I play with my friends in San Diego and they all speak English. And that's how I learned a bit. Speaking English, I don't speak it perfectly, but I can defend myself and I can have a conversation,” he said.
Brands like Michelob Ultra are working to make golf and other major sports more accessible to other communities of people and women.
Having a global superstar athlete like Canelo star in one of its golf themed advertisements for the world to see helps to spread the message of the game throughout the globe — specifically for Mexicans and children, who Canelo says he has firsthand seen have more interest in it since he first took it up.
“There are a lot of Mexicans. Since I started playing, people have seen me. There are more children practicing golf because it is a beautiful example of more sports that children can practice and the truth is that this is a sport that everyone can do. I have seen many people who have gotten into it more now,” he concluded.
His return to the ring
Canelo’s last match was back in September 2022, coming away with a unanimous decision win against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in the final fight of the trilogy between the two.
However, the fighter sustained a left hand injury that required surgery in November, which has sidelined him for the last few months.
The fighter is being cautious as to not reinjure the hand, but with reports that Canelo might be returning to the ring as early as this upcoming May, optimism is high for a grand return.
Canelo gave AL DÍA some insight into how he feels.
“I feel very good. I've been training and I'm starting to hit ever since I had surgery on my hand. My hand is getting stronger little by little and we're doing well with the possibility of fighting in May,” he said.