By: Sean Cross
After Argentina beat Mexico in the World Cup, Canelo Alvarez was not too happy with Argentina soccer star Lionel Messi’s locker room behavior. Canelo argued that a video clip of Messi celebrating with his teammates in the locker room after the game showed Messi disrespecting the Mexican flag. “Did you see Messi cleaning the floor in our jersey and flag?” Canelo posted on Twitter Sunday. “He better pray to God that I don’t find him,” he said of Messi in another post. “Just like I respect Argentina, he should respect Mexico! I’m not talking about his country, I’m only talking about Messi because of what he did to——.”
Canelo is currently recovering from wrist surgery, fresh off his win over rival Gennady Golovkin in September. Messi’s Jealousy Ruined Boxing’s Greatest Break In fairness, the video does show Messi in his absence pushing his shirt aside with his foot as his teammates chant around him. But Canelo took the act as a serious gesture of respect. Mexico’s loss to Argentina on Saturday no doubt fired some people’s nerves. Sports have a way of doing this for fans around the world, as a quick look at fan rage on YouTube clearly shows.
Still, it’s strange that one of the best athletes on earth would follow another top athlete in this way. Although Messi is not widely known in the United States, it cannot be denied that America is known for its traditional indifference to soccer. That being said, it’s doubtful that Messi has much to worry about when it comes to personal safety. Calelo took a shot at Caleb Plant before their top middleweight fight last year, but he’s known for his professional demeanor.
To be honest, this move seems out of character for Canelo. Although he may be boxing’s biggest star, the Mexican legend certainly doesn’t have boxing’s biggest mouth. That honor probably goes to heavyweight kingpin Tyson Fury, though there are other big talkers as well. With all of that in mind, it looks like Canelo could fight again in the spring if he continues to recover well from his surgery. Just don’t expect him to get in the ring with Messi. Novelty fights aren’t Canelo’s thing. Plus he’ll have plenty of time to cool down between now and then.