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Tapatio sports stars continue to shine

December 30, 2012

Back in December 2010, the Reporter tipped three young Tapatio sportsmen for future superstardom.

Two years later, soccer ace Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Formula One racer Sergio “Checo” Perez have established themselves as world famous figures in their respective sports.

Having joined Manchester United from Chivas de Guadalajara in July 2010, Hernandez, 24, has developed a knack for coming on as a substitute and scoring crucial winning goals. With 42 goals in 101 appearances (many of which came as a substitute) in all competitions for United, he boasts one of the best scoring ratios in English Premier League history, netting on average one goal every 120 minutes.

Hernandez scored another late winner as his side came from behind to defeat Newcastle 4-3 on Wednesday, and with United seven points clear at the top of the table he is currently on course to win his second Premier League title.

Meanwhile, Alvarez, 22, has continued a steady ascendancy since signing to Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in January 2010. Alvarez became WBC Light Middleweight Champion in March 2011 and defended his belt against U.S. boxers Shane Mosely and Josesito Lopez this year.

He boasts a fine record of 41 wins (30 knockouts), no losses and one tie, but has drawn some criticism for not testing himself against more challenging opponents. This could soon change, as earlier this month Alvarez revealed on his official Facebook page that he was “close to finalizing a fight with Floyd Mayweather” for May 4, 2013.

A bout with the five-division world champion would not only be Alvarez’s biggest test to date by far – it would also prove extremely lucrative, guaranteeing the Guadalajara native several million dollars regardless of the outcome.

The city’s other sporting poster boy, Perez, has come a long way since the Reporter interviewed him in Centro Magno’s Starbucks branch back in 2007.

“I don’t care about the money and fame. I’m in this to win,” he said prophetically, at the age of 17.

Now 22, Perez has just completed his second season in Formula One, finishing 10th on the leader board with 66 championship points. This represented a solid improvement on his debut year, in which he accumulated 14 points and finished 16th.

Perez made history in 2012 by finishing second twice and third once, thus becoming the first Mexican driver to claim a place on the podium in 41 years. After two years with team Sauber, he will now move to Ferrari for the 2013 season, enhancing his chances of challenging for a championship title.

This celebrated trio aside, several young sportsmen and women from Guadalajara also made their name this year at the Olympic Games in London.

Tapatio divers Ivan Garcia, German Sanchez, Alejandra Orozco and Laura Sanchez all won medals as Mexico gave its best Olympics performance since hosting the games in 1968. Chivas star Marco Fabian – who hails from Tecalitlan, Jalisco – also played a key role as Mexico claimed its only gold medal came in the men’s soccer.

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