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Boxing

Canelo and Chavez Jr meet in a battle for Mexican pride

canelo-chavez

It has been confirmed that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr next in a match-up between the two most popular names in Mexican boxing. The fight will take place on May 6th, the weekend of Cinco De Mayo, and has to be considered as one of, if not the biggest Mexican fight in boxing history.

The two will meet at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds, which is over 9lb heavier than Canelo (48-1-1, 34 KO’s) has ever boxed at before. Despite being a former WBC middleweight champion, he has actually never fought at the middleweight limit of 160lb. His two title wins against Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan were at a catchweight of 155lb – something that brought a lot of controversy from boxing fans worldwide. Chavez Jr (50-2-1, 32 KO’s) is also a former WBC middleweight world champ but hasn’t fought at the weight since 2013. In his last five fights he has been over 167lb and is notorious for struggling to make weight, no matter what weight he’s meant to be fighting at. But apparently, according to Golden Boy president Eric Gomez there will be “big penalties” if he doesn’t make weight.

Regardless of weight, titles, or anything really, it is guaranteed to be a huge fight. Both men have massive fan bases in Mexico and worldwide. You can expect millions of people to buy this on PPV and thousands and thousands of fans to fill out whatever stadium/arena the fight takes place at. Although a venue hasn’t officially been confirmed it is likely that it will be at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas or the AT&T Stadium in Texas.

Although they’re both proud Mexican men, there has been some bad blood between the two of them for years, stemming mainly from Chavez Jr having a lot of negative stuff to say about Canelo. Many people will put this down to jealousy as Canelo has had a lot more in-ring success.

This is what Alvarez had to say about his compatriot: “(There is) Plenty of rivalry. He talks too much about me. He talks bad about me and has criticized me so many times. I will prove to him in the ring who is the better man.”

It really is a must-win fight for both men. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Chavez Jr, who with a win here would see himself catapulted back into world title contention and superstardom. A win over Canelo would rank up there with even some of his legendary father’s greatest wins. And with almost four months to get in tip-top shape and cut the weight properly, he does stand a chance. In my opinion, Canelo is the far more talented fighter and if it came down to skills and ring generalship he’s going to win 9 times out of 10. But the key factor here is the size and weight. Chavez Jr is going to be considerably bigger when it comes to fight night – we’ve seen him balloon up by over 15lb over night and come into the ring looking like a light-heavyweight many times before.

It’s all going to come down to how Canelo deals with this size difference. Chavez Jr will have a 4 inch height and 3 inch reach advantage – something Canelo will have to work around. You also have to look at the way Chavez fights. His game-plan is the same every time. Come forward, stick on the pressure and bully your opponent. No matter who you are, this is going to wear you down if you let it happen. Canelo’s best bet is to invite the pressure, but counter Chavez on the way in, using his sharpness and explosive power.

I’ll wait till near fight time to give an official prediction, but hopefully Canelo can walk away with a win here, prove himself at a higher weight, and then he’s got no excuses as to why he can’t face the man we all want to see him fight – Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.

By Jack Price @PriceyJ97

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