February 27th, 2017
By Dan Ambrose: Mexican boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. says his on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) is taking training for his big fight against former two division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) very seriously for their May 6 fight on HBO pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Chavez Sr. is very happy to see how well Chavez Jr. is training for the fight, because it tells him that his won is ready to win, and show the boxing world how good he can be. If Chavez Jr. can beat Canelo, it’s going to give Chavez Sr. room to gloat about it. The fans that compared Canelo to him will realize they were wrong.
“I’m very impressed by the ways Junior is taking this fight so seriously. With all the hard work and preparation that Junior has already done, that’s what’s going to lead him to victory,” Chavez said to the latimes.com about his son Chavez Jr “This is what the fight is about, to see how legitimate Canelo Alvarez is, to see if he has the actual power he says he has.”
I don’t know if Chavez Jr. is a good enough fighter to tell us much about how good Canelo Alvarez is as a fighter. I think it might require a better fighter than Chavez Jr. to give the boxing world a good indication of how good Canelo is. We already know from the past that Canelo struggled badly against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in losing to him in 2013. We also saw how bad Canelo looked against Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan. We know that Canelo’s fight night weights aren’t revealed before his fights on HBO any longer, which has some boxing fans wondering why the weights aren’t being revealed.
We know Canelo often looks huge in comparison to his opposition. Some fans don’t view Canelo as a great fighter. They see him as someone that is good dehydrating to make the 154lb division, and then putting a lot of weight back on to gain an advantage. These fans think the reason why Canelo is dragging his feet over making the move to the middleweight division is because he’ll be fighting guys his own size and will be exposed by them. With Canelo facing Chavez Jr. in a catch-weight of 164.5 lbs. on May 6, he’s skipping right past the middleweight division to fight in the super middleweight division against a fighter that can barely make 168.
“It’s going to be a tough fight. Both of them are going to go neck and neck,” Chavez said. “I know how Junior prepares — his discipline and his mentality — will decide how he wins the fight.”
If Chavez Jr. can beat Canelo, it could help the legacy of Chavez Sr., because there are many boxing fans who view Canelo as a better fighter than Sr. If Chavez Jr. can beat Canelo and expose him as a protected fighter that never had the talent that the fans thought he had, then it would raise Chavez Sr’s stature in the sport.
In looking at Chavez Jr. at his best during his career, he looks slow on his feet and not particularly fast of hand. There are a lot of fights in Chavez Jr’s career where he really struggled against mediocre opposition. You can partly blame Chavez Jr’s performances on him being not in the best condition for his fights. But Chavez Jr. just never was fast of hand, and he’s always been easy to hit. The fact that Chavez Jr. has been able to beat guys like Andy Lee and many other fighters is just a credit to his body punching, power and his size advantage over his opposition.
When Chavez Jr. was fighting in the 160 lb. division, he frequently was bigger than the guys he fought. The weight advantage made Chavez Jr. hard to beat in the middleweight division. When Chavez Jr. could no longer make weight at 160, he wasn’t the same fighter. You can argue that the biggest reason Chavez Jr. is no longer as effective now compared to in the past is because he no longer has a weight advantage over his opponents. Canelo is really very similar to Chavez Jr. He’s just the newer version of Chavez Jr. Like Chavez Jr., Canelo boils down in weight to fight guys lighter than himself. He then rehydrates on the night before the fight and comes into the right looking huge. What we don’t know is if Canelo has the talent to beat guys his own size like Gennady Golovkin.
We’re possibly going to find out if Canelo can beat someone his own size in Golovkin if he faces him later this year in September. However, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya is already talking about a rematch between Canelo and Chavez Jr. for September if their fight is an exciting one on May 6. So what this means is we may not see Canelo-Golovkin for some time. Canelo are probably going to be around the same weight when they face each other, and that’s not because Chavez Jr. having to drain down. It’s because Canelo puts on a lot of weight after he rehydrates, and I doubt that Chavez Jr. will be any bigger than him. Granted, Canelo likely won’t have his fight night weight revealed to the boxing public. I don’t see that changing at all, but the fans will still be able to see how big Canelo is compared to Chavez Jr. and form their own opinion on his weight from looking at him.
Chavez sees no comparison between himself and the 26-year-old Canelo, who has taken over the sport in the U.S and Mexico.
“People are very confused and wrong because there is no comparison between me and Canelo,” Chavez said to the latimes.com. “Most people know who I am and what kind of legacy I have.”
It’s impossible to compare Canelo’s accomplishments right now with that of Chavez, because the Golden Boy star Canelo has already been beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and almost beaten by Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara in his short pro career.
If Canelo cleans the table by beating all the top guys at middleweight and then moves up to super middleweight to continue to beat top fighters, then I think it’s fair to compare him to Chavez Sr. and say he at least is on his level in terms of accomplishments. But I don’t think Canelo is going to be able to clean out the middleweight division. I doubt that Golden Boy will even have Canelo try and clean the 160lb division. I think they’re waiting the 34-year-old Golovkin until he ages more before agreeing to make that fight. As far as other middleweights like Jermall Charlo and Daniel Jacobs, I don’t see Golden Boy ever putting Canelo in with them. Golden Boy didn’t match Canelo against Jermall Charlo when the two of them were at 154 at the same time, and I don’t see them making that fight now that Jermall has moved up to middleweight.
The Canelo-Chavez Jr. will be a nice one to watch if Chavez Jr. doesn’t boil down too much in weight and come into the fight weight drained. It’ll also be interesting to see if Chavez Jr. can get back to his peak form of 2012 to see if he can trouble Canelo, because he’s not looked like the same fighter he was back then in his last five fights.