What does Canelo Vs. Chavez Jr mean for boxing?

January 18, 2017

On May 6th, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the two biggest Mexican stars in the sport will be facing off at a catch weight of 164.5lbs.

A lot of scrutiny and criticism has been thrown toward Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and his opponent, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

For many boxing reporters/journalists and enthusiasts, they know what this fight is; it is one big money maker that helps the sport of boxing because it is a marketable fight and catches the attention of the casual fan. On the other hand, you have the critics who hate what this fight means and I completely understand as I too have my questions.

At this present time, Canelo Alvarez is the current face of boxing who controls the A side to every fight and virtually gets every demand and fight that he wants. Since the beginning of his career he has been a fearless warrior with power that fought any and all takers, beating everyone he faced with flair except for a loss to Floyd Mayweather.Many say he was too young for that fight.

While he was on his ascent to stardom, Chavez Jr was on his descent from the lime light. The boxing community quickly fell out of love with him and his antics. Chavez Jr struggled making weight for fights, staying in shape and burned bridges with trainers because he refused to be fully committed to his training.

On top of all that he failed drug tests due to testing positive for marijuana. As of late, the tables have started to turn as fans grow tired of Canelo’s newly acquired diva attitude and obvious avoiding of the most dangerous man in the sport, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

The issue everyone has is that Canelo (155 lbs) refused to move up 5lbs for GGG (160 lbs) but agreed to move up 9.5 lbs for Chavez Jr. With all this going on, Chavez Jr has managed to start repairing his own career by rededicating himself to the sport, staying in shape, finding a weight he can manage(168) and came up with a recent big win in December against highly regarded German fighter, Dominik Britsch.

For Canelo, a win over Chavez Jr does nothing for him. Canelo is expected to win in dominating fashion, whether by a late TKO or dominating the cards in a unanimous decision. It will do nothing for his credibility, reputation or set up his future fights. For the boxing community, all it does is waste their time as they await the match up against GGG.

This fight only helps one person, that is Chavez Jr. Whether Chavez Jr wins or loses, an impressive performance does wonders for his career. If he loses but looks good, it will put him back on the list of fighters to see and on the fans’ radar once again. Now lets go with the other scenario, the upset!

If he can pull off a win over Canelo, it will instantly put him on the fast track as the man to fight as well as the definite A side, Moreover; a win would immediately put him into talks and negotiations with fan favorite, GGG for their potential mega fight. While that scenario is highly unlikely, it can still happen. As Larry Merchant said, ‘boxing is the theater of the unexpected”.

As much as I dislike this fight, it will be interesting to see how Canelo looks against a much bigger opponent and if Chavez Jr can continue his rebirth into being a dedicated boxer once again. May 6th on HBO Pay Per View is the place to watch, I know I will.

-Chris Rodriguez


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