Cinco de Mayo weekend sees Canelo and Chavez in the brawl for it all
The fight is still a way off yet but the anticipation and chatter in the media, regarding one of the biggest fights of the year so far, is heating up with each passing week.
Golden Boy Promotions recently confirmed that the hotly anticipated showdown between Mexico’s two most popular fighters, Saul Alvarez, 48-1-1 (34), and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KO’s), will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, May 6 on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
The fight obviously has a huge upside for both fighters.
If middleweight king Gennady Golovkin gets by WBA “regular” champ Daniel Jacobs on March 18, Alvarez is tentatively looking at a September mega-fight with “GGG,” should “Canelo” beat Chavez.
And a win for Chavez would allow him to finally cement his reputation as one of Mexico’s most popular fighters. Fight-crazed Mexican fans have longed to elevate the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez to superstar status. However, erratic weight gains and sub-par performances have often left fans wondering about Junior’s commitment. However, an impressive ring return last December, against Dominik Britsch, and a new-found desire to make the most of this career-defining fight, have the Mexican faithful believing again.
In Alvarez, you have a rugged, powerful WBO junior middleweight and lineal middleweight champion who has beaten several big names in the sport, including Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Austin Trout and Amir Khan.
However, Alvarez is a natural junior middleweight and many wonder about his ability to absorb punishment from the naturally much bigger Chavez.
In Chavez, we have a big, strong puncher who has inherited his father’s legendary iron chin. While missing contracted weights in the past caused many to question his work ethic, as of late, he seems focused and committed in preparation for the biggest fight of his life.
The fight has been contracted at 164.5 pounds. If Chavez can make weight comfortably, without dehydrating himself and sapping his strength, he should come into the fight as the stronger of the two. And with the recent addition of legendary Mexican trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, those in the Chavez camp feel he may just have the recipe to pull off a huge win and achieve the star status that has been dangling in front of him since turning pro 14 years ago.
UCNLive recently caught up with Chavez matchmaker Sean Gibbons at his Las Vegas home to get his take on what he sees for Chavez going in against the talented Alvarez.
“This is going to be a great fight, a great fight,” said an enthusiastic Gibbons. “Julio knows what is on the line for his career, his reputation, his options moving forward, everything.”
While some have questioned Chavez’s ability to make weight and still maintain his strength and stamina throughout the fight, Gibbons brushes that off as a non-issue.
“Listen, if people are expecting Julio to show up out of shape, or drained from not making the weight properly, they are in for a surprise,” he said. “He has been training for a month already and he is going to be in great shape. He has a great team, has Nacho ready to take him through camp. He is going to make the weight and he is going to be in great shape.”
Pressed to share how he sees the fight playing out, Gibbons was enthusiastic and very confident that Chavez can deliver the career-defining performance for which his fans are hoping.
“Alvarez is a great fighter and I think he’ll be tough early. But I think, once Julio gets his range, closes the distance and turns it into a real Mexican war, he is going to be using his size and strength and is a going to be a in a good position to win a decision or maybe stop him late. I know one thing: It is going to be a real Mexican war. They are both going to be throwing bombs. This is going to a be a great fight.”