Prelude to war: Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. make weight
It turns out they didn’t even need the extra half-pound.
Friday afternoon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighed in at exactly 164 pounds, both coming in under the contracted catchweight of 164.5 pounds and the latter evading a penalty of $1,000,000 per pound over the limit.
On the other side of Las Vegas Boulevard on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena, the two Mexican stars will square off with the narrative of weight behind them and fight for Mexican bragging rights on HBO Pay-Per-View (9:00 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).
“I’m very happy that (Chavez) made weight because that’s proof that he worked hard and trained hard. That’s a guarantee that the fans can get a great fight that they deserve,” Alvarez told Jessica Rosales after he stepped off the scale. “I’m very excited and very happy. I want to thank all the fans for the support and, tomorrow, it’s for you!”
Representing Guadalajara, Alvarez, 48-1-1 (34), looked like a tank on the scale. It’s his first time fighting over 155 pounds in his career and there didn’t seem to be an ounce of fat around his protruding muscles. After the face-off, Canelo looked intense and shadowboxed a little for the crowd of at least 5,000 fans.
“I feel great,” Chavez told Beto Duran right after he weighed in. Representing Culiacan, Sonora, Mexico, the son of the Mexican legend was short of words in the interview but his fans could be heard in the events leading up to the official weigh-in. It was clear this event was a pro-Chavez crowd and they made sure to drown out those there to see the redheaded superstar.
While his counterpart looked stronger than ever, Chavez, 50-2-1 (32), looked as bone dry and weakened as expected. It wouldn’t have been a surprise if he came in over the limit either but the 31-year-old proved all the detractors wrong and raised his arms in jubilation once his weight was announced.
Weight was a major storyline involving the Mexican superstar, who has carved his own path, and the son who followed in the footsteps of his legendary fighter. Whether that narrative was a mere distraction from this fight being a mismatch, Chavez still has something else to prove.
One thing that has already been proven, however, is this fight is a full-fledged mega-event in boxing. The fight quickly sold out the T-Mobile Arena and is expected to have 20,000 fans rooting for their representation of Mexico come fight night. The weigh-in was merely its raucous mini-preview.
David Lemieux and Marco Reyes both weighed in at the contracted weight of 163 pounds. The contest is slated to be the co-feature of the HBO PPV telecast. Also on the bill, Lucas Matthysse makes his return to the ring against Emmanuel Taylor and both came in exactly at the welterweight limit. Opening the broadcast are two unbeaten featherweight prospects in JoJo Diaz Jr. (125.5) and Manuel “Tino” Avila (125).