They said it: Who wins Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.?

Painting by Coyote Duran/www.coyoteduran.com

Painting by Coyote Duran/www.coyoteduran.com

 

Fight fans will celebrate the upcoming Cinco de Mayo weekend in style on Saturday, May 6, with the much-anticipated showdown between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 48-1-1 (34), and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., 50-2-1 (32).

 

The two massively popular Mexican stars will be battling for boxing glory and, perhaps more importantly, Mexican pride, when they square off in a catchweight bout, at 164.5 pounds, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

 

This is the classic Mexican battle with all the national bragging rights on the line.

 

The predictions have been flying fast and furious since the fight was announced and, now, it’s prediction time.

 

They said it, so here we go.

 

“It’s my first time moving up to this division and to this weight but I do have the power to knock (Chavez) out when that opportunity occurs.” – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez

 

“(Canelo) is fighting me instead of (IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight titlist Gennady) ‘GGG’ (Golovkin) because he thinks I’m easier than GGG. He thinks he’s the real middleweight champion because he beat Miguel Cotto (smiling)? I don’t think he’s ever faced anyone like me. You never predict the knockout but I think I can knock him out.” – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

 

“Canelo always had his doubters and, every time he steps into the ring, he silences his doubters. I think Canelo has gotten better but he was always good. Chavez Jr. has some question marks around him, but if you look at him now, the kind of shape he’s in tells you all you need to know. Chavez is training his ass off. If there was ever one fight he wanted to win, this is it. Chavez, taking it seriously, is certainly a threat to anyone in that weight class. Chavez has a great chin and great punch and it is the first time Canelo is fighting a guy who is clearly bigger, a guy who is substantially bigger, a guy who take a punch and a guy who can hit. It’s a very interesting matchup up and I’m excited about it. We’ll see; it is a fascinating matchup.” – Promoter Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports

 

“I think there is a lot going on for this fight, Bro. This is pride of Mexico, two of the top dogs of Mexico. This is a different situation. This fight is even bigger than boxing. This fight here is for the soil. This is a big situation. Easy to say Canelo will win but Chavez is shredded and he’s got a lot going on. It’s gonna be a good one.” – Former welterweight champion Andre Berto

 

“A good fight. I like Chavez; he’s a friend of mine. But I fought Canelo and he hits hard. Canelo all day long. Looking at it as a boxing fan, Canelo hits hard he’s solid and he’s quicker, sharper, moves well, quick feet. He’ll win, probably by KO. But this is boxing; anything can happen. Chavez has power and I’ve seen Canelo hurt but I like Canelo in this fight.” – Former two-time junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan

 

“I think if Chavez makes the weight right and is disciplined and does what he’s capable of doing, I think it’s a very interesting fight. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win that fight. I think there is more to him than people realize. I think they might have bit off a little too much if Chavez is right.” – Trainer Virgil Hunter

 

“I’m starting to give Chavez credit. Chavez is gonna be the way bigger fighter. The way that Chavez is looking – and he’s coming to win – we may be surprised. He’s gonna have a big size advantage. But Canelo has fast, explosive hands. It’ll be like hitting a big, moving heavy bag. Chavez takes a good shot, so I could see him getting beat up and the corner stopping it. I don’t know; it can’t go good for Chavez but he’s looking good. I’m hoping for the best. We’ll see.” – Former junior middleweight titlist Sergio Mora

 

“Canelo but you can’t count Chavez out, totally. He has heart, he has talent. He’s working; he’s young. Every fight under his belt makes him a better fighter.” – Hall-of-Famer and legend “Sugar” Ray Leonard

 

“Just wait until May 6th, when Julio surprises a lot of people. Golden Boy (Promotions) wanted this and now they have it but come May 6th, they are going to realize they made one big mistake in picking Julio (as an opponent). Viva Julio!” – Matchmaker Sean Gibbons

 

“Canelo wins that. Don’t ask me why. Chavez is a big, big guy but he doesn’t have the boxing skills and work ethic. But if he puts his heart and mind in it, then anything can happen.”– Former welterweight beltholder Shawn Porter

 

“Chavez against Canelo? I think that’s a good fight for him. I think Canelo will win.” – Trainer Roger Mayweather

 

“Alvarez, Chavez? It’ll be Alvarez. It ain’t no diggity; it ain’t no doubt. You gonna soon find out what it’s all about. I just think that Canelo can outbox him.” – Trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.

 

“I think, at ’65, Canelo will be stronger; Chavez will be weaker and Canelo will be faster and Canelo beats him with a decision.” – Trainer Abel Sanchez

 

“I think Canelo has underestimated Julio and continues to underestimate him because he thinks Julio has been very undisciplined, that he does not prepare himself well, that he has a lot of weight problems but this fight is the fight of Julio’s life. We are seeing all the qualities of Canelo. If everyone thinks that Julio is a pigeon, they are going to eat their words. Julio is aware that it’s a great opportunity to get this fight. He knows it’s a difficult, tough fight – but he knows that Canelo has never fought with a fighter like him and he knows that, if he’s well-prepared, he can beat anyone.” – Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.

 

“(Chavez) can make the weight but will he be strong? I think Canelo will rip him apart at 165. I mean, when was the last time he was 165? I don’t think he’s going to be strong that night. Canelo will rip him apart that night. He’ll be too much for him.” – Trainer Jose Benavidez Sr.

 

“Chavez has been in with some tough guys and handled himself well. With national pride and all that stuff, I like Chavez to come in and really bring it, really make it a tough fight. Chavez is really gonna put it out there.” – Former world light heavyweight title challenger John Scully

 

“If that fight finishes in a knockout, it will be Chavez winning. I don’t think Canelo can hurt Chavez. Depending on how (Chavez) hydrates himself, he will either be strong or slow and if he’s slow, then Canelo will win a decision.” – Trainer Joel Diaz

 

“Being the way Chavez is training, I think people underestimate Chavez. I don’t think it will be a knockout. Chavez is a big boy but, if I had money, I’d put it on Canelo. I think the edge is on Canelo.” – Former middleweight titlist David Lemieux

 

“That is a very good fight, a very close fight. No matter who wins, they will both be embraced by the fans. It’s a great fight for Mexico and we should enjoy it.” – Former world champion Erik Morales

 

 

The Undisputed Champion Network weighs in…

 

“My belief is that, coming down to 164.5 will be a key factor for Chavez, who hasn’t been this low since 2012. I like Canelo to cut him up with his sharper skills. TKO 9.” – Steve Kim, writer, UCNLive.com, RingTV.com analyst

 

“I think Chavez Jr.’s size, underrated boxing ability and the conditioning of finally having a professional camp will give Canelo all he can handle but I expect the redheaded star to be the sharper puncher and slicker defender throughout. Canelo by close UD.” – Doug Fischer, editor, RingTV.com

 

“Hard to make a detailed prediction before the weigh-in for this one but assuming Chavez makes weight, I think we have a real fight here. Canelo is yet to face a man with the physical attributes of Chavez, who will be punching down at the redhead with leverage. However, Junior gives up his height when he lunges in and I believe Canelo will have many opportunities for counter shots. This bout will be entertaining and feature plenty of two-way action early on but Canelo will work the body and begin chopping the bigger man down by the middle rounds. Both men will have their moments but look for Alvarez to score an accumulation stoppage around the 10th round.” – Michael Montero, Montero on Boxing

 

“I’ve got to say, this isn’t an easy pick for me and that’s coming from a guy who’s heard and read all the predictions hailing Canelo Alvarez as the surefire victor on Saturday night. But Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is pissed off, man. This has got to be the first time in his life and professional career in which he’s really taken his job seriously. And if the hard training and focus are the prices to pay for lack of discipline and goofing off – of which Junior is wholly guilty – then we might see a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. with an extended warranty. Not just for the fact that I like to be a cheeky pain-in-the-ass – it comes with the Trickster moniker – I’m ordering the upset special in Chavez’s favor but wouldn’t be surprised to see a draw…either jamming up any hope of a Gennady Golovkin-Canelo joint. If Chavez does lose, it could likely remind us of Wladimir Klitschko’s loss to IBF/WBA heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua last weekend.” – Coyote Duran, copy editor, UCNLive.com/RingTV.com, painter/artist, CoyoteDuran.com

 

 

Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca and you can follow him at twitter.com/tibbs_bill.

 

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