Canelo Alvarez is going to murder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on Cinco de Mayo. Not like literally, but he’s going to come pretty damn close. Anyone suggesting anything otherwise is smoking whatever, well, Jr does.
Understand something that 2017 has revealed about boxing thus far.
It has very much become a “sensational” niche sport in that, it is seeking to feature its biggest stars on the biggest possible stages to produce the most spectacular results. Had you the fan witnessed Cotto v Kirkland– the official narrative being that a Kirkland injury killed the event, you would’ve likely witnessed an unmitigated and bloody massacre in the heart of Texas.
James Kirkland is a fine warrior, but he’s at least two levels away from Cotto’s ring IQ and offensive arsenal. The same thing will apply to Chavez Jr., when he attempts to essentially engage Canelo in a new Mexican-American War at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 6. So glaring will the differences between them, that it’ll seem as if Chavez is fighting from the year 1846 with cannons and pistols, while Alvarez releases drones and new-age Gatling Guns on his ass from 2017.
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SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ VS JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
When: May 6, 2017
Why: For either a monster JCC Jr upset, or to set a super fight with Gennady Golovkin
TV: HBO PPV/ $59.99
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Early looks at JCCjr shows a dedicated and determined looking fighter under the guidance of master Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain. He actually looks great; punching with crisp authority, moving well with purpose, and even appearing about 80% combat ready well in advance. What Beristain is trying to do with Jr in advance- from these optics, is work on a glaring speed disadvantage and timing; molding a really imposing and long middleweight capable of wearing down the smaller Alvarez as the fight progresses.
The problem with that is this: Canelo has been sharpening his blades and conditioning for a coming World War with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September. Guess who Chavez Jr looks like a bootleg version of? As was the case on Cinco de Mayo last year (when Canelo C4’d Amir Khan in 5), you can be sure that Canelo will up the ante on his infamous “We don’t fuck around in Mexico” mantra, knowing Triple G will once again be ringside. This time when he invites Golovkin in the ring, I think he’ll add frost to their Cold War of sorts by guaranteeing he’ll face him.
This is a fairly educated guess, as myself and a few others in the press corps went rogue on Oscar De La Hoya in the aftermath of what proved to be a lie. Moments after Canelo made bold proclamations while still full of emotion and adrenaline, De La Hoya deserved an Oscar for suggesting that he’d work hard on a Canelo v GGG deal for September 2016. In reality, he never had any intention on staging the fight, as Abel Sanchez (ace trainer of Golovkin) vehemently asserted in the aftermath of Canelo v Khan with De La Hoya just a few feet away.
Canelo has not forgotten the backlash he received as a result of his promoter (again, played brilliantly by Oscar, even if Canelo didn’t understand) and will pretend Chavez Jr is a replica of GGG. Though I believe Golovkin will defeat Daniel Jacobs next month at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, on March 18 in New York, it is my belief that he will look even more vulnerable than he “appeared” against Kell Brook last September. All it will then take is Canelo turning Chavez Jr into a really tough and brave piñata to set up a fall superfight.
Count on it.