Canelo Alvarez looked in beyond fine form yesterday, moving up a notch on pound for pound lists, with a techncally adept, tightly focused performance which rendered a larger man all but totally ineffective.
Canelo Alvarez isn’t all that, as evidenced by the fact that he wasn’t able to put away, finish off, a guy who showed elements of a heavy bag, along the same lines in the realm of competitive zeal.
I saw both those takes registered by folks who watched the Saturday night scrap between the legend in the making Canelo Alvarez and less than legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, who once again draped himself in anti-glory, with a less than scintillating showing followed by a session of alibi offering.
Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle…
I think your POV might have been influenced by whether or not you ponied up the premium to watch the pay per view presentation, put together by Canelo’s crew at Golden Boy Promotions, and produced by the HBO gang. If you put up $70 and maybe had been on the fence about ordering, and then heard promoters tell you this could be, nay, would be, an all-time classic in the Mexi-fights genre, then it was quite possible you were feeling salty after JC Chavez Jr threw 302 punches according to Compubox, a paltry pittance which told the story of his outing.
To make matters worse, to throw salt in the eye of watchers, he then blamed aged sage Nacho Beristain for offering up a game plan not conducive to winning. With the effort, or “effort,” the son of the legend peeled off all but the most biased rooters and left himself near alone on an island of shame.
Think I’m being too harsh on the guy?
I think not; really, basically all I can ever ask of a pugilist entering the ring is for them to give their best effort to win. WIN. Not survive, not “win” by lasting the distance.
No, Junior lost out on any future leeway from most all pundits and fight fans if they are offered the opportunity to ply this trade.
But, some said after, Canelo needed to put him down and out, finish the job. Chavez wasn’t an offensive buzz-saw, and why didn’t Canelo step on the gas, and look to run him over, steamroll him. Well, I think he tried to. No, he didn’t get crazy or even semi sloppy while throwing caution into the win and trying to get Junior out of there. Some pointed out, maybe rightly so, that Canelo was fighting, yes, to win, but not to offer fans a conclusive climax, because he wanted to make sure he got to the finish line, so he could fee the confetti on him. That confetti…yeah, many many people didn’t care for the staged invitation for Canelo to face off with Gennady Golovkin in September, again on pay per view. There was a filmed bit beamed to watchers on site and on screens and GGG joined Canelo, looking like he’d finished some light roadwork, in the ring at the T-Mobile, and the two set the table for their faceoff. No, there was not an atmosphere of crackling energy, of almost unrestrained anticipation, at the thought of the middleweights deciding supremacy. It felt too scripted, too WWE, to many. Especially those that had seen Chavez Junior under-perform yet again…
OK, then, on to the future. Abel Sanchez, trainer to Golovkin, sat next to the fighting pride of Kazahkstan and scouted whoever was to win for that September date. His take on Canelo’s victory? Did Canelo impress him in the UD12 W? “I thought he looked fast, threw nice combinations..he had a sparring session against a guy that didn’t manage his weight or career correctly, even though he has had more than 10 years to learn how. But Canelo still did what was necessary to pitch a shutout. Impressed? No.”
Tom Loeffler promotes GGG. His thoughts on the red-head's showing? “I think Canelo put on a great boxing performance winning every round, that's why the matchup with GGG is what the fans are looking forward to,” he said. And did GGG give up any insight on his level of confidence in beating the Mexican? “He's definitely motivated for this fight as it's the biggest fight of his career and the biggest fight in the sport of boxing.”
And for those asking, for the record, no, no video was made of Chavez Jr, ready to screen if and when he downed Canelo, said Loeffler. “No Chavez video, but GGG would have been happy to fight him at 168 if he won,” said the promoter.
Friends, you had a day to mull it over. Your thoughts on the Canelo win, how much credit goes to him, how much shame, if any, attaches to Chavez? Your take on what happens when GGG and Canelo get to trading, after a year and half of flirting and fueding? Talk to us.