Canelo vs Chavez Jr….A Mexican Affair

Canelo vs Chavez is set for Saturday night in Mexico.

Canelo vs Chavez is set for Saturday night in Mexico.

Those shrewd, money hungry promoters know that Cinco De Mayo weekend is an absolute cash cow if they can find a pay per view boxing star to fight on the primetime Saturday night slot, and they have hit the jackpot this year, as there is not one, but two household names, and better yet, they are going to war against each other.

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr are crossover stars in their native Mexico, albeit for slightly different reasons; Alvarez flies the flag for achievement and endeavour, having fought some elite fighters, creating a fantastic resume. Chavez Jr on the other hand has obtained his notoriety from his famous father, who is widely considered as the best fighter ever to come out of Mexico. Chavez Jr holds a significant size advantage over Canelo, with the latter named hoping that natural advantage is negated by the fact that he is making Chavez Jr boil down from 168 to 164.5 pounds. It is evident to all that Canelo has banked on Chavez Jr retaining his standard training regimes and dieting which has seen him struggle and occasionally miss weight in recent years. However the son of Mexico’s legend appears to have taken this fight seriously and could well make the fight more even than the sportsbooks anticipated when the bout was announced. Who is going to win? Where is the value?

Canelo Alvarez has fought the who’s who of boxers, with names such as Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan on his resume. However, a constant criticism has been that he has been picking weight limits that suit him best. As one of the premier box office attractions in the world, that is Canelo’s entitlement, and although he is going up 10.5lbs from 154 to 164.5 for this clash, many experts think he will be fighting the corpse of Chavez Jr. There may have been a miscalculation though, as Chavez Jr is under 170lbs a week out from the fight which suggests that he has done the weight the right way. Come fight, Chavez Jr will be somewhere in the realm of the mid 180lbs, whilst Canelo is likely to rehydrate into the mid 170lbs.

That weight and strength advantage could somewhat negate the gulf in skill level – Canelo is a superb combination puncher with great variety and upper body movement. He puts his shots together well and is subtly slick with defence. His feet aren’t great, so he relies on reflexes. Chavez Jr is a walk-forward slugger with debilitating power (especially to the body). His shots are thudding and although he doesn’t have too many one punch knockouts on his record, he tends to wear down opponents with a barrage of punches (see the fight with Andy Lee). He has a very durable chin and when properly trained, can present a relentless style.

So how does the fight go? Canelo boxes and tries to remain alert for shots coming back, waiting to counter when the opportunity presents itself. Chavez Jr will be moving forward and banging away to head and body. Canelo is the heavy favourite with the bookmakers and can be backed to win on points at +150  with Betfair, but there is an increasing feeling amongst many boxing pundits that the fight may be closer than the odds suggest. With his sharper punching, Canelo is the favourite, with a points victory the most likely outcome, but there is a nagging feeling that Chavez Jr may outperform his odds and restore pride to the family with a knockout. He’s rated +1200  with Bet365 to stop the fight before the distance. There is enough juice in the prices to back both selections.

Tips Summary

Canelo to win on points
Sunday 7th May, 02:00 GMT
Odds:  +150

Chavez to win by KO/TKO/DQ
Sunday 7th May, 02:00 GMT
Odds:  +1200