Super-welterweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (48-1-1, 43 KOs) will face former middleweight title holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) on May 6 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will take place at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds.
This will be the first time Alvarez has contractually fought above 155 pounds in his professional career while it will be the lowest weight Chavez will have fought at since his lopsided decision loss against middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in September 2012.
‘Canelo’ vs. Chavez Jr. can be a greater bout than many expect. Alvarez is a clear favorite at -700 boxing odds, and understandably so. Chavez Jr. hasn’t seemed too interested in boxing since losing his title bout against Martinez but whoever wins this fight will be highly celebrated in Mexico and considered the greatest active Mexican boxer.
It’s hard to blame those who see ‘Canelo’ vs. Chavez Jr. as nothing more than an easy fight for Alvarez, a tuneup for a potential money fight against Gennady Golovkin, but make no mistake about it, Chavez Jr. has more than enough reasons to be motivated for this new challenge because it can turn his career around and put it back on track.
It will be interesting to see if the size and strength of Chavez Jr. can play a part and end up being a bit too much for ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. It can’t be denied that ‘Canelo’ has superior skills and abilities that might help overcome the size disadvantage, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum recently suggested that Chavez Jr. has great chances to pull off the upset as long as he remains disciplined during his training camp.
Reports from his training camp for this super fight indicate that Chavez Jr. seems to have grown up and is truly taking this opportunity seriously, working hard every day in ways that no one has seen before. Based on some videos of Chavez Jr. training we can see that he seems lean and determined. He has to know that this is probably his last chance to make things right and live up to the legacy that comes with his name. It’s never too late for anyone so good for him.
The other question that comes to mind is, will this be enough to help his chances in what is certainly the biggest fight of his career? Does he have what it takes to beat ‘Canelo’ Alvarez next month? He does have a height advantage and he could have a slight weight advantage as well. His jaw is strong and he has enough ability to put some pressure and land serious shots. When focused and motivated, Chavez Jr. can fight, the question is, will he be ready to fight at the same level as someone as skilled and experienced as Alvarez?
The talent is there for Chavez Jr. but it won’t be easy to beat Alvarez. He has to be prepared for the weight drain he is enduring and his training camp has to be as stellar as it seems to be or else he won’t be ready. Having Nacho Beristain in his corner will help him. Beristain is not Freddy Roach or Robert Garcia, who previously worked with Chavez Jr., but he is an all-time great as well and most importantly, it seems he gels with his fighter, so he should get the most out of him.
Several sportsbooks offer odds for the event, if you are looking to place a bet make sure to review the most trusted betting sites here. For example Alvarez is at +500 at YouWager, which is great betting value because Chavez Jr. is capable of wearing people down, knows how to take shots well and give them, so he definitely has a chance here.