With Floyd Mayweather Jr. currently retired, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has once more seized control of Cinco de Mayo weekend, taking on fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a 164.5-pound Catchweight showdown tomorrow night (Sat., May 6, 2017) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MMAmania will deliver LIVE coverage of “Canelo vs. Chavez Jr.,” starting with the HBO pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast at 9 p.m. ET.
The PPV main card will also feature knockout artists David Lemieux and Lucas Matthysse, as well as a clash between undefeated Featherweight prospects Joseph Diaz Jr. and Manuel Avila. While we wait, let’s take a closer look inside the main event.
Name: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Record: 48-1-1, 34 KO
Last Five Fights: Liam Smith (KO-9), Amir Khan (KO-6), Miguel Cotto (UD), James Kirkland (KO-3), Erislandy Lara (SD)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Austin Trout
Name: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Record: 50-2-1, 32 KO
Last Five Fights: Dominik Britsch (UD), Marcos Reyes (UD), Andrzej Fonfara (RTD-10 Loss), Brian Vera (UD), Brian Vera (UD)
Significant Victories (Other than those mentioned above): Andy Lee, Marco Antonio Rubio, Sebastian Zbik
Canelo, when he can plant his feet, is one of the scarier combination punchers in the game. He’s still effective when he has to pursue his opponents, of course, but he ceases to be the destroyer of worlds Golden Boy presents him as.
That’s what makes this fight at least somewhat intriguing: Chavez is not going to back up. The question is whether Alvarez will meet him in the center or actually have to fight off of his back foot. Chavez lacks the scientific pressure that made his father so dangerous, but he’s a big boy with bizarrely good cardio for someone with his aversion to hard work.
Honestly, though, the intrigue only goes so far, especially because even the mobile Alvarez is far superior to Chavez. I’ve no doubt he can pick apart the big man off the back foot — lesser fighters than Canelo have done so before. Being huge can only take you so far against opponents who know what they’re doing.
Chavez is going to come forward and throw a stupid amount of body shots. There is no Plan B. There isn’t even a Plan A — Alvarez is free to either stand his ground-and-pound the body with his own sharper punches or play matador against a very large and slow target. Either way, expect him to dominate.
Prediction: Alvarez via unanimous decision