Why Canelo Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Actually Makes Sense?


Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr are the biggest names in Mexican boxing and appear to be in talks for a May 6 showdown on Cinco de Mayo weekend. If it happens the fight will be aired on HBO pay per view at a potential catch-weight of 165lbs. Canelo’s camp have reportedly offered $5 million and Chavez has made an undisclosed counter offer.

After a year of inactivity Chavez Jr. made his return to the ring this weekend and outpointed Dominik Britsch in a ten round contest.  Julio weighed in for the contest at 167.8 lbs.

Canelo Alvarez holds a 154 pound WBO Super Welterweight title he won by knocking out Liam Smith on 17th September in AT&T Stadium.

Chavez Jr is a former Middleweight champion but has not fought at that weight since his decision loss to Sergio Martinez in 2012.  He’s since made a career fighting between 168 and 172 lbs.  Canelo has never fought over 155lbs, but it is no secret that not only is Canelo humongous for the Junior Middleweight division, he also is usually having a fight night weight that exceeds 174 lbs.  So it seems both sides are working towards a catchweight rumored to be around 165lbs.

This news will surely not be welcomed by Gennady Golovkins camp, mainly since the Canelo camp claimed that they require time to acclimate and get comfortable to the Middleweight division before facing Golovkin.  Now it seems they are considering to have Canelo jump straight into a higher weight class for a lower risk at a higher reward.

But despite this ridiculous matchmaking, does this match up actually makes sense?
It’s clearly a power move by Golden Boy Promotion, this fight will sell tremendously no matter what, in large part to the fact that Canelo has already become a PPV star, and has been selling out stadiums with upwards of 50,000 in capacity, and Chavez Jr, who is the son of legendary Mexican Boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, still has a loyal Mexican fan base in his country.  That combination makes this a big money fight.

Golden Boy will be able to use this matchup to help pad Canelo’s pay per view gate numbers, and strengthen his negotiating leverage when it comes time to the Golovkin fight.  The only true risk is a Canelo loss, but it’s a risk worth taking because Chavez Jr is no Golovkin.

If this event becomes successful this will give Golden Boy an upper hand in the negotiations with Golovkin.   Especially since ‘GGG’ has failed to do over 200k PPV buys in North America. It would certainly be a huge event for Mexican boxing, given that Canelo and Chavez are the two biggest active boxers from the fight-crazed country, but Canelo is likely to receive more criticism for not yet facing ‘GGG’.

Abhishek Singh

Boxing enthusiast and post-fight analyst. Twitter- @abarron_singh