Saul “Canelo” Alvarez Beats Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Crowning Himself the Boxing King of Mexico
May 6, 2017
By Lu Quezada
“They say Boxing is Dead. I say it is very much alive. Of course it has its ups and downs like any other sport. But it is stronger than ever.” (quote paraphrased) Oscar De La Hoya – Press Conference of Canelo Alvarez & Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. 5/6/17 Las Vegas, Nevada. The much anticipated fight between the son of the legend, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and the fan favorite, Canelo Chavez finally came to fruition at the T-mobile arena before a sold out crowd. It was the “Battle for Mexico” to see who is the best and we all wanted to see if Junior can beat Canelo or if Canelo would do what he has done to all but one of his former opponents, and shut down his detractors, including Chavez, Jr, himself. But this was not only a fight for the fans on both sides of the border, but a fight for Canelo too. If you know anything about the Tapatio fighter from Guadalajara, you know that he has wanted to fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. for years, but was never given his shot. This was personal for Canelo because he had to prove that he earned his spot in the ring against the fighter from Cualican; That he was a worthy opponent and clearly, Canelo was no longer a name that you hear and say “who is Canelo?” For both fighters, this fight was personal and the dislike for one another was ever present from the interviews, to the press conferences leading up to the fight to the betting of their purses. Canelo only had respect for Chavez, Jr.s’ dad, the Mexican boxing legend. Canelo had zero respect for his son. This translated clearly into their showdown in the ring, where Canelo was able to show his skill, timing and intelligence that was clearly displayed throughout each and every round. Here’s the round by round breakdown:
In Round 1, Canelo threw twice as many punches as Chavez. In round 2, Chavez, Jr. continued to fight on the inside and took a few uppercuts and power shots from Canelo. In Round 3, for each punch that Chavez, Jr. landed, Canelo threw a counter. By the end of this round, Chavez, Jr. was bleeding from the nose and his left eye began to swell. It was speculated that size may be an issue for Canelo, however, Canelo was proving that this was not an issue whatsoever for him. Canelo was using his jab and timing effectively. Both fighters in the first three rounds did not sit during their corner breaks, which I had never seen before. By the fourth round, this changed for Chavez, Jr. who a third through the fight had lost all three of the first rounds. He took a seat on the fourth break while Canelo continued to stand.
In round 4, Chavez, Jr. barely threw a punch as Canelo continued the beat down on him. Chavez, Jr. looked completely helpless against Canelo. It was clear that he could not figure out how to get his shots in, all the while Canelo continued jabbing. Round 5 proved to be more misery and a round of mostly defense for Chavez, Jr., and as Canelo landed uppercuts, lefts, rights, body shots the crowd chanted “Canelo”. I couldn’t help but wonder if Canelo was just prolonging the torture for Chavez, Jr. He followed Chavez, Jr. around the ring akin to a predator hunting its prey.
By round 6, Canelo had landed 102 punches to Chavez, Jr.’s 25. However, this round was the best round for Chavez, Jr. when he briefly got Canelo up against the ropes and threw a flurry of shots. The camera panned to Chavez, Sr. while he yelled to his son, “you have to box!” (in Spanish) and looking completely frustrated. In round 7, Canelo was landing hard on Chavez, Jr. again with more counterpunches. For every punch Chavez, Jr. would land, Canelo would land twice as many. Round 8, was more of Chavez, Jr. taking abuse from Canelo. By round 9, I simply couldn’t believe Chavez, Jr. was still in this fight. He had taken so many head shots and we all know from past fighters who have fought Canelo that he hits very hard. Chavez, Jr. was trying to fight Canelo on the inside, mostly defending himself and seemed to try to land on him. But each time he landed, Canelo would time it and accurately counterpunch.
Round 10 was more uppercuts and headshots from Chavez, Jr. being received from Canelo. It was a viscous assault. The fans started booing. As a side note, the camera was panning to Gennady Golovkin aka “GGG” in between rounds to get the fans stirred up some more.
Rounds 11 and 12 were much like all the previous rounds. Chavez, Jr. continued to box on the inside, defend himself, land very few shots, all the while Canelo landed uppercuts, lefts, rights, headshots, body shots until it finally came to screaming halt with the final bell. Chavez, Jr. at least made it to the very end. The judges scored the contest 120-108 for Canelo. It was quite a performance for Canelo and quite a disappointment for Chavez, Jr.
After Canelo was interviewed about the fight with Max Kellerman, the T-mobile arena drew dark, and the screen did a montage of GGG in the ring and then GGG came walking toward to the ring after Canelo called out to him. GGG and Canelo were interviewed by Max and their big bout was announced to the world to happen on the next Mexican holiday weekend on September 16, 2017, Mexican Independence Day. GGG congratulated Canelo on his victory and stated that Canelo boxed very well against Chavez, Jr. Max asked GGG if he had anything to say to Canelo before they parted ways and GGG wished Canelo luck. Canelo responded, “Luck is for the mediocre”. This is going to be good, boxing fans.
In the press conference, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. stated that he was weight drained that he tried to rehydrate, but that his body just wasn’t responding. He also said that he tried to land, but he was too tight, that Canelo was a good counter puncher and that he was faster than him. Chavez, Jr. also stated that Canelo is the better boxer.
In the undercard portion of the card, Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. fought against Tino Manual Avila and became the unified NABF and NABO featherweight champion scoring 100-90 and 99-91 2x; Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse fought against Emanual “Transformer” Taylor and nabbed a fifth round TKO and David Lemieux fought against Marcos Reyes by decision 98-91, 99-90 and 99-90. Overall, a great night of boxing. I agree with Oscar De La Hoya, Boxing is alive, boxing fans.