Canelo Time Tonight vs. Chavez Jr. Full Card Preview. Is GGG Next?
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Las Vegas, NV (5/6/17)– Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin are the big money names in the middleweight divisions, with Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders following them. The bottom line is Canelo, Chavez Jr. and GGG are big draws which are marketable and can sell the pay-per-view. Chavez Jr. was brought up brilliantly in his legendary father’s shadow. At 31 years of age, and an impressive record of 50-2-1 with 32 knockouts, Mexico will go bananas tonight, Saturday May 6, 2017, as Alvarez, 48-1-1 with 34 knockouts, tries to solve the Chavez Jr. riddle at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both fighters weighed in at 164 pounds yesterday, under the agreed upon contractual catch weight of 164.5 pounds. Canelo will walk into the ring around 175 pounds, but Chavez, who has a bigger frame, will weigh closer to 180 pounds when he enters the ring. It’s a weigh advantage, and Chavez going to be able to take Canelo’s punches owing to his bigger body, and in clichés a heavier man will put his weight on the other guy’s legs and dragging his feet. Chavez will hold to drag the bout into the later rounds, his best chance of going the distance and wear Canelo down, like he did with Sergio Gabriel Martinez. The intra-Mexico squabble pits Chavez Jr., Culican, Sinaloa, Mexico, and Alvarez, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, in the battle for who’s the king of Mexico. Alvarez versus Angulo was questionable as they are both from Mexico. Alvarez would like to get the Chavez Jr. monkey off his back, and move onto the big bucks mega fight with GGG. However, the going against the well-conditioned Chavez may be tough than it seems, who dropped Sergio Gabriel Martinez late in the final round of their middleweight title bout.
Most predict a knockout. This reporter favors Canelo by late round TKO or Chavez by a respectable 12 round unanimous decision. Chavez Jr. and Canelo are still both better off at 160 pounds, and the issue of Canelo or Chavez Jr. making the 160 pound weight limit for GGG will be decided if and when the big money is put on the table. Golovkin turns 36 years old on May 8, 2017, so the parties involved cannot wait forever for Canelo versus GGG of Chavez Jr. to take place. Perhaps Canelo’s corner feels he has a better chance against an old GGG. So far, GGG has wiped opponents off the map. The big money fights cannot wait forever. The public begged for Mayweather versus Pacquiao, and finally got it, but it was not worth what it would have been had the bout been held years earlier.
Could Chavez Jr. pull an upset? Probably not. He’s just not going to. Chavez does not have the heart. On any given day, anybody could beat anybody. Canelo is going to feel Chavez out for a few rounds, then he’s going to put the pressure on around round three or four. By round six, Canelo is going to put the hammer on the gas pedal with frequent ripping power shots to the body to take the will out of Chavez. Canelo should win by TKO between rounds eight and ten. The only way the bout will go longer is if Chavez runs and does not stay in front of Canelo. Chavez can make a better fight of it is with his long reach and his jab. If he lets Canelo use his distance, and stays within distance of Canelo’s power shots, if Chavez stays within range and does not use his jab, then it is going to be a short night, much like Canelo versus James Kirkland. Canelo will land first if he has a chance.
Chavez has been known to butt. If this happens, Chavez is fighting the wrong fight, because at the end of the day, Chavez should never be that close to Canelo. Chavez is 6’1”, Canelo is 5’9”. Chavez has height and needs to stay on the outside and use his jab. Chavez has a 73 inch reach, Canelo has a 70 ½ inch reach. Canelo is short, like the late Rocky Marciano. Canelo’s whole game is to get inside on his opponents and break them down.
If the bout goes into the championship rounds 11 and 12, Canelo will be behind. Canelo is not going to outpunch Chavez as Chavez has height and reach advantage. The only way Canelo is going to win this fight is if he breaks Chavez down with body shots, and knock him out. Chavez is not going to go for a knockout.
Chavez has power. Andrzej Fonfara broke down Chavez in 2015, Chavez getting dropped and giving up on his stool after nine rounds. Chavez appeared energy depleted, which could have occurred losing weight too close to the fight date. This did not happen for his fight tonight with Alvarez.. Canelo has power, and will try to drop and stop Chavez in the later rounds, and might succeed.
The major issue is:Canelo has to win to keep the big money fight with GGG in 2017 or 2018 on the table.
Chavez will take Canelo’s punches because he has a big body. I don’t believe it will be an all-out Mexican war. Canelo will pick his shots well, as he is more slick defensively. Canelo is the better fighter, and has the advantage of better hand speed. Chavez has the Mexican style, size, reach and the body style. These qualities have the making of a great fight. I doubt a knockout will occur in this fight, maybe a knockdown. I see some intimidation in Chavez’ eyes. He’s a little bit scared of Canelo. This is a very high profile fight, and there’s pressure on both ends. Chavez Jr. has the weight on his shoulders of filling his father’s shoes, especially if the bout is in Mexico.
Undercard Bout Predictions
Hard hitting middleweight contender David Lemieux will knock out Marcos Reyes. Elvin Ayala stopped Reyes in seven. Curtis Stevens knocked out Ayala in one round. Lemieux knocked out Stevens. Styles make fights. Lemieux by knockout in within five rounds.
Lucas Matthysse has been out of the ring for 19 months. He may be rusty, but he’s a big puncher, either win 10 or TKO between rounds six and nine. If it goes into the tenth round, the bout will go the distance. A long layoff can affect a fighter. Your timing will be off. It will take Matthysse some time to regain his form. Matthysse is 34, Taylor is 26. I don’t see an upset for Taylor, anything can happen but I don’t see it, given the quality of the opposition of both fighters. Matthysse has bigger experience and bigger name opponents, and will want to come back and reestablish himself on a high level.
Ronnie Rios Win 10 Daniel Noriega, Super Bantamweights
Ryan Rios TKO 4 Tyrone Luckey, Lightweights
Joseph Aguirre TKO 6 Angel Aispuro, Lightweights
Raul Curiel (Pro Debut) Win 4 Jesus Ibarra Sanchez, Super Welterweights
Marlen Esparza Win 4 Samantha Salazar, Female Flyweights