LAS VEGAS, May 6, 2017 – In front of 20,150 roaring fans filling the T-Mobile Arena, representing millions more fans glued to their screens in Mexico and worldwide, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. put pride on the line, not only their own but the pride of the entire nation of Mexico.
After twelve rounds, no one needed to wait to hear the scorecards. It was a beatdown of epic proportions. Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) dominated every round. Announcer Michael Buffer confirmed the three 120-108 cards, a shutout. This is one of the few fights where the less said about it, the better. It was simply difficult to watch.
Perhaps coming down a division and making the weight beat Chavez Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs). He seemed in a mental fog, unable to execute any sort of game plan. Alvarez punished him behind a left jab, which alone would have won him the fight. Backed up by solid body work plus hooks and straight shots to the head, Canelo was in complete command.
Meanwhile, as the fight wore on, Julio Caesar Chavez Senior and the rest of Chavez Jr.’s family were yelling at him from ringside, imploring him to throw punches.
Chavez Jr. later admitted he didn’t have the right game plan going into the fight, and didn’t represent Mexican boxing in the way he wanted to. “I wanted to box but he went to the ropes and I just needed to throw more punches. If I would’ve attacked more, I would’ve been open to counter punches,” said Chavez Jr. He said trainer Nacho Berestain told him to do so, but the strategy didn’t work.
Chavez Jr. admitted he was beaten on the scale. “I didn’t feel that much power because I felt dwindled, I couldn’t throw as many punches as I wanted. My father kept telling me to throw more punches from the ringside.”
Living up to the expectations of others is far more difficult than people imagine. Chavez Jr. has tried to match the glory of his celebrated father, Mexico’s greatest boxer, all his life. After tonight, perhaps he will stop trying and people will stop asking.
“I proved I can move and box even though he is bigger and strong. I proved as a fighter I can do all those things,” said Alvarez of the bout. “I thought I was going to showcase myself as a fighter that could throw punches, but he just wouldn’t do it. I’ve shown I can do lots of things in the ring, anything a fighter brings—I’ve shown I can showcase myself,” said Alvarez.
So much for boxing’s Mexican Civil War. How about a real guerra? With unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin sitting ringside, the question was inevitable. Would Canelo now agree to the fight fans really want to see?
“GGG, you are next my friend,” said Alvarez.”The fight is done. I’ve never feared anyone, since I was 16 fighting as a professional. When I was born, fear was gone. I never got my share of fear. I’m very happy, and the rivalry is going to show my skills even more. I’ve had difficult fights, and that will no doubt be a tough fight. But, I always say, Canelo Alvarez is the best because I fight the best.”
With this, the massive video screen roared to life with a fluttering blue and yellow Kazakh flag, the sound of “Seven Nation Army” blaring through the loudspeakers, and into the ring stepped Golovkin. Alvarez announced the deal had already been made for a Golovkin vs. Alvarez showdown on Saturday, September 16 – Mexican Independence Day, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I feel very excited, right now is a different story,” said Golovkin. “In September, it will be a different style—a big drama show. I’m ready. Tonight, first congrats to Canelo and his team. Right now, I think everyone is excited for September.”
Golovkin said Canelo looked good Saturday, and said “100 percent he is the biggest challenge of my career. Good luck to Canelo in September.”
The announcement was met with more excitement from fans than anything which actually happened in the fight. They at least went home with a real sense of anticipation.
HBO Boxing will replay the bout on Saturday, May 13, at 10:05 p.m. (ET/PT).
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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