Mexican pride will be at stake when two-time world champion Canelo Alvarez battles former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Alvarez brings a 48-1-1 record with 34 knockouts into the May 6 clash while Chavez, son of the legendary Mexican champion, is 50-2-1 with 32 wins within the distance.
“When you have two Mexicans in the ring, it’s going to be an all-out war,” former champion and Golden Boy Promotions chief Oscar De La Hoya told reporters before Tuesday’s Times Square stop on the bout’s publicity tour.
“That’s what boxing needs, is some wars.”
The showdown at T-Mobile Arena, which will be fought at a catch-weight of 164-1/2 pounds, also holds the promise of fireworks in the ring because of the history between the boxers.
“He said many things over the years, criticised my career, always putting doubts on my person and it adds up,” Alvarez said. “That’s what makes this fight boiled up, more personal.”
Chavez, 31, has chided the 26-year-old Alvarez for ducking dangerous potential opponents, and theorized that his red-headed compatriot offered him the bout because of his relative inactivity since breaking a hand.
“I was surprised but I think he took this fight because of my inactivity,” said Chavez, who at 6-foot-1 (1.85 metres) is four inches (10 centimetres) taller and accustomed to boxing as a super middleweight.
“I broke my hand and only had like five fights from 2012 to 2017. He thinks I’m not in my prime.”
Chavez has struggled in the past making weight when he has dropped down in class, but has strong incentive for this fight. Under the contract, it will cost him $1mn of his purse for every pound he is over the 164-1/2 pound limit.
Alvarez, whose only loss came to boxer extraordinaire Floyd Mayweather, said fans preferred the kind of action that will be on offer against Chavez.
“It’s always better to have this type of opponent, that’s going to be right there,” he said. “Not only for me, but for the fans in order to give them a fight, a fight where there will be a lot of contact, that’s not a fighter that I have to follow and chase.”
‘It’s a joke for boxing if that happens’
A possible bout between Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor is getting lots of buzz but two fighters that are getting in the ring said the crossover tilt would be a black eye on boxing.
Irishman McGregor has been challenging Mayweather to a fight for months but the two have yet to reach terms while both have been doing their part to drum up interest with plenty of back and forth in the media.
“It’s a joke for boxing if that happens,” two-time world champion Canelo Alvarez, who fights fellow Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas in May, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Mayweather, who retired in 2015 after compiling a
perfect 49-0 record, has said he would require a
guaranteed $100 mn to make the fight with McGregor happen.
“It is a businessman fight,” Chavez said during yesterday’s promotion stop in New York for the Cinco de Mayo weekend bout with Alvarez on May 6.
“I like to fight a serious fight.”
Famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach believes the much-hyped Mayweather-McGregor showdown will happen and that he may get involved himself.
Roach, who prepared Manny Pacquiao for the “Fight of the Century” against Mayweather, said in an appearance on The MMA Hour show on Monday that the 12-time boxing champion visited his Wild Card gym and told him that he will fight McGregor.
“According to Mayweather, yes. He told me he would fight him. Everything is pointing in that direction right now,” said Roach, who added that he would consider training McGregor if asked.
“I think Mayweather is the favorite, yes, but I wouldn’t count anyone out. Because (McGregor) throws, he throws hard and he’s not afraid to throw.”
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