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Canelo in training camp, showing speed for Chavez Jr. fight

Image: Canelo in training camp, showing speed for Chavez Jr. fight

By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez is working out in camp to help sharpen up for a potential fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In looking at Canelo throw air punches at his pudgy-looking trainer, he seems to be pretty fast – and quite big for someone who supposedly is a true 154lb pounder as his promoter Oscar De La Hoya maintains.

In the video, Canelo is throwing a lot of speedy punches and moving in circles. Canelo looks more than fast enough to fight the slow, and lumbering Chavez Jr. It’s a mismatch on paper unless Chavez Jr. can make huge improvements in his game from what we saw in his last fight against Dominik Britsch this month.

Chavez Jr. will possibly last six or seven rounds if the fight takes place on the inside. It depends on how much punishment Chavez Jr. can take. He doesn’t have the hand speed or the conditioning to fight at a fast pace against Canelo for long without wearing down and getting stopped. Chavez Jr. was always a slow fighter. He got away with it when he fought at middleweight because he was fighting guys that were a lot lighter than himself. Chavez Jr. was a lot like Canelo with him being really heavy for the division he was fighting at.

When Chavez Jr. moved up to 168, he lost his weight advantage over his opponents, and he’s not been the same fighter since. With Canelo being a fighter that is rumored to be rehydrating into the 170s to 180s, it’s going to be impossible for Chavez Jr. to have a big weight advantage over him.

Honestly, Canelo looks good in working out. If he could fight like this in his actual matches, he would be a world beater. The problem is, Canelo gets tired when he fights hard, and he needs to take rest breaks against the ropes. Canelo’s rest breaks hurt him in his fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erislandy Lara and to a certain extent against Austin Trout. If Canelo can’t improve his conditioning before fighting Golovkin, he’s going to get taken apart if he goes to the ropes.

Welterweight Kell Brook never stayed in one place against the ropes for any length of time until the 5th round. In that round, Brook stayed against the ropes for an extended period of time and got hurt with a body shot. Brook was finished in that round, as Golovkin flurried on him until his trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the towel.

If Canelo goes against the ropes to rest against Golovkin, he’s going to get knocked out. I don’t know if Canelo’s trainer would throw the towel in to save him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if De La Hoya would have the fight stopped, because Canelo is Golden Boy’s franchise fighter. They can’t afford to have Canelo used up and finished off by Golovkin. Canelo can still make a ton of money fighting mediocre fighters like James Kirkland and Liam Smith, and old timers like Miguel Cotto.

The negotiations between Golden Boy Promotions and Chavez Jr’s management are still going on for a fight that could take place on Cinco de Mayo. There’s still an outside chance that Canelo could fight in February, but it’s not likely to happen he decides he absolutely must capture the WBO middleweight title from champion Billy Joe Saunders. It’s a title that would only help Canelo get a little more bargaining power for the Golovkin fight to squeeze him to take less money.

Canelo’s fight against Chavez Jr. could serve the same purpose if it brings in big enough pay-per-view and attendance numbers. Golovkin has a pay-per-view fight against WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs on March 18 on HBO. If that fight brings in far fewer PPV buys that Canelo’s fight against Chavez Jr., then that’s all the bargaining power that Canelo and Golden Boy will need to stick Golovkin with a small offer for a fight in September 2017. Canelo winning the WBO middleweight title before then would be overkill. He probably won’t need it for him to get the lion’s share of the revenue against him.

It’s too bad Canelo is moving out of the 154lb division right before he gets forced to fight his No.1 WBO contender Demetrius Andrade. At least if Canelo would stay at 154 long enough to take that fight, he could prove to the boxing world cthat he’s not a cherry picking fighter with a lot of wins over handpicked opponents like Liam Smith, Kirkland and now Chavez Jr.

The video of Canelo working out shows the same things we’ve been seeing for years with him. Canelo has fast hands and can move around the ring when he wants to. What we don’t see is an opponent with longer arms nailing him in the head like what was happening in his fights against Ami Khan, Mayweather Jr. and Erislandy Lara. Canelo is a good fighter when his opponents get in close to him so that he can hit them with his hooks and speedy combinations. But when his opponents stay on the outside, jabbing and using movement, Canelo can’t do much. The reason for that is because Canelo was brought along as a pro fighting a lot of guys that came in close to slug with him. Canelo didn’t fight a lot of guys that used an outside game to get the better of him.

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