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Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. to take place at 165lb catchweight

Image: Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. to take place at 165lb catchweight

By Jeff Aranow: Saul Canelo Alvarez and his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions have reportedly agreed to a 165 pound catchweight for a proposed fight against former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend in May 2017. It hasn’t gotten to the contacts yet, as Canelo and Chavez Jr. and their management is still in negotiations.

Chavez Jr. has given Golden Boy a counter offer for the fight. The fight will be HBO pay-per-view. There’s talk of a check weight after weighing in, rematch clause.

Chavez Jr. was able to make the 168lb. limit for his fight last Saturday night against German fighter Dominik British in their fight at the Arena Monterrey, in Monterrey, Mexico. Chavez Jr. won the fight by a 10 round unanimous decision. Just as important as Chavez Jr. winning the match was him being able to make the super middleweight limit. That means Chavez Jr. is taking his training seriously, and can be counted on to make weight for the Canelo Alvarez fight.

The location of the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight is still being negotiated, but they’re talking, Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles, California, Texas or Mexico City.

Chavez Jr. said this to ESPN Deportes about the Canelo fight:

“They told me the fight could go at 165,” said Chavez Jr. “Canelo already made an offer. I made a counter offer. If it is not Canelo, then we will have to look for other options. There’s the winner of Badou Jack and James DeGale. There is Gennady Golovkin. Golden Boy, I imagine has other options. It is a fight that can help boxing a lot,” said Chavez Jr. about a fight against Canelo.

Canelo might be fighting in February against an opponent still to be determined. It will depend partially on Canelo’s fractured right hand being healed and ready to go for the fight. Golden Boy won’t risk putting Canelo into the ring in February if he’s not healed properly, because it would jeopardize a fight against Chavez Jr. for May. That’s going to be a huge fight.

Canelo would be moving up from the 154lb division to fight Chavez Jr. at 165lbs. It shouldn’t be a problem for Canelo to fight the bigger Chavez Jr., because Canelo appears to be already fighting in the 170s as it is. Canelo’s after weigh-in weight isn’t being reported by HBO or by Golden Boy, but he looks to be in the mid-170s and possibly low 180s for his fights.

Chavez Jr. will likely be in the 180s. The 6’1” Chavez Jr. would have a big four inch height and a three inch reach advantage over the 5’9” Canelo. Normally that would be a huge advantage for a good fighter, but Chavez Jr. fights on the inside much of the time, making him an easy target for his opponents to hit.

A prime version of Chavez Jr. would be a handful for Canelo to deal with, because of his high work rate, excellent body punching, and good chin. Chavez Jr. was one of those types of fighters that would throw punches all night long if his opponents were stood in front of him.

Canelo would have problems against that type of fighter, because he’s not capable of fighting for a full three minutes of each round without taking rest breaks against the ropes. Canelo also has problems taking body shots. He’s got at handling getting hit to the head, and making his opponents miss with head shots. But when it comes to getting hit to the body, Canelo has not looked good. If Chavez Jr. can trap Canelo against the ropes to pound him to the body, this could be a very difficult fight for Canelo to win.

Chavez Jr. looked slow in beating Dominik British (32-1, 11 KOs). Chavez Jr. didn’t work nearly as hard in that fight compared to how he used to work in the past against his different opponents. It was Chavez Jr’s first fight in a year and a half.

You can understand why Chavez Jr. wouldn’t be able to throw shots like he used to under those circumstances. But for Chavez Jr. to be able to compete against Canelo Alvarez, he’s going to need to be able to cut off the ring, take some healthy shots to the head, and he’ll need to set a high work rate.

If Chavez Jr. can stay busy, he might be able to pull off a huge upset.
If Canelo takes the fight against Chavez Jr. at 165lbs, then that should make him ready to fight the top middleweights after that. Canelo would look bad if he beat Chavez Jr. at 165, and then moved back down in weight to resume fighting at catchweights against middleweights.

Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy said that Canelo will absolutely be fighting at 160lbs in 2017 without catchweights. If he fails to do this, then it would be more or less the same thing we’ve been seeing from Canelo since 2014. Canelo is going to need to fight at the full weight of 160lbs to get him ready for the Golovkin fight in September 2017.

It’s hard to know how much preparation Chavez Jr. will give Canelo for the Golovkin fight. They’re different fighters. Canelo might not get much preparation from the Chavez Jr. fight for Golovkin if this match-up turns out to be a mismatch like many boxing fans believe it will be.

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