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De La Hoya says Mexico eager for Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight

Image: De La Hoya says Mexico eager for Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight

By Dan Ambrose: Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions says that he hears that Mexico is “salivating” over a fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1 32 KOs). De La Hoya claims that negotiations haven’t started for the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight despite the talk that they have.

De La Hoya says talk of negotiations having started for that fight is nothing but rumors. However, Chavez Jr. is saying that he’s already been given an offer by Golden Boy for a Canelo fight.

Why would Chavez Jr. say that if negotiations hadn’t started? That would be a strange move for Chavez Jr. to be saying he’s been given an offer when he’s not spoken with Golden Boy.
De La Hoya says that Canelo will be fighting in May against somebody. He doesn’t know who yet.

Canelo is going to need a big name for that date, because he’s not going to bring in a lot of PPV buys on HBO if he keeps fighting obscure guys like Liam Smith or flawed welterweights like Amir Khan. Canelo needs to up the level of his opposition. Unfortunately, Chavez Jr. could be seen as a step down in talent from Canelo’s last mismatch against Liam Smith, but Chavez Jr. is popular with Mexican boxing fans or at least used to be. It’s hard to know now, because he doesn’t fight on a frequent basis any longer.

De La Hoya said to this about the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight:

“There’s rumors going around [about negotiations starting for a Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight], and I haven’t talked about anything to anybody,” said De La Hoya. “Those are rumors and speculations. We need to get Canelo’s hand healed up, and we’ll start negotiations very soon. There’s definitely a fight in May [for Canelo], but who, I have no idea. It was a minor injury, nothing major. He just wanted some time to heal, and he’s all good.”

The big question is why isn’t De La Hoya admitting that he would be interested in matching Canelo against Chavez Jr? In listening to De La Hoya distance Canelo from the rumors of him fighting Chavez Jr., why wouldn’t De La Hoya at least say that he would be interested in making that fight? Why isn’t De La Hoya willing to admit that he’d like to match Canelo against Chavez Jr. Does he fear criticism from the boxing fans if he admits that he’s been looking to make the fight between Canelo and Chavez Jr. or is he on the level about there not being any truth to the rumors of that fight?

It would be better for Canelo to start fighting good opposition once again if he wants to get ready for a Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight in September 2017. If De La Hoya is serious about wanting to make the Canelo-Golovkin fight next year, then he needs to start putting his golden goose in with good fighters.

The last time Canelo fought someone good that was the size as him was against Erislandy Lara in 2014, and he struggled against the Cuban fighter. Canelo’s fights since then have been against an inactive James Kirkland coming off of a 2-year layoff, little Miguel Cotto, who didn’t have the size to compete, Amir Khan and Liam Smith.

Canelo should have already been fighting the likes of Chris Eubank Jr., Billy Joe Saunders, Tureano Johnson, Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Julian Williams and Jermell Charlo. By fighting those guys, Canelo would have improved by now, and the boxing world would be able to see if he has the talent to compete against Golovkin or if he’s the same fighter that Floyd Mayweather Jr. easily beat in 2013.

Speaking about the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight, De La Hoya said, “I don’t even know if it’s going to happen. We hear a lot of speculation all around Mexico. I hear Mexico is just salivating about this fight. Somebody talked to the media that various parties were negotiating, but I haven’t ever talked to anybody in the Chavez camp,” said De La Hoya.

I’m sure there is some interest in a Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight in Mexico. But I’d be willing to bet that there would also be a lot of interest in Mexico in a fight between Canelo and Triple G or Jacobs. The boxing want to see Canelo step it up against someone good. Chavez Jr. did not look good in his comeback fight on December 10 against Dominik British on December 10. Some boxing fans felt that Chavez Jr. looked good, but those fans didn’t comment about how glacially slow he looked on his feet.

Chavez Jr. was never a fast fighter to begin with, but he seems to have slowed down in the last couple of years to the point where he’s a real plodding fighter at age 30. The way Chavez Jr. looked against British, he would be in trouble against any of the top fighters at 160 and 168. Even the best junior middleweights would likely beat Chavez Jr. with relative ease. British is not a top fighter, so it’s not surprising that Chavez Jr. was able to beat him.

Canelo will likely destroy Chavez Jr. unless the Mexican star can regain the form he had many years ago when he was in his prime. But years of inactivity and lack of training has taken away a lot of the boxing skills that Chavez Jr. once had. At this point, it would seem all but impossible for Chavez Jr. to regain the form he once had.

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