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Canelo-Chavez Jr. will have $1M per pound weight penalty

Canelo Alvarez Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

By Jeff Aranow: Golden Boy Promotions is making it tough on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. with his fight against their star money maker Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for their May 6 fight on HBO pay-per-view. The fight will be held at a catchweight of 164 ½ pounds. Further, there’s a $1 million per pound weight penalty for either fighter if they come over the 164.5lb weigh-in limit for the fight.

That’s not good news for the 30-year-old Chavez Jr. because he’s not been that low since 2012. The lowest Chavez Jr. has been in his last five fights are 168lbs, and that was last December in his fight against Dominik British. Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) looked totally drained at 168lbs. He won the fight by a 10 round decision.

Chavez Jr. will now need to get 3.5lbs lighter to get to the 164 ½ pound catchweight for the Canelo fight. It’s not going to be easy for Chavez Jr. to do, and if he fails to make the weight, he could see a significant portion of his purse for the fight disappears with the weight penalty. Golden Boy didn’t reveal what Chavez Jr’s purse will be for the fight.

The last word was a $7 million guaranteed purse plus a percentage of the PPV revenue. Chavez Jr. complained that Canelo’s purse will be five times higher than his. That could be $35 million. That’s an incredible amount for Canelo (48-1-1, 34 KOs). If that is the case, then there might not be much PPV upside for Chavez Jr. to get after Canelo gets his guaranteed purse.

Canelo said this about Chavez Jr. via

“I just hope he trains well and gets ready for this fight,” Alvarez said. “I will be ready to face the best possible Chavez. After this fight I don’t want any excuses when I beat him. I want him to train hard and be the best possible Chavez.”

It’s good for Canelo that the fight got made against Chavez Jr. Canelo’s Plan-B was a title shot against Billy Joe Saunders. While the fight would have still done well due to it being on Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend on May 6, it wouldn’t do nearly as well as the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight. Chavez Jr. is more suited to Canelo’s fighting style compared to Saunders.

Chavez Jr. likes to fight on the inside, and that’s how Canelo likes to fight as well. The only interesting part about Chavez Jr. getting the match-up with Canelo is it’ll be the first time of his career that he faces a really good body puncher with the size and power to hurt him. When Canelo was fighting Mexican fighters earlier in his career, he wasn’t facing guys that were bigger than him, and he definitely fighting guys that had the power to hurt him to the body like Chavez Jr. can do if he lands enough of his body shots.

Canelo is going from fighting poor body punchers to facing one of the best in the game. Chavez Jr. is also bigger than Canelo. Not having a size advantage in this fight could hurt Canelo, because his game is built on him being heavier than his opponents. When you take Canelo’s weight advantage away and put him in with someone heavier than him or at least equal to him in weight, we could see Canelo struggle.

Chavez Jr. will train hard for this fight. He always does for the big fights. It’s the little ones that he doesn’t seem to get motivated as much for. As long as Chavez Jr. isn’t worn down from making the 164.5 pound catchweight for the fight, he could make for a decent fight of it. The inactivity though will hurt Chavez Jr. more than his problems making weight.

Chavez Jr. has been too inactive for too many years for him to get back to the level he was at back in his prime years from 2009 to 2012. Muhammad Ali was able to comeback from a 4-year layoff to resume being a very good fighter. Heavyweight George Foreman came back and won a world title after 10 years out of the ring. However, those were very good fighters to begin with. Chavez Jr. was never at the level of an Ali or Foreman. For Chavez Jr. to be inactive for four years, it’s going to hurt him for the Canelo fight.

Considering that this is only Chavez Jr’s second fight in the last two years, I don’t know how Canelo can get too much of a high if he beats him. It’s not as if he’s getting Chavez Jr. at his very best. It’s too late for that. Chavez Jr. hasn’t been an active fighter for the last 4 ½ years. He’s rarely fought since losing to Sergio Martinez in 2012. Chavez Jr. has had five fights in the last four and a half years, and his opposition has been mostly dreadful.

Chavez Jr. has had two fights against journeyman Brian Vera, one against Britsch and Reyes, and a fight against light heavyweight contender Andrezj Fonfara. Chavez Jr. lost to Fonfara by a 9th round stoppage in April 2015. Vera appeared to beat Chavez Jr. in their first fight in September 2013. Chavez Jr. was given a 10 round decision, but many boxing fans believe that Vera easily won that fight. This writer had Vera winning. It was another case of Chavez Jr. winning a controversial decision.

In 2008, Chavez Jr. won a controversial 10 round split decision over Matt Vanda in Mexico. That looked like a loss for Chavez Jr. as well. Canelo isn’t getting a really prime version of Chavez Jr. He hasn’t shown that he’s back to where he was in 2012. Chavez Jr. was injured in beating Reyes in 2015, and then he didn’t fight until last December in beating Britsch by a 10 round decision. Chavez Jr. looked very slow in that fight, and he didn’t push a fast pace. He fought like he was afraid to gas out.

“Plenty of rivalry,” Alvarez said. “He talks too much about me. He’s talked bad about me and criticized me so many times. I will prove to him in the ring who’s the better man.”

This is a big deal for Chavez Jr., Canelo and many of their Mexican boxing fans, but it’s not a fight that involves Canelo fighting the best. That’s the whole trouble. If Canelo wanted to fight a GOOD super middleweight, he could take on WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez from Mexico or the winner of the Badou Jack vs. Badou Jack fight.

I would wish Canelo a lot of luck against any of those guys, because he would need it. Those are not only big, but very skillful as well. Canelo would have a lot of problems trying to land on the 6’2” Ramirez unless he stood perfectly still for him, which he wouldn’t do. Canelo would be Arthur Abraham 2.0 for Ramirez to clown for 12 rounds. The cold truth is Chavez Jr. is not a factor in the 168lb division. He’s a contender who doesn’t fight good opposition.

If Canelo wanted to fight someone that criticizes him, then he should have picked out Gennady Golovkin from the middleweight division or Jermall Charlo from the 154lb division. Those guys would let him have it verbally if it meant that he would get up in arms and fight him. I don’t think anything those guys would say about him would get Canelo to fight them. I believe that that the only reason Canelo wants to fight Chavez Jr. is for the huge money that can be made, as well as the fact that he’s beatable. Chavez Jr. has been fighting every now and then in the last four years, but not like you would expect from a top fighters. He’s not been fighting enough to stay sharp for anybody, and now he’s going to be fighting Canelo. It’s probably going to be a mismatch. Canelo is too young, too sharp and too skilled for Chavez Jr.

“I think what convinced me to make the move was the fight itself, which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in the history of Mexico,” Alvarez said to the boxing media. “That’s what intrigued me. The significance of the fight is what convinced me to make the move.”

Canelo is going to take plenty of fire from the media for agreeing to fight Chavez Jr. at 164.5lbs, because he had been saying that he couldn’t fight Golovkin because he wasn’t a middleweight. But with Canelo now moving up to fight a super middleweight in Chavez Jr. at a catchweight, it makes him look like he was disingenuous in the past with his excuses for why he couldn’t fight Golovkin.

By taking on a faded Chavez Jr, Canelo looks like he’s only good at facing guys that are over-the-hill. We’ve already seen Canelo beat James Kirkland, Alfredo Angulo, and Miguel Cotto recently. Those were faded fighters too. We also saw Canelo fight Shane Mosley, Carlos Baldomir and Kermit Cintron in the last seven years. Those guys were all over-the-hill when Canelo fought them.

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