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Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight possible for AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

Image: Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight possible for AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya met with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last Friday to discuss having the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. mega-fight on May 6 staged at his giant AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada is also a possibility for the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight. However, with the huge amount of seats available at AT&T Stadium, De La Hoya might be lured into moving the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight to that location.

De La Hoya will make his decision about the site for the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight “within a next couple of weeks,” according to a source for the The T-Mobile will likely put in a large bid to get the Canelo fight at their venue.

It’ll be up to Jerry Jones to try and match or better than bid. What Jones has going for him is the size of his stadium. It would be interesting if Canelo-Chavez Jr. were able to sellout the AT&T Stadium by bringing in over 100,000 boxing fans. It’s interesting because Chavez Jr. is no longer doing anything with his career. He’s only fought one high quality opponent in the last five years, and that was Andrzej Fonfara, who stopped in nine rounds in 2015.

That was the fight where Chavez Jr. quit on his stool after being knocked down in round 9. You can partially excuse Chavez Jr. losing the fight by him moving up to light heavyweight to take on a top fighter, but he looked so bad in that fight. He was never competitive at all. Chavez Jr. looked slowed, ponderous and out of his element. He wasn’t outsized by Fonfara.

It was more of a case of Chavez Jr. not having the speed, conditioning and boxing skills to compete. Fonfara is a good fighter, but he’s not viewed by fans as being in the same league as other top light heavyweights like Adonis Stevenson, Artur Beterbiev, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. The fact that Chavez Jr. couldn’t do anything at all with Fonfara shows how limited a fighter he is. Chavez Jr. is now looking to fight a good junior middleweight in Canelo Alvarez, and the fight figures to be a bad mismatch.

Canelo is to rehydrate into the 170s and possibly the 180s. Canelo is technically a junior middleweight, but in reality, he’s more of a middleweight/super middleweight in terms of weight. Canelo just chooses to melt down to fight at 155. It’s got to be very, very hard for Canelo take the weight off each time, but he’s been able to do it over and over again.

The record for attendance at the AT&T Stadium is 108,713 for the NBA All Star game in 2010. Canelo’s fight against Liam Smith on September 17 last year brought in 51,420 fans at the AT&T Stadium, which is a record for boxing at the venue. Canelo (48-1-1, 34 KOs) brought in 40,000 fans in 2013 for his fight against Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Canelo won that fight by a 12 round unanimous decision by very wide scores that didn’t match the actual fight. A lot of boxing fans had the fight a draw or a slight win for Canelo, but one judge scored it 118-109 for Canelo.

It is anyone’s guess how many fans would purchase tickets to see Canelo and Chavez Jr. fight it out. There are a lot of Mexican boxing fans of Canelo and Chavez Jr. in Texas that would likely want to see the fight live.

Canelo and Chavez Jr. are fighting at a catch-weight of 164 ½ pounds for their fight on May 6 on Cinco de Mayo holiday. HBO pay-per-view will be televising the fight, and it’s thought the match will bring in a lot of buys. It’s possible that it could bring in over 1 million buys, even though Chavez Jr. hasn’t been a relevant fighter in years since losing his WBC middleweight title in 2012. Chavez Jr’s career has gone downhill.

Canelo is now fighting a guy that is yesterday’s news rather than a top fighter in this day and age. In that respect, the fight mirrors Canelo’s fight against James Kirkland from 2015. Kirkland was once a relevant fighter too, but by the time that Canelo fought him, he’d long been away from the big time.

Jerry Jones is not only interested in having the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight staged at AT&T Stadium, but also Canelo’s fight against middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September. Whether that fight takes place is largely up in the air still. De La Hoya has been saying for a long time that he wants to make the Canelo-Golovkin fight, but his actions seem to indicate that he’s indifferent to having the fight happen.

De La Hoya said this week that Canelo could fight Chavez Jr. three times. If that happens, Golovkin would need to wait until the smoke clears from the fights. Moreover, De La Hoya’s flat fee offers to Golovkin is barrier that will keep the fight from taking place. Golovkin and his promoter Tom Loeffler wants a percentage deal for the Canelo fight. There’s no word how much of a percentage cut they’re asking for, but a 60-40 deal would seem to be a fair one to this writer.

Golovkin has reportedly been offered $15 million. Canelo will obviously get the lion’s share of the money for the Golovkin fight, but the fight might not be doable if Golden Boy insists on giving Golovkin just a flat fee rather than a percentage of the profits. It’s unclear what Canelo’s guarantee would be. But if he’s getting a guarantee of $25 million for the Chavez Jr. fight, then you could expect that his guarantee for the Golovkin fight could be even higher.

The percentage that Golovkin gets of the pay-per-view upside is also important. If Canelo is going to get the majority of that too, then it might not be worth it for Golovkin to take the fight. Canelo will be fine even if he never fights Golovkin. He can fight Chavez Jr. three or four times, and then look to fight guys like WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Canelo doesn’t even need to ever fight any of the quality middleweights for him to do well. He’s proven that he can do well without fighting the really dangerous young guys at 154 in Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Julian Williams. Canelo fought Erislandy Lara in 2014 and won a highly controversial 12 round decision.

The catch-weight for the Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight is controversial, as it’s taking place at 164 ½ pounds. It’s controversial because it helps Canelo and badly hurts Chavez Jr. Canelo is going to have an easy time making the weight, because he’s fighting in the 170s or possibly the 180s. Canelo is very good at taking weight off. He’s still young at 26, and like a lot of young fighters, he has little problems taking the weight off. Chavez Jr. has failed to make weight at 168 for three out of his last five fights. He’s not been able to get down to the 168lb limit.

Most recently, Chavez Jr. was able to get down to 168 for his fight against Dominik Britsch last December, but he looked sickly and very thin. Chavez Jr. looked like he couldn’t take any more weight off than he did. But with the catch-weight for the Canelo fight being 164 ½ pounds, it’s going to make it nearly impossible for Chavez Jr. to make the weight without being weight-drained. There’s a $1 million per pound weight penalty for the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight, according to Dan Rafael. That is going to obviously create a lot of stress for Chavez Jr., because he’s going to now that if he comes in over the limit, he’s going to be giving up potentially a lot of money.

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