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Canelo says he can KO Chavez Jr.

Image: Canelo says he can KO Chavez Jr.

By Dan Ambrose: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) has bulked up for his 164.5lb catch-weight fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) on May 6, and he believes that added weight has made him stronger than he was before. Canelo says he’s weighing around 175 pounds right now. That weight could go up to the 180s by next month.

Canelo usually doesn’t let his fight night weights be revealed. That’ll likely be the case when he faces Chavez Jr. on HBO pay-per-view in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canelo will need to land a lot of shots to the head of Chavez Jr. to knock him out. The one thing that could keep Canelo from getting the knockout is his engine. Canelo only fights in spurts because he needs rest breaks after he throws a number of shots. If Canelo can’t fight hard for a full three minutes, he’s probably not going to be able to knockout Chavez Jr.

Chavez Jr. has only been knocked out once in his career in getting stopped by the heavy-handed Andrzej Fonfara 2 years ago in 2015. That knockout loss looked more like a case of Chavez Jr. quitting on his stool because he was tired and out of shape than him being really knocked out. Chavez Jr. hadn’t trained the way he needed to for him to beat a good contender from the light heavyweight division like Fonfara.

Canelo, 26, will need to cut weight to get down to the 164 ½ pound catch-weight limit. There will be some pain involved in making weight for Canelo, especially if his true weight is in the 180s rather than his stated weight of 175. There’s going to be some work involved for Canelo to get down to the catch-weight limit, but it won’t be as hard as it normally is with Canelo boiling down from the 170s or the 180s to get to the 155 lb. weight class that he’s created in recent years. Just how Canelo has been able to do take that weight off without hurting him is anyone’s guess. The real question is why has Canelo been putting his body through such hardship to fight at 155 when he could simply move up to 160 to make it slightly easier for himself.

“It’s my first time moving up to this division and to this weight, but I do have the power to knock [Chavez] out when that opportunity occurs,” Alvarez said to the about Chavez Jr. “I feel stronger. I feel that now that I don’t have to cut weight, I feel more powerful. I can get more out of the training with less fatigue on my body.”

Of course, Canelo has the power to knockout Chavez Jr. Anyone in the division has the power to knockout their opponent if they land enough shots. Chavez Jr. has the chance of knocking out Canelo. This is boxing. We’ve seen Canelo get hurt before by Jose Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Chavez Jr. hits harder than those guys. If he can hit Canelo to the body, he could take him out. There are a lot of unknowns in this fight. If the fight turns out to be one of those grueling wars that we sometimes see in boxing, it could go either way.

Canelo was hit a lot in his last fight against Liam Smith, who is just as slow as Chavez Jr. but not as powerful as him. Smith still gave Canelo all he could handle before getting stopped in the 9th round by the redheaded Mexican star for their fight last September. If Chavez Jr. was the ones landing all those shots that Smith was connecting on, Canelo would have been in bad shape, because he took a lot of heavy blows from Smith. In the end, the Canelo’s power was too much for Smith. If Smith had Chavez Jr’s chin and ability to take body shots, it would be a really tough fight for Canelo, because he spent a lot of time on the ropes resting.

My [advantages of] my experience, my discipline, my skills, my ability — [I expect] to use that in the ring,” said Canelo.

This could be Canelo’s last fight before he faces GGG in September. If that fight gets made, then Canelo will be facing the Triple G in September on HBO PPV. Canelo just needs to get past Chavez Jr. to move forward to face the 35-year-old Golovkin. There’s already talk that Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler will keep him out of the ring until September. They were going to face WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in June, but that fight doesn’t look like it’ll be happening.

Canelo doesn’t have much of an experience advantage over Chavez Jr. Up to this point, Canelo’s had 4 good fights where he’s faced guys that had enough talent to give him problems, and those fights Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto. Lara arguably beat Canelo in 2014 but found himself on the receiving end of a controversial decision. Mayweather beat Canelo and Cotto almost beat him despite being outsized by him by a huge margin.

Canelo’s other fights as a pro have come against an old and small Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Amir Khan, Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Josesito Lopez, Alfonso Gomez, Ryan Rhodes, Matthew Hatton, Carlos Baldomir, Jose Miguel Cotto, Lanardo Tyner, and a whole bunch of other smaller fighters. Canelo has faced only 4 good fighters that were talented enough and big enough to give him problems. Canelo still hasn’t faced Gennady Golovkin despite being there for him in the last 2 years. It looks to some boxing fans like Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions has waited Golovkin out until he was 35, and starting to show signs of age.

Seanie Monaghan passed over by Adonis Stevenson

Undefeated 175lb contender Seanie Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs) has been passed over by WBC light heavyweight title holder Adonis Stevenson in favor of him defending his title against Andrzej Fonfara in rematch. Monaghan was in the running for Stevenson’s next fight, and it looked for a while that he was going to get the fight. However, Stevenson apparently changed his mind and decided to go in another direction towards a fight with a rematch with Fonfara, who he already beat 3 years ago by a 12 round decision.

“Well it seems I got jerked again,” Monaghan posted on Facebook. “Fight with Stevenson is off. I honestly always kind of doubted it was going to happen. Was he going to fight an undefeated guy, no, he fights a guy he beat already who just got KOd in one round!?! No wonder nobody respects this punk MFer. Whoever I get next is in trouble.”

Stevenson has already let his boxing fans know that he’ll be facing Fonfara in a rematch on June 3 in a still to be determined venue in his adopted country of Canada. This is the last voluntary defense for Stevenson before he has to defend his World Boxing Council title against his mandatory Eleider Alvarez. It’s unclear why Stevenson opted to take the Fonfara fight rather than facing Monaghan or Alvarez straightaway.

It would seem like the more logical choice for Stevenson to face one of them rather than Fonfara, who was recently knocked out in the 1st round by Joe Smith Jr. There can’t be a whole lot of interest from the Canadian fans in a rematch between Stevenson and Fonfara at this point. Now if Stevenson had agreed to fight Fonfara a second time in 2014, then it would be a different story, because the fight was still fresh in the minds of fans. But for Fonfara to be dragged out 3 years later following his knockout loss to Smith Jr., it appeared to be a wrong-headed move by Stevenson.

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