Chavez Jr. looking lean for Canelo fight

By Boxing News - 04/03/2017 - Comments

Image: Chavez Jr. looking lean for Canelo fight

By Dan Ambrose: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) looks like he’s already in fighting shape for his May 6th fight against former 2-division world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), With a little over 1 month to go before the fight, Chavez Jr. already is looking very cut up like he’s ready to go. Chavez Jr. says he weighs 178 pounds now. This is just 13 ½ pounds over the 164 ½ lb. catch-weight limit for the weigh-in on May 5.

Chavez Jr. would likely be able to make the catch-weight limit right now if the fight were next Saturday night instead of on May 6. But he plans on taking off more weight to get a little lighter before he eventually begins losing water weight to make weight the week of the fight. Chavez Jr. wants to get down to 175. That would put him just a little 10 pounds above the 164.5lb catch-weight limit for the fight.

Chavez Jr. could then dehydrate that amount of weight to get to the catch-weight limit. With Chavez Jr. planning on getting down to 175, he might not be the heavier fighter of the two on the night. If Canelo rehydrates into the 180s for the fight, he’ll likely be heavier. That doesn’t mean he’ll be the harder puncher of the two. Chavez Jr. might still have a power advantage due to his large frame. But if Canelo is the better puncher, it won’t be by much. Canelo will still be getting hit harder in this fight that he has in a long time. James Kirkland might have had similar power to Chavez Jr., but Canelo stopped him so quickly that he wasn’t able to land many of his big power shots before he was stopped.

The 30-year-old Chavez Jr. says he wants to show the boxing fans with actions rather than words when he gets Canelo inside the ring in their fight on HBO PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chavez Jr’s excellent conditioning is a real eye opner from the way he’s been looking in his fights in the last five years. It just shows you what Chvez Jr. is capable of doing when properly motivated. If he had this motivation for all of his fights since 2012, he might still be unbeaten.

As good as Chavez Jr. is looking right now, you can’t rule out an upset win for him over Canelo. What a major blow that would be to Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy. They picked out Chavez Jr. for a reason over Gennady Golovkin. You have to believe that Chavez Jr. was selected for the fight because they think Canelo can surely beat him. If that wasn’t the case, then we might be seeing Canelo fighting someone else rather than Chavez Jr. If he can pull off an upset over Canelo, Golden Boy could be regretting their choice of Chavez Jr. over someone like Billy Joe Saunders, who they could have easily gotten for their fighter.

”I do not weigh myself every day because I consider that there is not a problem with the weight,” said Chavez Jr. to ESPN Deportes. “At some point we are going to focus, we are going to do the relevant diet but for now we are eating well because we are working very hard. I weighed 178 pounds Wednesday night. We go according to plan. I already have days under 180 pounds,” said Chavez Jr.

If Chavez Jr. doesn’t drain himself and wind up weakened in taking off the remaining weight to get down to 164.5, he could have a real chance of beating the 26-year-old Canelo on May 6. Chavez Jr’s making weight is an obvious area of concern because he needs to make the weight for the fight otherwise he’ll get hit with the weight penalty. It’s $1 million per pound. Chavez Jr. could see his purse quickly eaten up if he comes in over the 164.5llb limit for the fight. Golden Boy Promotions were clever to make sure they added a huge weight penalty. Chavez Jr. probably should have resisted the idea of such a high penalty for the fight. The weigh-in penalty hurts Chavez Jr. potentially a lot more than it would Canelo, because his purse isn’t nearly as big as the redheaded star. Canelo can afford to come in heavy and still make a ton of money due to his purse being much bigger. To be sure, there’s very little chance of Canelo not making weight though, because he’s coming up in weight. Well, he’s not really coming up in weight, but he moving up in weight as far as the division that he previously fought at. Canelo’s fight weight nowadays is a mystery to boxing fans because he’s no longer weighed in on the night of his fights. But a lot of boxing fans believe Canelo rehydrates from 175-185 for his fights.

“I can tell you, the people who are going to see a new Julio but I want to do it not with words but with facts, “ said Chavez Jr.

Chavez Jr. needs to work his hand speed in this fight if he wants to unveil his new self against Canelo. Chavez Jr. has never been fast of hand and foot during his career, but he’d been looking really slow in his last few fights. Canelo is somewhat fast. He’s not blazing fast like we’ve seen with some middleweights over the years like Roy Jones Jr., but he’s got enough hand speed to give Chavez Jr. some big problems if he doesn’t improve his own speed.

If all Chavez Jr. can do is improve his defense, then that might be enough for him to get the win over Canelo. Chavez Jr. needs to be able to stand directly in front of Canelo to land his big power shots to the body and head. For Chavez Jr. to do that, he’s going to need to be able to block the incoming power shots from Canelo to keep him from being able to knock him out the way he did Liam Smith in his last fight.