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Canelo: The chapter is closed on Chavez Jr.

Image: Canelo: The chapter is closed on Chavez Jr.

By Jeff Aranow: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) says he closed the chapter on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs) after giving him a one-sided thrashing last Saturday night in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was never going to be a real rivalry though, because Chavez Jr. is not tier fighter in 2017. The World Boxing Council has Chavez Jr. rated in their top 15 at super middleweight, but he clearly is no longer a top fighter.

The only thing that Canelo proved was he can beat a 2nd tier fighter that at one time was the WBC’s middleweight paper champion. Chavez Jr. was never seen as THE champion at middleweight when he held the WBC 160lb title from 2011-2012.

Canelo won the fight by the scores 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108. There weren’t any knockdowns in the contest. Chavez Jr. took everything that Canelo dished. If Canelo wanted to knock Chavez Jr. out, I think he could have easily done it. It looked like Canelo wanted to allow Chavez Jr. to keep his dignity by not tearing into him the way he could have to knock him out. Chavez Jr. was like a defenseless man out there. It was pitiful to watch, because he was getting hit with everything that Canelo threw, and throwing nothing back at him.

It was 12 rounds of Canelo hitting a skinny, defenseless fighter, who didn’t belong inside the ring with him. I don’t know how Canelo can claim any kind of victory off of that. It’s a victory when you’re facing a talented competitor that is at his best, and who belongs in the ring with you. Let’s face it; Chavez Jr. didn’t belong in there with Canelo. You can argue that Chavez Jr. was just there because of his famous father’s name.

”This chapter is closed,” Canelo said at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night. “I proved that I am better despite he was bigger than me.”

The chapter for Chavez Jr. should have never been opened to begin with by Canelo. Gennady Golovkin recognized this fight for what it was ahead of time, saying it was “a business fight” and one that he felt Canelo would easily win. Golovkin was right. It was another business fight for Canelo instead of a sporting one.

Chavez Jr. made the 164.5 lb. catchweight last Friday, but he looked weak with his stomach sunken in badly from having lost so much fluid. It was thought that Chavez Jr. would rehydrate and look strong by fight time on Saturday. That didn’t happen. Chavez Jr. still looked rail thin when he stepped inside the ring, and that suggested that he’d gone overboard in losing weight to get down to the 164.5lb. catchweight.

The boxing public thought they were going to see a Mexican war, as advertised by the two fighters and Golden Boy Promotions. What they got instead what some fans are calling a ‘sham’ fight, with little action. Since the fight was on HBO PPV, there was more expected from the two fighters. We’d heard all week long about how they were both warriors and that they would make it an exciting fight. That didn’t happen and it was bad news.

It doesn’t matter that Chavez Jr. was the bigger fighter than Canelo. What mattered is he was never talented enough to begin with to beat Canelo. Moreover, Chavez Jr. was too weak from preparation for the fight to have a chance at winning. Chavez Jr. landed only 71 punches in the entire 12 round fight. That’s a really low number for a 12 round middleweight fight. Those 71 punches were thrown with very little power due to Chavez Jr. being so weak from making weight for their 164.5lb catchweight.

“I am satisfied with what we did today against a fighter that was obviously bigger than me,” said Canelo about Chavez Jr. “All I want is to give the fans good fights and show that I am better than my opponents.”

Canelo needs to look back at the fight on replay, because it wasn’t a good show. The fight was a mismatch that was roundly booed from round 3 to round 12. Canelo didn’t come out of that fight unscathed. Just by taking on such a terrible opponent, Canelo was made to look bad, because it was another bad opponent for him. Canelo has had a number of less talented fighters inside the ring with him since his close call with Erislandy Lara.
After the fight, Golden Boy quickly ushered middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin inside the ring to announce the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight on September 16.

It seemed to me like Golden Boy was quickly trying to distract the boxing fans from the really bad fight that they had just watched between Canelo and Chavez Jr. Golden Boy would have made the fans that saw the fight happy if they had said that they would let them see the Canelo-Golovkin fight for free because of how bad the Canelo-Chavez Jr. fight turned out to be. Giving the boxing fans a 2 for 1 deal would go a long way towards calming them down. The Golovkin is a good deal, but it still doesn’t make up for the truly bad fight between Canelo and Chavez Jr. that took place last night. This could have been prevented if Golden Boy had simply matched Canelo against a top fighter instead of signing up Chavez Jr., who is a not a world-class fighter.

“’Canelo’ is a good fighter, he beat me and I have no excuses,” Chavez Jr. at the post-fight press conference “I think the time of inactivity and the weight cost me to have strength. I didn’t feel as strong as I did in my best fights. The fact of not fighting at this weight in five years affected me. It affected my timing, my distance. I felt my punches were weak.”

Chavez Jr. was averaged only 6 punches landed per round. It was a total massacre out there. However, the fight wasn’t much different from his loss to Sergio Martinez in 2012. In that fight, Chavez Jr. didn’t pull the trigger on his punches either for the first 11 rounds. He only let his hands go in the 12th, and he was way behind in the fight by then. Did Golden Boy Promotions pick Chavez Jr. out for Canelo because of the Martinez fight, knowing that he wouldn’t throw punches? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Whatever happens in the Canelo-Golovkin fight, I hope Golden Boy changes the way they match Canelo by keeping him facing only the best instead of matching him against weight drained fighters that are past their best. It’s shocking and sad how many poor and/or older opponents have their way inside the ring with Canelo in the last 2 years. Those years are lost for Canelo, and all he has to show for them are fights against Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland. Cotto is the only one that is any good of that list, and he’s not even someone that you can put in with a top junior middleweight, because he’ll lose in my opinion. Cotto isn’t going to beat Austin Trout. We already saw him lose badly to him in 2012.

Canelo has been fighting sorry opposition repeatedly. If he goes back to fighting those type of fighters after the Golovkin match, then it’ll be sad. But I think that’s what’s going to happen, because I cannot see Golden Boy matching Canelo against dangerous guys like Daniel Jacobs or Jermall Charlo after he fights Golovkin. It’s very predictable who Golden Boy WILL NOT match Canelo against after the GGG fight. I think we’ll likely see Canelo fighting fighters like Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux. Once those two fights out of the way, Golden Boy will have some welterweights come up to middleweight to fight Canelo.

Surprisingly, the 30-year-old Chavez Jr. won’t be retiring from boxing, though it’s hard to picture him ever getting another big money fight again after the way he fought against Canelo. Chavez Jr. says he’s going to stay at super middleweight and continue to train with Nacho Beristain, his 77-year-old trainer. Chavez Jr. has got a great trainer in Beristain, but what difference does it make if he doesn’t have the talent to take advantage of that.

“I think I am going to stay in the 168 pound division,” Chavez Jr said. “I am going to keep working with Nacho (Beristain). The strategy of fighting in the center of the ring was a good one but when he went to the ropes it was just me that didn’t have the strength to do some damage. I feel that Beristain and I did some good work,” said Chavez Jr.

Honestly, I don’t think Chavez Jr. will be any stronger at the full weight for the 168lb division. It looks like at this point in his career, he belongs at 175 rather than at super middleweight. Chavez Jr. looked very thin in struggling to make the 168lb limit in his previous fight against Dominik Britsch last December. A lot was made about Chavez Jr. finally making the 168lb weight limit after having failed 3 times since 2013. However, Chavez Jr. fought poorly against Britsch, and looked like his energy level was low from having drained himself so much to make the weight. Chavez Jr. needs to move up to 175 and see how he feels at that weight.

I don’t think he’s going to do that, but that’s what he should do. Cruiserweight might even be a good option for Chavez Jr. He looked huge when he first started training for the Canelo fight. He was definitely a cruiserweight at that time, and he looked pretty solid. I thought to myself that the only he was going to make 164.5 would be to lose a ton of muscle weight, and that’s exactly what he did.

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