The Battle of Mexico: Canelo v. Chavez Jr.
By: Matthew N. Becher
One of the greatest fan bases in the sport of boxing is, without question, the Mexican people. They have a very rich and deep history associated with the sport and a group of some of the greatest fighters of all time. Most recently the torch bearer was Juan Manuel Marquez, with Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera before him. Pintor, Vargas, De La Hoya, Castillo, the list goes on and on, but the greatest of all time is the indomitable Julio Cesar Chavez.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
The Cinco de Mayo weekend has been a very big deal for the past decade in boxing. It is a time to celebrate with a big fight. Oscar De La Hoya had a hold on the first weekend in May for many years, until Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated him and made the date his own. Now the king of México’s big fight day is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Canelo fought his first Cinco de Mayo fight on a PPV undercard (Mayweather v. Cotto), against Shane Mosley and has owned the date for the last 2 years with knockout of the year performances against James Kirkland and Amir Khan.
This year the big date will pit the “A” side Canelo against the son of a legend and a fellow Mexican, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. This fight is a big deal, not only because of the enormity of two Mexicans fighting on a Mexican holiday, but because the two truly hate each other and believe they need to win to become the face of Mexican boxing for the next generation.
Canelo is 26 years old and has already shared the ring with some of the greatest fighters of a generation. He has fought 50 times already and has won 48, losing only once to the Floyd Mayweather Jr. His resume includes, Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Angulo, Lara, Cotto and Khan. He is a 4x world champion and looks to be moving up to even bigger and better fights.
Chavez Jr. was the first Mexican fighter to ever win a Middleweight title. He is still relatively young at 31, and has been a professional for 14 years. He has beaten the likes of Zbik, Antonio Rubio, Andy Lee, & Vera. His 2012 defense against Sergio Martinez was an extremely brutal affair, which he lost by decision, almost knocking out Sergio in the final round, and in the long run, hurting Martinez’s knee and ending his career.
Canelo is a hard worker, who came from a family of 7 boys, all professional boxers. He is the youngest and does not respect Chávez’s’ work ethic. Doesn’t believe he is even in the same level as himself and thinks that Chavez Jr. has had everything handed to him, because of his father’s name.
Chavez Jr. believes his father’s legacy continues through him and that Canelo is a scared fighter, since he ducked GGG and handed over his belt. Chavez, who has had some personal problems in the past thinks that Canelo has gone over his head taking a fight at 164.5, against a man who is known for being a heavy handed, bigger, brawler.
In the lead up to the fight it is easy to say that the fans are split down the middle. Many love the new blood and face of Canelo, and see him as the future. But, the name Julio Cesar Chavez does hold a lot of clout in the country and has fans travel in droves to cheer for their man from Culiacan.
The winner of this fight is primed for big things later this year and for the time being, they will be the new King of Mexico.