Canelo and Julio’s Choreographed Debacle
By: Ronald Neal Goldman
If you’ve attentively followed the sweet science as long as I, you would know something just wasn’t right in Canelo Alverez’s ridiculously easy shut out of Julio Cesar Chavez in their 12 round non-title bout. In what should have been an intriguing battle between the middleweight superstar, Canelo, and Chavez Jr, (a mere shadow of one of boxing’s authentic Hall of Fame legends, Julio Cesar Chavez) resulted not only in a monumentally disappointing fight, but served as a catalyst in questioning the why and how Alvarez achieved his victory.
Say what you will about Junior’s less than stellar record as middle or super middleweight, he had been indigenous of Mexican pride when it came to his heritage and legacy: fight to the very end, whatever it takes. In his fight with Sergio Martinez that’s precisely what happened; approaching a lopsided decision in favor of Martinez, Junior cornered Sergio in the ropes and dropped him with a vicious left hook which nearly rewrote boxing history. The Martinez fight, more than anything, was a reflection of Chavez’s credo-never throw in the towel-pun clearly intended. It was Junior’s performance, or more accurately, lack of, that was so out of character in his fight with Canelo.
How was it possible that Chavez was virtually shut out and not being awarded, deservedly so I might add, even one round, unless he was following a script blueprinted by Golden Boy. The showdown between Canelo and GGG had been years in the making and a Canelo loss would have virtually torpedoed a possible billion dollar mega fight. It wasn’t a question of Junior losing, but what is more important was that he would not be winning. This was clearly illustrated by the inordinately few times Chavez had Canelo on the ropes, banging away and then inexorably would stop, not to mention how often when Chavez was cornered by the shorter Canelo and just did nothing. The few times Chavez elected to engage was enough for the suits to placate viewers that there was still some reminisce of what Chavez was capable. Whether Canelo was privy to this ring orchestration is moot. It just it seems somewhat convenient that Golovkin and Canelo was already a done deal with a signed agreement, a specific date emblazoned across the PPV screen, and all that signed, sealed and delivered prior to the Canelo/Chavez show. Were Oscar Dela Hoya and Golden Boy so sure their boy would be victorious? More likely, to save a billion dollar PPV, there’s nothing like contributing couple of million dollars to the Chavez retirement fund.
Ronald Neal Goldman
Professor of English
Touro College and University System