Fight For The Pride Of Mexico

May 5, 2017

 

On Cinco De Mayo weekend, two Mexican boxers will face off to find out who is the new face of Mexican boxing.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will face off against former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr May 6 in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Chavez will try to live up to his father’s iconic legacy and dethrone the current face of Mexican boxing while Canelo will try to silence critics who say he has cherry-picked smaller opponents.

Both fighters are taking serious risks in this match-up. Chavez is coming back from a long layoff to face a strong, fast and young Canelo who has all the momentum behind him.

Chavez, who is big for the middleweight division, will also be dropping down in weight significantly draining himself to make the agreed upon weight for this fight, 164 pounds.

Canelo will also have significant obstacles to overcome that cannot be ignored when breaking down this fight.

Canelo will be moving up in weight to fight a much larger and dangerous power puncher in Chavez.

What this match, and almost all boxing matches, comes down to is styles and the implementing of those styles.

Chavez’ fighting style is much like his father’s; he comes forward and throws two bombs at his opponents in the shape of fists. Chavez’ lead left hook and overhand right are devastating blows and only represent a fraction of the weapons at his disposal.

Chavez is also accurate and powerful and has been training at altitude in Mexico City. This means Chavez’ could potentially come into this fight with the conditioning to fight 12 hard rounds, pressing forward and throwing hard punches the entire time.

But how much of Chavez’ conditioning and strength, if any, will be diminished by his weight cut?

If Chavez ends up in deep waters with Canelo, who at this point will be 10 pounds heavier, Chavez may find himself on the receiving end of a forward pressing Mexican power puncher.

Chavez’ key to victory is to press the fight to Canelo early, not allow Canelo to get a feel for Chavez’ rhythm and force Canelo into a exchange of bombs.

Canelo has shown devastating power in his punches leading up to this fight, previously knocking out boxers such as Liam Smith and Amir Khan. Canelo is also visibly faster in his fight against Miguel Cotto than Chavez has even looked.

Canelo is also the more active fighter; Chavez is coming from a long layoff that may come with some ring rust.

Fighters have to get used to fighting in front of thousands of people who are cheering and booing and disrupting concentration.

Canelo is much more accustomed to this, at least recently, than Chavez. However, this is no easy fight for Canelo.

Canelo’s power is not guaranteed to have the same effect on Chavez as it did on Khan, especially because Chavez has always shown a great chin. Canelo’s chin has also never been tested against a big middleweight like Chavez, who may have even more power coming down in weight.

Canelo’s key to victory is to not engage Chavez in the only fight he can win, a slugfest. Canelo is a sharp counter puncher who can win this fight if he wears Chavez down from the outside and avoids violent exchanges early on.

In the sport of boxing anything can happen, but Canelo is the clear favorite in this fight given that he has more tools at his disposal in the ring.

However, Chavez has a very important set of tools: they’re attached to his wrists and can end the fight in an instant.

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