Boxing News

For Canelo, the Chavez Jr. chapter is closed, massive GGG showdown now looming

By Felipe Leon

“This chapter is closed,” Saul “Canelo” Alvarez stated at the post fight press conference regarding his rivalry against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. “I proved tha I am better despite he was bigger than me.”

Alvarez, 26, of Guadalajara, Mexico, looked fresh in a blue suit as he calmly addressed the media in the same ring where he completely dismantled the thirty-one year old Chavez Jr a mere thirty minutes before in front of a reported 20,510 sold out crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

“I am satisfied with what we did today against a fighter that was obviously bigger than me,” Alvarez said. The two-divisional champion earned a lopsided 120-108 three times unanimous decision over Chavez of Culiacan, Mexico who was reported around 15-20 pounds larger than “Canelo”. “All I want is to give the fans good fights and show that I am better than my opponents.”

In what was billed as all out Mexican war, turned out to be a one-sided beating as Chavez Jr was never able to pull the trigger despite making weight the day before without any visible trouble.

“’Canelo’ is a good fighter, he beat me and I have no excuses,” Chavez Jr said while at the podium after the fight. “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.”

During the work up of the fight, both fighters were very vocal of their disdain for each other and often criticized each other publicly but now Chavez Jr did not hesitate to praise Alvarez. “He beat me. He is a good fighter, very smart and disciplined. I think the Mexican people should follow him. I don’t think he is the best in the world or the best I have fought. I think Martinez was better but he probably is the best Mexican fighter right now.”

As far as the future for Chavez Jr, he mentioned he was ready for what was next with a slight change.

“I think I am going to stay in the 168 pound division,” Chavez Jr stated. “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.”

During the post fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman, Alvarez and his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, let the world know what was next for tonight’s winner. The much anticipated match up against the nearly unified middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

“I didn’t lose my focus for my fight, I feel that I am a person with a strong mentality,” “Canelo” answered when asked if he had a difficult time in focusing for Chavez Jr when he knew Golovkin loomed next.”

Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions mentioned the fight was signed, sealed and delivered. “If anybody wants to still doubt it, speak to my PR director. I’ve always said this fight against Golovkin would happen in 2017. The fight is going to happen somewhere in the world. Don’t know exactly where yet. I already have received calls from all over the world to stage this fight. I have missed calls from Dubai and the UK where we saw them put on the Joshua vs Klitschko fight. Those negotiations will start very soon because the fight is on September 16th. This is the most anticipated fight since Mayweather vs Pacquiao but in this fight you will see some action. We actually began negotiations for the fight some months ago but halted them out of respect to Chavez Jr. We resumed a couple of weeks and the fight was done in a matter of days.”

Tom Loeffler, managing director of K2 Promotions, also had his time at the podium before introducing his charge.

“It was very easy to make this fight, it was more difficult to not announce it than to make it,” Loeffler shared. “We always said this fight would happen in September. We are excited to work with Golden Boy Promotions. We didn’t say anything before this fight out of respect for the fight against Chavez Jr.”

“First I want to congratulate ‘Canelo’,” Golovkin said when he had the microphone in front of him. “I am very excited. This is the biggest fight in boxing. You don’t want to miss this fight. Everybody knows this is a difficult fight for both of us. I think the winner is the best in the world. I expect an amazing fight. He did a very good job in this fight, I respect his team.”

Abel Sanchez, trainer of Golovkin, mentioned that although Alvarez looked good in tonight’s fight, the bout against his pupil would be different. “He displayed great boxing skills tonight but he is not going to have Chavez Jr in front of him, he is going to have Gennady. I have always thought this fight could happen between them not only once, but two or three times.”

As far as for “Canelo”, he states he is ready for what he considers the biggest challenge of his career.

“I think our styles mesh together for a great fight,” Alvarez said during his second run at the podium. “I am very happy the fight is happening. The one a lot of people said would not be done. I am very happy to give my fans another great fight which is all I want to give fans.”

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