By Elisinio Castillo
Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is not sold on the popularity of his Mexican rival, former WBC/WBA 154-pound champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
A few days ago it was announced that Canelo's Showtime pay-per-view match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. generated 2.2 million purchases and became the highest grossing event in boxing history. So far the revenue has approached $150 million dollars and the MGM Grand's gate was over $20 million.
In contrast, Chavez's HBO pay-per-view debut last year came against Sergio Martinez and generated 475,000 purchases. The number surprised a a lot people who expected a lower number, because Chavez was the A-side of the match in terms of popularity and the event was going head to head with Canelo's Showtime televised fight with Josesito Lopez.
Many have attributed the financial success of Mayweather's last fight to the huge popularity of Canelo with the Mexican boxer fans in the United States and in Mexico.
"Canelo never scored big [rating] numbers with the events organized by HBO. His highest rating was 1.0, while my fight against Marco Antonio "Veneno" Rubio had an audience of 1.9. Canelo is only popular in Mexico and mostly because of the great support he has from [Televisa]," Chavez told Arturo Sacramento.
Chavez also broke down what Canelo needed to do in order to beat Mayweather.
"He needed to go forward, take risks, because at times he was slow, perhaps because of the pounds that he put on between the day of the weigh-in and the moment of the fight," Chavez said.