By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Abel Sanchez suspects Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fought Canelo Alvarez for all the wrong reasons.
Gennady Golovkin’s trainer feels Chavez’s multimillion-dollar purse wasn’t worth all the damage done to his legacy by his poor performance against his Mexican rival. Sanchez, a Mexican-American, figures it too so much out of Chavez to make the 164-pound catch weight for their 12-round fight May 6 in Las Vegas that he had nothing left physically once he entered the ring to fight Alvarez at T-Mobile Arena.
Of course, Alvarez’s dominant victory over Chavez ensured that Sanchez’s star fighter got the middleweight showdown he has wanted for nearly two years. The heavily hyped Alvarez-Golovkin fight was officially announced in the ring immediately after Alvarez beat Chavez by the same score, 120-108, on all three scorecards.
Nevertheless, Sanchez thinks Chavez, a former WBC middleweight champion notorious for struggling to make weight, made a mistake by accepting the Alvarez fight at 164 pounds.
“Chavez just took the fight to make weight,” Sanchez told BoxingScene.com. “He was dead. I think that the fight hurt him more [among] Mexican fans, legacy-wise, than the money’s gonna be worth. His father was even talking bad stuff about the fight. He said, ‘My son just didn’t do what he needed to do. He should retire if he’s not gonna be serious.’
“So a lot of those things, money’s not that important when it comes to that because he still has to walk the streets, he still has to be in public. All those things are far, far more important than the money he made that night.”
The 31-year-old Chavez (50-3-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) had competed as high as within the light heavyweight division before he agreed to move down to 164 pounds for his HBO Pay-Per-View fight against Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) four months ago. Alvarez hadn’t boxed above a contracted weight of 155 pounds prior to beating Chavez.
“Canelo’s performance against Chavez just showed him he can handle a bigger guy,” Sanchez said. “The fight on [May 6] proved to him that he’s ready [to fight Golovkin]. He fought a big guy, he was able to hit him with anything he wanted to hit him with. That’s what really finalized it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.