By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Abel Sanchez doesn’t think Canelo Alvarez’s possible fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will ruin the possibility of a Gennady Golovkin-Alvarez showdown later this year.
Just as Sanchez, who trains Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs), expects his fighter to defeat Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) on March 18 at Madison Square Garden, he thinks Alvarez will overcome Chavez if they meet May 6. Negotiations between representatives for Alvarez and Chavez are ongoing, but money reportedly is holding up the completion of a deal.
If the Mexican stars can come to an agreement, Sanchez favors Alvarez, even though he apparently would move up to a contracted weight 10 pounds higher than he has boxed before.
“I think Canelo beats him just with speed,” Sanchez told BoxingScene.com. “But I give Chavez a fighting chance. I think he’s a bigger guy and I think he may have a chance. But Canelo probably will win the fight.”
Sanchez is more surprised Chavez would be willing to move down to a contract weight of 165 more than the fact that Alvarez appears fine with moving up 10 pounds.
Among the reasons the Golovkin-Alvarez fight has been delayed for more than a year is because Alvarez and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya have hesitated to move him up to the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. His two WBC middleweight title bouts against Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan were fought at maximum catch weights of 155 pounds.
“I’m surprised that [Chavez] has agreed to fight at 165,” Sanchez said. “He looked decimated at the weigh-in for the last fight that he had. And 165 is gonna be difficult for him, so they’re giving up a lot, I think.”
The 30-year-old Chavez has fought as high as light heavyweight and has had trouble making weight for much of his career. The contract weight for his last bout was 169 pounds. He weighed in at 168 for his 10-round fight against Germany’s Dominik Britsch (32-3-1, 11 KOs), which Chavez won by unanimous decision December 10 in Monterrey, Mexico.
The 26-year-old Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) weighed in at 154 pounds for his last fight. He knocked out England’s Liam Smith (23-1-1, 13 KOs) in the ninth round of that September 17 bout in Arlington, Texas, where Alvarez won the WBO world super welterweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.