By Keith Idec
Canelo Alvarez hopes all the rumors are true.
He hopes Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is actually training harder than usual for their May 6 showdown because he wants to beat the best version of Chavez. Photos posted to his social media accounts recently showed a sculpted Chavez, who has to make a contracted catch weight of 164½ pounds May 5 for their HBO Pay-Per-View main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Chavez, notorious for slacking off in training, stated last week that he weighed 178 pounds – just 13½ pounds over the contract weight, with more than a month to go before their weigh-in. None of that makes Alvarez think twice about accepting a fight against a significantly bigger boxer, at a contract weight nearly 10 pounds higher than he has previously competed during his 11-year pro career.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Alvarez said through a translator Tuesday during a conference call. “It doesn’t intimidate me. Look, I’ve been fighting professionally since I was 15 years old. So I’ve been fighting bigger and stronger guys. So on the contrary, I’m very happy that he’s working hard, that he’s training hard, that he’s doing good. Because you know what? That just guarantees the people a great fight. I’m doing my thing, like I always do. I have my conditioning. I’m feeling strong and I’m looking good. But I’m glad that he is as well.”
The 26-year-old Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) expected all along that the 31-year-old Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) would be more motivated than usual because their fight means so much to Mexican people.
“I hope everything we’re hearing, everything you’re hearing, is true, and that he is training extra hard and [is] extra motivated,” Alvarez said. “That just makes me happy. That makes me happy because that just means we’re gonna give the public, the fans a beautiful fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.