By Victor Salazar
New York - Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KO’s) in no longer be the A-side in the equation versus his Mexican counterpart Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO’s), but the former WBC middleweight champion certainly knows his worth.
When both fighters were coming up the ranks, a superfight between Mexico’s two rising stars seemed inevitable.
While Canelo was campaigning through the welterweight and junior welterweight ranks, Chavez Jr. was at middleweight. Chavez Jr. then lost to Sergio Martinez in 2012. Canelo suffered his first loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, but the two fighters went in opposite directions after tasting defeat for the first time.
Chavez Jr. moved up in weight - fighting between 168 and 172 - and having a few lackluster performances before ultimately losing by knockout to light heavyweight Andrej Fonfora.
Canelo became the face of boxing in North America and for HBO, by defeating the likes of Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Liam Smith and James Kirkland.
But now Canelo and Chavez will meet on May 6th at a contracted weight of 164.5-pounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with HBO pay-per-view as the platform. Because the bout is on a pay-per-view platform, Chavez felt like Canelo needed a big name to headline a card which takes place on the lucrative Cinco De Mayo weekend.
“Of course they need me,” Chavez Jr said. “He fought Amir Khan and Liam Smith, nobody knows who Liam Smith is so they needed a bigger name. I think this fight, the Latino people, the Mexican people, and the boxing people are happy because it is a good fight.”
Chavez Jr. also feels that Canelo and his people selected him because of their reluctance to finalize a fight with middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.
“Of course because people say Canelo is afraid of Triple G, I think the same,” stated Chavez Jr. “I think Canelo picked me because of my inactivity and the problem with my hand. This is why Canelo picked this fight. They think that I am going to sacrifice to make this fight. They think Triple G is more difficult for me than he is.”