By Miguel Rivera
Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (49-2-1, 32KOs) is weighing up his options for a big fight in 2017.
At the moment there are ongoing talks to stage a catch-weight bout with fellow Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (48-1-1, 34KOs). The fight would headline an HBO Pay-Per-View event on May 6th.
The two boxers are discussing a catch-weight of 165-pounds. Canelo, who holds the WBO junior middleweight title, would move up from 154-pounds, while Chavez Jr. would come down from the super middleweight limit of 168.
The biggest issue with finalizing Chavez-Canelo is not the weight - but the money.
According to an earlier report on BoxingScene.com, Chavez Jr. was presented with a guarantee of $6 million and a small percentage of the pay-per-view revenue. According to a source who spoke with ESPN Deportes, Chavez Jr. has until the end of next week to accept the terms or Canelo will pursue other options.
Chavez Jr.'s father - the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. - recently explained that he's not very happy with the financial terms presented by Canelo and his promotional partner, Golden Boy Promotions. Chavez Jr. and his team are looking for at least 30-35% of a full revenue split - which gives Canelo the lion's share with 65-70% of the take.
"We are waiting for them to offer a reasonable sum, because the sum they are presenting right now does not suit us and if they continue like this - then there will be no fight, but if they submit a reasonable sum then fight will be done. The negotiations are going well," Chavez Sr. said.
"We are aware that right now it's Canelo time, but at the moment this fight presents a unique combination in boxing. Canelo needs Julio, and Julio needs Canelo. It's a difficult, hard fight, and besides knowing which of them is the best - the fight can break a lot of records."
"We want 30 to 35 percent of everything, and what they are offering... Julio has already earned the kind of money they are offering when he faced other fighters. To present the amount that they are offering - it's like saying that they do not want the fight."
Chavez Jr. returned to the ring two weeks ago and won a hard-fought ten round unanimous decision over Germany's Dominik Britsch (32-3-1, 11KOs) in Monterrey, Mexico. Canelo's last fight took place in September, when he captured the WBO junior middleweight title with a knockout of Liam Smith.
If the deal falls apart, Chavez Jr. would like to get in the ring with WBA, WBC, IBO, IBF middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, who makes a mandatory defense against Daniel Jacobs on March 18th in New York City.
Chavez Jr. wants the fight with GGG to take place at the super middleweight limit of 168 - which may or may not be a problem for Golovkin and his handlers.
"There would also be the possibility of Golovkin, but Golovkin also does not want to go up to 168. Golovkin is just like Canelo. Look, he wanted Canelo to come up to 160, maybe because Canelo smaller, and he didn't want to go up to 168 when I challenged him," Chavez Jr. said.
"There could be a fight with Golovkin - if Canelo doesn't want [to fight]. I've always said that I want to fight with Golovkin and I keep saying it and now I can prove that I can make the weight of 168 to fight with him."