The Big Question: Canelo vs Chavez Jr - who wins?
Mexicans Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr square off on Saturday night in Las Vegas in a somewhat surreal catchweight contest. We canvassed opinion among the Boxing Monthly online team about which man will prevail ...
It all depends on which version of Chavez Jr turns up. Making weight has always been an issue with him and if he has made it in a sensible manner, he has the tools to present Canelo with all the trouble he can handle. However logic tells me that Canelo's CV for his last three fights compared to Chavez's puts him in better stead. Power wise I believe he's stronger and technique wise, I believe he's underrated. I see Canelo winning on points comfortably and, depending on Chavez's fitness levels, a possible stoppage in the late rounds. - Paul Zanon
I'll back Canelo mainly for his in-ring activity versus JCC Jr's presumed lack of focus or professionalism over the past few years. However, when focused and fighting at 160lbs, Jr could bang, and he will surely be motivated for this high-profile fight. He almost KO'd Sergio Martinez, so could he find the heavy hands required to take out the reluctant middleweight, Alvarez? I've never seen Canelo as a one- punch KO artist - do not mention Khan - but rather a volume puncher, and fitness is what I think will see him through on this occasion. Canelo to win in 7. - Martin Chesnutt
Watching the press conferences Chavez Jr looks far bigger than Canelo, who in terms of height and reach isn't a big super welter, let alone a super middle. Floyd Mayweather had longer arms than him and was able to control him and keep him at range. Chavez Jr by all accounts is no Mayweather but he could be a small cruiserweight by the opening bell. While size may favour Chavez, it is the only thing that does. Canelo is for me an elite fighter and in the top five P4P in the world today. While many are frustrated at his apparent reluctance to face GGG, his record is littered with wins over top fighters. Chavez Jr, on the other hand, benefited from being the much larger man in a poor middleweight division before being thoroughly exposed by Sergio Martinez. Since then he has enjoyed semi retirement, with wins over club level fighters and a stoppage loss to Andrzej Fonfara. The simple truth is that Canelo is a far better fighter than Chavez and the catchweight will suit him also. I expect the fight to do great business on Cinco De Mayo weekend, and my pick is for Canelo to stop Chavez inside seven to send Chavez into permanent retirement. - Callum Rudge
The strange feeling I have had about JCC Jr vs Canelo since day one has been "really?" - and this is mainly because I considered JCC to be all-but-retired (at least from top-flight competition) after the Martinez loss and especially since the Fonfara contest. I feel like this is a situation whereby as long as Chavez can last the distance and be part of the 'spectacle', then everyone is a winner and he coasts off into the Mexican sunset a lot richer than he previously was. Bringing it back to stats, I think the extra weight by fight-time will help Chavez last the distance, particularly as Canelo is not the biggest of super welters, let alone middleweights. I think Canelo will win by a convincing, wide decision - if he can score a late stoppage then all the better, but the masses will put it down to JCC being weight-drained. The entire thing about the weight is baffling from both sides: Canelo won't fight GGG at 160lbs due to being a super welter and wanting to fight at 154 - but then faces JCC Jr at 164? Meanwhile, JCC Jr left middle due to weight issues, subsequently struggled to make 168lbs, but after losing at 175lbs he has now returned to 168lbs and then agrees to make 164? The whole thing is a bit strange to be honest and I wonder if Chavez will come in heavy and pay the fine anyway. In the final analysis, everyone gets richer, Canelo gets the win, they both go down in Mexican fight history and while Chavez gets a payday Canelo's career moves on to the next step. - Colin Harris
Final count: Canelo 4 Chavez Jr 0