“The Thrilla in Manila,” “Bad Blood” and “The War” were not just good names for boxing matches, they were accurate descriptions of the action.
That being the case, Saturday’s highly-hyped bout between Saul Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. should be entitled “The Stinko de Mayo.”
To be clear, Alvarez was not to blame…watching his masterful style and surgical precision was worth the time.
It was Jr.’s halfhearted effort that was malodorous.
Born into boxing royalty (his father the most storied Mexican fighter of all-time) Chavez Jr. is not ready to reign.
After nearly a decade of fighting “taxi drivers and party planners” for safe walkover wins Jr. finally graduated to actual “boxers.”
Chavez has raw talent, blind instinct, and a good chin…and two huge problems
The week before a title fight he was arrested for DUI.
Seven months later he tested positive for marijuana after another title fight, in which he suffered his first loss.
Second: Jr. hates to train.
His apathy coming into the Fonfara fight was so bad that trainer Freddy Roach stated he’ll never work with him again.
In that fight, Chavez kissed the canvas for the first time in his career. Then he quit from his stool before the next round.
There’s no mystery to Chavez, or his unexplained lack of heart and focus.
It just isn’t there.
The desire to win does not burn brightly within him.
That flame produces no heat…it merely flickers.
He made weight and looked good for the Alvarez fight.
Canelo is always fit and ready.
Through the early rounds Alvarez set the pace, established his jab and used it to back Chavez around the ring.
Alvarez progressively picked up the pace. Marching forward, landing uppercuts with both hands, he bloodied Chavez’s mouth and nose and brought swelling to both eyes.
The only steps forward Chavez took during the bout came walking from his corner at the beginning of each round.
Fighting in retreat, Chavez was waiting too long to pull the trigger, and got pounded for hesitating.
When body shots brought down Jr.’s guard, Canelo sent combinations to the cabeza.
He’d done his homework, he knew Chavez’s moves. Alvarez was throwing punches where Chavez was “going to be.”
This was evident in the middle of Round 5, when Alvarez countered with a straight right that found its target like a meat-seeking missile.
Chavez had his best round in the 6th…and it was still dismal.
His punches were missing or landing on gloves and arms.
Señor Chavez senior was screaming for his son to do something.
And he couldn’t have been more correct, because Canelo Alvarez had pitched a shutout in the first half of the fight.
Alvarez really let the leather fly in Round 7.
He would back himself to the ropes and then explode off of them, banging from body to beard.
Chavez didn’t use his height. He “fought small,” leaned forward and got peppered with uppercuts and right hooks.
Jr.’s left eye was all but closed from the swelling due to spearing jabs and straight rights. It started to bleed in Round 9.
Alvarez was superior in every facet. He was thorough, patient and metered…like he was picking berries.
The bout went the distance and Alvarez was awarded a unanimous decision, winning every round on all three scorecards.
Not a shocker.
What was a surprise, was when Gennady Golovkin got into the ring afterwards, and it was announced he would be Canelo’s next opponent (September 16th).
We were served chopped liver…now we wait for filet mignon.
God Bless and stay hungry.
Mark Felicetti is starving. Feed him at firstname.lastname@example.org.