Canelo vs Chavez generates more interest than Canelo vs Golovkin?Written by Lee Cleveland
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin is undoubtedly the hottest match-up among boxing purists.
The sport's hardcore junkies salivate upon its mere mention, as they should.
Canelo vs Golovkin is the most intriguing fight among the sport's die-hards but is it the biggest fight in boxing?
Many would argue Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor is the most lucrative fight that can be made, even though it would make little sense to the sport's hardcore fans.
Others insist the upcoming bout between Canelo and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will garner more interest than Alvarez vs Golovkin would.
Are they right about the latter?
Casual fans > Hardcore junkies
Canelo vs Chavez Jr on May 6, whether deserving or not, will generate more public interest than a hypothetical Canelo vs Golovkin bout during the same month.
Although Chavez Jr is not as accomplished as Golovkin, he's the son of a legend and is a Mexican fighting another Mexican.
“Boxing has been searching for a fight to draw the casual fan back to our sport, and Canelo versus Chávez, Jr. is just that fight,” said fight legend Oscar De La Hoya.
Canelo vs Chavez Jr
Date: May 6, 2017
Location: Las Vegas
Broadcast: HBO PPV
Cost (est):$59.99 Standard def
Division: Super Middleweight (164.5 lb catchweight)
“Canelo, the biggest star boxing, will take on not only a former world champion in Julio César Chávez, Jr., but the son of the biggest star in the history of boxing in Mexico."
"Add in 98 victories and 66 knockouts between these two superstars along with a Cinco de Mayo fight date, and you have a can’t-miss battle.”
Boxing needs big fights that generate mainstream interest. And if the fighters have crowd-pleasing styles, like Alvarez and Chavez Jr, even better.
Elite trainer Robert Garcia recently told FightHype.com, "It's [Canelo vs Chavez] a huge fight." It's going to be, probably, one of the biggest fights since Pacquiao vs Mayweather."
"It can be a hell of a fight."
"It's going to be pretty interesting...both of them are hungry to get that win...it's about not only himself, but pride...the whole country...his family, the last name means a lot..."
If this fight is promoted well and promoters crack down on illegal streaming sites, Canelo vs Chavez could easily exceed 1.3 million buys. Keep in mind, Canelo vs Miguel Cotto in 2015 generated about 900,000 buys.
Let's face it... Great match-ups that made a lot of sense, like Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev and Lucas Matthysse vs Ruslan Provodnikov, were quality bouts but only the sport's hardcore junkies cared.
Coverage for showdowns of that magnitude should be on the front page of mainstream publications yet they received very little buzz outside the boxing community because the casual fan in the U.S. either didn't know who they were or simply didn't care.
Ward vs Kovalev (2016), for instance, arguably the second biggest match-up in boxing at the time, reportedly generated only 170,000 PPV buys. And that told us all we needed to know about the prospects for Canelo vs Golovkin.
Despite what some boxing purists say, superfights, regardless of whether they make sense, are good for the health for the sport because they a) generate a lot of mainstream buzz and attract new fans b) generate a lot of money and c) sometimes help create stars.
Boxing needs stars, and the best way to create them is to showcase them in big fights in front of large, mainstream audiences.... Regardless of whether they always make 'boxing' sense.
Generate widespread public interest in the fighters first, and the superfights that DO make 'boxing' sense will follow.
Perhaps the winner of Canelo vs Chavez Jr shines in front of a mainstream audience, increases his drawing power among the masses (i.e. non die-hard boxing fans) and fights Golovkin later this year when the money pot is much larger for both parties?
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.