Canelo vs Chavez Jr prediction: Weight will be a factorWritten by Lee Cleveland
In what will be one of the most high-profile fights of 2017, Mexican warriors Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will do battle tonight.
(Image courtesy of Fight Hub TV)
Afterwards, will some insist the outcome of Canelo vs Chavez Jr was determined at the negotiating table?
The 164.5 catchweight certainly favors the smaller man, Canelo Alvarez. And while both fighters tipped the scale at 164 pounds last night and Chavez is ripped, does Julio have a much better chance to win than the opening 8 to 1 odds suggest?
Yes, he's in great shape but has he over-trained? Is he weight-drained and thus ill-prepared to deal with an elite opponent like Canelo?
Chavez Jr couldn't make 164.5 pounds four years ago at 27 so how the heck did he do it (comfortably) at 31?
Let's face it, Chavez Jr has outgrown the middleweight division. And at this point, making the super middleweight limit of 168 wouldn't be a picnic.
Canelo vs Chavez Jr
Date: May 6, 2017, Cinco de Mayo Weekend
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
US: HBO PPV in the U.S. Cost: $59.99; 9pm ET
UK: BoxNation, 2am London time (May 7)
Mexico: TV Azteca and Televisa, 8pm CT
*Actual fight time for the main event might be 90-120 minutes later than the advertised start times above
Division: Super Middleweight (164.5 lb catchweight)
Don't forget, he was a full-fledged light heavyweight less than two years ago and hasn't fought this light in five years. Incidentally, he looked sluggish and was dominated that night by Sergio Martinez despite providing a dramatic near-comeback in the 12th Round.
Chavez Jr will still be the naturally bigger man tonight but will he be stronger, even after rehydrating to 183 pounds?
Problems arise when fighters have to trim down to a seemingly unreasonable, unhealthy weight.
Typically, the A-side fighter will use his leverage to negotiate a catchweight when facing an opponent who is naturally bigger.
In cases where one fighter has a clear size advantage, the proposing team will insist the catchweight makes the match-up more even. However, what they are really doing is using their leverage and attempting to gain the upper hand before the fight even starts.
The Canelo vs Chavez catchweight limit of 164.5 pounds stacks the odds heavily in Canelo's favor because Julio's weight problems are well-known. Moreover, he's, biologically, a bigger man these days than was the case five years ago.
Moreover, when a fighter like Chavez is tasked with entering the ring extra light, he is forced to make "weight loss" a primary focus in the weeks leading up to the bout. Catchweights often disrupt the larger fighter's training regimen because has to face two opponents - the other fighter and the scale.
Canelo, on the otherhand, had the luxury of focusing only on Chavez Jr.
Canelo vs Chavez Jr prediction: Look for Julio to assert himself early, fight from a distance and win some rounds. However, in the middle rounds, we'll start seeing the effects of Chavez having to loss all of that weight, and his stamina and strength will be compromised as a result.
Prediction: Canelo TKO 10 Chavez Jr
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.