By Michael Donovan
Tonight’s pay-per-view offering is worth paying for:
Canelo Alvarez (above right, 48-1-1, 34 KOs) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs)
There is no world title on the line, but there are huge stakes — namely supremacy of Mexican boxing and lifetime bragging rights over a bitter rival in one of the biggest all-Mexican fights in boxing history.
“It’s very, very important for both fighters,” Chavez said through a translator. “Yes, it’s very important for him, but the fact that it’s two Mexicans, I think that this is one of the most important fights in the history of Mexico.”
Chavez, 31, who has had ups and downs since losing the middleweight belt, believes a win would serve as something of redemption after many fans jumped off his bandwagon following his losses, positive drug test following his title loss to Sergio Martinez in 2012 and the fact that he often has not trained seriously and has missed weight multiple times.
“It’s a big event, with two great Mexican fighters, and I feel that it’s my last opportunity, and I’m going to take advantage of it and do the best I can,” Chavez said. “I do feel that this fight is the biggest fight of my career, just because it’s a big event, because of who I’m fighting and because of the opportunity. I’m going to take advantage of it and make the best of it.”
Alvarez, who is the favorite (-600 as of Thursday morning), knows a win will add another big victory to a growing legacy that already includes significant victories against Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout, among others.
“Titles are very important to me, but this is above that,” Alvarez, 26, said through a translator. “This goes above a title, any title. It’s for honor, for pride and it’s very important for me to keep making history in my career.”