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Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Pick

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Weight Class: 164.5 Pound Catchweight
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, 48-1-1 (34 KOs), Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., 50-2-1 (32 KOs), Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Betting Odds: Saul "Canelo" Alvarez -880, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. +590

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez takes on Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in a huge event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Cinco de Mayo weekend. Of all the bouts that could be made to get the Mexican fans' blood pumping, it's this one—two of the biggest names in the world of Mexican boxing. Canelo is the resounding favorite, with the once-beaten 26-year old superstar looking to notch another big win to his already-robust resume. Chavez. Jr., 30, is looking at a challenge that some feel is out of his reach. But with a chance to right the ship and score a career-defining win, look for the 50-2-1 veteran to put it all on the line in this big extravaganza from Vegas on May 6. The bout will be contested at a catch-weight of 164.5.

The dichotomies between these two fighters run deep and most of them fall in Canelo's favor. At just 26, he's been at a high level for a long time and has always exemplified the utmost amount of professionalism in his craft. He is dependable and can be relied upon to perform at or near his best each time he steps in the ring. Alvarez remains supremely conditioned and never undermines himself. After losing to Mayweather in his only loss, he re-doubled his efforts and improved, while taking on tough opponents.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Chavez, Jr. He is enigmatic about his preparation and his work ethic has been questioned. Weight always seems to be an issue and reports from multiple sources indicate he's less-than totally dedicated in the gym. Since losing his first fight to then-champion Sergio Martinez, he seemed to get worse. His technique suffered and his motivation didn't seem to improve. He had big weight issues against Brian Vera and was very fortunate to get the decision in their first fight. He looked terrible against light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara, quitting on his stool after 9 rounds. After a perfunctory win over Marcos Reyes, he returned 18 months later in December '16 to post a ten-round win over Dominik Britsch.

In his comeback win against Britsch, Chavez, Jr. weighed in comfortably below the 168-pound limit, suggesting that Chavez, Jr. is prepared to get serious for one last run at glory. Still, the catch-weight for this fight seems to strip Chavez, Jr. of his one advantage, which is size. An optimist for Chavez, Jr.'s cause could point to his superior size, which he could perhaps use to wear down the smaller Canelo. But having to cut down to 164.5 pounds for this fight could have a sapping affect on Chavez, Jr., making it hard for him to employ the kind of high-energy effort he would need to bridge the talent advantage Canelo possesses.

Chavez, Jr. is a pretty big guy, a fighter who kept growing throughout his 20's. He's probably best-suited for the light heavyweight division. But at 6'1," he has height and reach advantages over Canelo and is just the bigger man. The problem is the contracted weight, as he is simply too big to be under 165 pounds. To book this fight, Chavez, Jr. was in no position to make demands and the weight was definitely a major concession. Beyond size is his in-ring work. Even when he nearly KO'd then-champ Sergio Martinez, he was outclassed for much of the fight. Against Fonfara, he was embarrassed en route to a corner-retirement stoppage defeat. There just haven't been many recent demonstrations of abundant talent from Chavez, Jr. in recent outings. We see him making novice mistakes in the ring, while being squared-up and all-too-easy to hit for opponents on this level.

Canelo might even be the harder puncher and at a weight where he's not depleted, that could really stand out. In recent years, Canelo's growing man-strength has made him a more-reliable knockout puncher. He often flashes one-punch knockout power. He can hurt good opponents with both hands and has registered some hurtful body-work in recent fights. After losing to Mayweather, he became more serious about his career and preparation. At 26, he is a steely veteran of the sport. After his only loss, he went after big-time talent in Erislandy Lara, Amir Khan, and Miguel Cotto, among others. There aren't many fighters with better experience at the top levels than Canelo. The Mexican star has oodles of talent, but the dedication and enduring hunger to make it all come together for a special career.


If looking to make a case against Canelo, there are some things to point out, though what fighter doesn't have some weaknesses? He lost clearly to Mayweather and his bouts with Erislandy Lara and Miguel Cotto were pretty darned close, regardless of what the scorecards said. At 26, he is still youthful, but perhaps older than his age suggests. A look at his face shows a fighter who has been around some. He gets hit and opponents can usually have success against him, even if sustaining it proves to be very difficult.

One shouldn't rule out the possibility that Chavez, Jr. enters this fight with more fire in his belly than some suspect. Fighters can sometimes turn things around when granted a one fight cure-all proposition like this one. It's just that Chavez, Jr. simply might not have it in him. He's been in big fights before and wasn't able to prepare in great fashion. Why would he know? And even if he were somehow able to buck the weight issue and arrive in the ring in-shape, what real routes to victory does he reasonably have? He never was able to use his height and reach to his advantage and in terms of firepower; he's not really in Canelo's realm. His strength is to endure, tire out his opponents, and make a late-charge. And against this opponent and considering his recent form, it would really be a near-miracle if he were able to make that happen. I see this one ending early. The odds for the total haven't been posted yet, but when it does, I'm taking a stance on "under."

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting "under" in the Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. fight. Did you know... that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY and bet the Alvarez vs. Chavez, Jr. fight by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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