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Canelo Alvarez Explains: Significance Of The Fight Convinced Me To Move Up

Now that his Cinco De Mayo Weekend bout with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has been finalized, Canelo Alvaez is drawing a lot of flak for his 'sudden' move up in weight.

 Alvarez won the lineal, Ring and WBC middleweight titles by beating Miguel Cotto at a catchweight of 155 pounds in 2015. Canelo then gave up the WBC title instead of facing Gennady Golovkin. In June 2016, the camps of Canelo and GGG agreed to a 160 pound bout in the fall of 2017. The delay was purportedly to increase Golovkin's U.S. marketability and to allow Alvarez to comfortably bulk up to the middleweight limit. Golovkin went on to fight Kell Brook in September while Alvarez returned to 154 to dethrone Liam Smith during the same month.

Canelo Alvarez has never fought beyond 155 pounds in his pro boxing career so it was surprising why he would move up almost 10 pounds heavier for his next bout. Canelo explains:

“I think what convinced me to make the move was the fight itself, which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, in the history of Mexico. That’s what intrigued me. The significance of the fight is what convinced me to make the move.”

Every step Junior made in his boxing career has been well documented not necessarily because of how good he was but because of the name he carries. Julio Jr. is the son of Canelo's idol and Mexico's greatest champion of all-time Julio Cesar Chavez. JCC and Canelo are two of the biggest names in Mexican boxing history. A fight involving both names ( even if it's JCCC Jr. ) would be of great significance to the boxing loving country of Mexico A bout between them on Mexico's Cinco De Mayo Weekend would be of greater value. 

Aside from its significance, Canelo also believes that the fight is an opportunity for him to silence JCC Jr. who has been one of his critics and who has been eyeing to fight him in recent years:

“Plenty of rivalry. He talks too much about me. He’s talked bad about me and criticized me so many times. I will prove to him in the ring who’s the better man. I just hope he trains well and gets ready for this fight. I will be ready to face the best possible Chavez. After this fight I don’t want any excuses when I beat him. I want him to train hard and be the best possible Chavez.”

Training hard however, has been Junior's biggest enemy. In recent years, Julio Jr. had a history of missing weight, even at 168 pounds. He has a good four months to make 164.5 or face the $1M per excess pounds fine reportedly stipulated for this bout. Given the significance of the bout, perhaps Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will finally put his act together. 

As for Canelo, a victory over Chavez Jr. should lead him to the Golovkin deal this fall. But Golovkin himself has a serious hurdle in Daniel Jacobs this March. Assuming though that both Canelo and GGG win, there won't be a reason why they shouln't fight next. We'll be waiting.