If there was any doubt as to who is the biggest Mexican boxing star before May 6, Canelo Alvarez shattered any remaining doubt.
In a showcase of pure excellence in boxing, Canelo defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via unanimous decision (120-108, 120-108, 120-108). Fightful also had Canelo winning the fight 120-108. The fight drew a live audience of 20,510 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, which is an attendance record for the venue.
From the very beginning of the fight, Canelo, the smaller fighter, pushed Chavez all over the ring, utilizing the jab to perfection and holding Chavez’s offense to a minimum.
Canelo had been using hard power shots to wear down Chavez. Chavez had not been able to reciprocate the same amount of punching power against his opponent that Canelo was standing in his corner after every round.
Nearly every round started the same: Canelo Alvarez striking first with a heavy dose of power punches to the body.
One of the biggest stories coming into the fight was whether or not Chavez would be able to make the 164.5-pound catchweight and still look comfortable in the ring. Chavez has had trouble making weight in the past few years, but he did manage to make weight for the bout. Unfortunately for Chavez, he looked complacent throughout the entire fight and barely threw any punches.
According to CompuBox, Alvarez landed 228 of 604 punches (38 percent) and Chavez landed just 71 of 302 (24 percent), which is extremely low for a 12-round fight. Alvarez landed 83 jabs to Chavez's 15.
Chavez, perceived to have the slight edge over Canelo in terms of technical boxing prowess, said in the post-fight interview that his gameplan was to outbox Canelo, but said he never had the chance to do so.
"I wanted to box but he went to the ropes and I just needed to throw more punches," Chavez said. "I would've attacked more but I would've been countered by his punches. [Trainer] Nacho [Beristain] told me to do that but the strategy didn't work. The speed and the distance was the key. I couldn't throw as many punches as I wanted. My father kept telling me to throw more punches from the ringside."
Alvarez said he was ready to make a statement to the largely Mexican crowd and prove to any doubters that he is not a one-dimensional boxer.
"Tonight I showed I could move, I could box, I showed as a fighter I can do all things," Canelo said. "I thought I was going to showcase myself as a fighter that could throw punches, but he just wouldn't do it. I've shown I can do lots of things in the ring, anything a fighter brings, I've shown I can showcase myself."
While Mexican boxing fans, celebrating Cinco de Mayo weekend, largely booed at Chavez for not making the fight competitive, they largely left happy with a bombshell of an announcement regarding Canelo’s next opponent.
A date with destiny with Gennady Golovkin on September 16.