Chavez Jr’s keys to success
Chavez is a pressure fighter, always looking to come forward, find a way in close and force opponents back. This type of style is a nightmare to deal with over 12 rounds. Chavez has been criticized in the past for showing a lack of discipline outside the ring which sometimes leads to him fighting out of shape but when he comes in well prepared his level of conditioning is freakish. Most opponents that have fought fight fire with fire against an in shape Chavez have suffered trying in vain to keep up with his energy sapping style of close quarters exchanges.
The most obvious example of Chavez’s lasting endurance is the fight with Sergio Martinez. After 11 rounds, amongst the judges, only 1 round had been scored for Chavez from a potential 33.
In the 12th round, he nearly emulated his father who famously finished Meldrick Taylor in the final round whilst down on the cards. Chavez had minimal success for 11 rounds but rallied to deliver a storm of punches which culminated into of the most dramatic rounds of boxing since the turn of the century.
Chavez is the biggest guy Canelo has fought, the more he makes the size a factor in this fight the better his chances are for victory. Canelo tends to take rounds off here and there if Chavez can make him work for as many minutes of every round as possible he can take Canelo into deep waters.
Another gift Chavez has is the ability to absorb damage, the only time he’s been badly hurt was gainst Andrzej Fonfara which was at the light heavyweight limit. The step up seemed too much for Chavez, he also uncharacteristically fatigued quickly either due to the larger opponent or lack of preparation.
Taking the Fonfara fight out of the equation, middleweights with a history of being able to hurt opponents at will have struggled to put a dent in Chavez Jr. Sergio Martinez didn’t bother Chavez with anything despite being able to catch Chavez at will. The Andy Lee fight was the one that caught my attention. Lee is a big puncher he’s dropped many guys, stopped many guys, but more importantly, he’s knocked guys clean out. Lee landed flush but Chavez seemed unfazed even taunting him whilst stood in punching range.
Canelo’s punch placement is fantastic, I see him catching Chavez clean and often if Chavez presses hard. The durability will be tested and Chavez will need to ride the wave in order to turn the fight into one that favours his style. In a straight up technical boxing match, Canelo wins 9 times out of 10. In a slugfest, he’ll get far more opportunities to score.
Canelo’s keys to success
Innovative combination punching
Canelo Alvarez is without a doubt one of the greatest non-linear combination punchers I have ever seen, he delivers difficult combinations at speed going high and low in a fluid flowing motion.
Landing these kinds of accurate combinations on an advancing opponent will over time have a physical & psychological effect. Chavez will become reluctant to take chances if he’s getting tagged regularly trying to get inside. Having touched on Canelo’s habit of taking a round off to rest it’s paramount he picks and chooses his time to attack wisely. If he throws too many shots early and Chavez is still there he could run out of gas, if he doesn’t land enough Chavez may be encouraged to press freely and gain momentum.
The biggest change I’ve noticed in Canelo as he’s gone up in weight is how he’s gone from being a guy that can hurt high-level fighters to knocking top tier boxers down & out cold with one shot.
This is a factor that could end up making this fight one sided. If Canelo hurt’s Chavez early (it’s a big if but possible) his whole gameplan will be compromised. Having mentioned Chavez’s durability it will be intriguing to see if Canelo possesses the power to trouble him. The GGG fight seems to be on the horizon, it would be a huge statement for Canelo to finish this fight within the distance.
It’s smart for Canelo to fight a bigger stronger opponent before he steps in the ring with Golovkin, it gives Canelo a different set of problems to deal with. The issue for Chavez is he’s spent too much of his prime coasting through his career. His motivation and dedication have always been an issue, the last guy Chavez fought who’s on Canelo’s level was Martinez, it’s been almost 5 years since that fight. Canelo is not only a high-level operator he’s also dangerous, I’m anticipating the gap in levels to be apparent from early on in the fight. I can see a scenario where Canelo get’s his man out of there but I’ll go with the safe bet and pick,
Canelo to win on points.