I’ll never be so happy to be so wrong in my all life. This joke of a fight turned out to be harmless for Canelo’s career. In fact, it should provide a good boost for his popularity, given that his opponent had a functional 10 to 15 pound weight advantage. One bit of trivia I was unaware of until after the fight was the fact that the Alvarez-Chavez showdown actually has been in the works for years. At least six years, from the looks of it.
That means two things. First, it means there was a reason for the fight to happen. They had been planning to fight each other since a time when Alvarez wasn’t the undisputed king of the junior welters, and when Chavez was lighter. Had this fight taken place 6 years ago, it all would’ve made a lot more sense! And I think the result would’ve been the same. Second, it means that the thought process behind choosing Canelo’s opponents might not be so flawed. Alvarez so thoroughly dominated the fight that when it came time for the announcement of the score cards, and he treated it like the Coming Attractions screen at the movies, it didn’t even seem that unnatural.
He transitioned abruptly to a very staged delivery of his announcement of his next opponent. For once, it’s both a fight that makes sense and the fight that everyone wants. I’m not even sure that Golovkin is such a bad opponent for Alvarez anymore. Clearly, stronger and rangier fighters don’t bother him much, and Golovkin’s willingness to square-up and trade could work to Canelo’s advantage. This will mean good things for boxing and the middleweight division in particular. There are so many good fights to be seen with Alvarez at 160, even if he can’t handle Golovkin. I’d most like to see him tested against Lemieux, Quillin, or Jacobs, but for now, triple G will do just fine.
For his part, Chavez Jr. should stay away from everyone at middleweight and above. He’s always looked undisciplined and untalented, but this past Saturday he looked absolutely helpless. Could be the effects of cutting weight explain his performance, but he looked unfocused and unmotivated from the first round, so it doesn’t seem like fatigue could explain his behavior. It wasn’t because of immobility or injury, and it wasn’t out of fear of his opponent’s power, he just seemed beaten before the bell ever rang. He’s more irrelevant now than ever and it doesn’t really matter why he fought the way he did.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was credited with a unanimous decision victory over Brian Vera. I don’t dispute the fact that the fight was close, I might even be concede the point that Chavez should have won, but the scores those judges turned in were shameful. Boxing is progressively becoming more a popularity contest and less of a legitimate sport. Even when I was desperate for Alvarez to distinguish himself against Mayweather, I was under no delusion that the judges had awarded him undeserved acclaim. How far will this go before fans start to see boxing as having a theatrical, unreliably subjective component similar to that of professional wrestling?
This weekend will offer two noteworthy fights, as Miguel Cotto takes on Delvin Rodriguez and Wladimir Klitschko demolishes Alexander Povetkin. Cotto will be attempting to redeem himself after two comprehensive defeats, and Klitschko will be tying up a loose end he’s been pursuing for some time. Povetkin has been waiting for this chance to prove his inferiority also, and this Saturday will bring a conclusion to the charade.
Mayweather dominated Alvarez like all his other recent opponents without any of the difficulties I anticipated. Even with his incredible ability and formidable technique, Alvarez looked helpless for most of every round. A single, misguided judge, C.J. Ross, stepped down after scoring the fight a draw. I am very pleased to see that something significant came of this most egregious error in scoring from an experienced official. The last comparable robbery I can recall is the Williams-Lara debacle which resulted in a precedent-setting suspension of all three judges. It’s possible that, without major symbolic victories such as these, more bad decisions would be swept under the rug in the future. After such a one-sided fight with the opponent everyone expected to be the only worthy competitor, the question for Mayweather is no longer who next, but who’s left? I suppose fans could still be convinced to get excited about a just-past-prime Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, but because of promotional conflicts that fight still seems unrealistic, as does a showdown with Martinez, which I wouldn’t expect to have a very different result from the Alvarez fight.
Tonight’s HBO broadcast should prove to be worth watching as the powerful if somewhat unrefined Brian Vera takes on the undisciplined Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I expect Vera’s defense to prove insufficient as Chavez will fall back on his physical ability to carry him through the fight and score enough points to win a decision, or possibly even score a late knockout.
Based on what happened last weekend in two sensational bouts, boxing fans are no more concerned with the future of the two competitors who won than they are with those who lost. Many are urging retirement for both fighters and yet many are also clamoring for more. Especially the impressive showing by Miguel Cotto has supporters demanding a swan song from the Puerto Rican star, asserting that his performance against Mayweather signifies great things for the fighter. Personally, I agree that the fight against Mayweather was indeed the crowning achievement on an already legendary career, but I don’t think Cotto’s retirement would be a tragedy. The only opponents I can see being interesting against Cotto now are Martinez and Alvarez. It would be interesting to see just how good those two rising stars really are.
Mosley did a lot better Saturday night than a lot of people give him credit for, especially when those people are boxing writers. I think as much as people focused on Cotto’s impressive showing that night, they overlooked the development that Alvarez showed. Fighting like he did, I don’t see a blown-up middleweight like Chavez Jr. giving Alvarez much trouble, but fans of Chavez disagree. In other words, both these guys did well against fantastically strong opponents, if Mosley was somewhat less impressive. What do we want from them now? For them to sacrifice themselves on the altar of the squared circle in order to prove some stubborn compulsion to fight past the finish line?
All the fighters from last weekend’s event gave the fans everything they could ask for and more. Maybe the roaring crowds will let them rest now without criticism once the dust settles. Seeing either of them in the ring again would be a privilege, but seeing them move on before it’s too late would be too.