Get post-fight thoughts here including results from HBO’s Cinco de Mayo showdown: Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
You have to give it to HBO – they know how to promote a fight. When Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was first announced, it was met with cries of derision. And yet somehow, over the past few weeks, HBO managed to build real interest and make fans (myself included) think this was an exciting fight. It wasn’t. It was exactly what you thought it would be when you first heard about it. And that is not good.
Look, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has not shown up to fight in… ever? His trademark fight is one where he did nothing for 10.5 rounds, came alive when his opponent was injured late in the fight, and still lost. We heard he was motivated for this fight. Who knows, maybe he was. Maybe the skill gap meant that motivation didn’t matter. We don’t know. But we do know that Canelo had his way with Chavez and that Chavez never at any point even remotely came close to succeeding and never even fought with the kind of rough inside style that could perhaps give him any prayer in the fight.
Everyone comes out of this looking terrible. Canelo for taking this fight, Chavez for fighting with no heart, Chavez’s famed trainer Nacho Beristain for that fight plan, HBO for promoting this, me for telling you it might be good.
What an awful, awful fight.
Canelo calls out Golovkin, they show a pre-made GGG hype video in the arena, Golovkin comes to the ring complete with walk-out music like he’s a WWE champion, and it’s on – Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin September 16. Which is amazing. It really is – the biggest fight in boxing today. That announcement was tremendous, and the hype will be deservedly huge. But did we just pay $70 to watch one guy spar in preparation for a fight that was already signed? It certainly seems so.
Thoughts on the rest of the night:
- Boxing is a brutal sport, and sometimes, we get fights that really remind us of that savagery. David Lemieux vs. Marcos Reyes was just that – brutal. After 3 rounds, it looked like a Lemieux KO was coming at any second, as he battered a bloody Reyes around the ring. But Reyes simply would not go down. Over 10 rounds, he ate what CompuBox called 145 shots from one of the pound for pound hardest punchers in the game today, and he refused to give in. Lemieux started the fight hot, going for the fast KO in order to impress, but once it became clear Reyes has a granite chin, he settled down, boxed, and took the fight back into hand, fighting a very different but still dominant fight over the second half. Reyes had his moments, right up until literally the final bell, but this was easily Lemieux’s fight.
- Lucas Matthysse returned after 19 months and a suspected retirement, but you wouldn’t know he had been away from this performance. This was Matthysse at his best, as he outboxed Emanuel Taylor and landed heavy, serious shots starting from the opening bell. Taylor was rocked in pretty much every round. He went down in round 3, again in round 5, and though he made it back to his feet, referee Jay Nady wisely waved things off. Matthysse has the kind of style that people want to see, and tonight, he showed that he still has that in him. Expect to see him in another feature fight on HBO next time. I would love to see him in there against Amir Khan myself.
- PPV opener Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Manuel Avila was a perfectly acceptable professional boxing match. Diaz is moving up the ranks, and he had a solid performance here against a game opponent, while Avila showed that he belongs in the talks of prospects as well. Diaz showed off his technique and movement, particularly as the fight moved into the later rounds and he heated up. That said, this never really got going in any meaningful way. It was not bad, but it was not particularly good. Just… there. It happened. And there you have it.