Golovkin shot on line in Mex­ico grudge match

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Mexican brag­ging rights, and a pos­si­ble mid­dleweight world ti­tle shot, will be on the line in Las Ve­gas to­mor­row when Saul “Canelo” Al­varez takes on Julio Chavez Jr in a Cinco de Mayo week­end fight.

Al­varez, the reign­ing World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion su­per wel­ter­weight world cham­pion and a for­mer mid­dleweight world champ, is a heavy favourite as he steps up to a catch­weight of 74.62 kg.

With a record of 48-1 with one drawn and 34 knock­outs, Al­varez rides a streak of six vic­to­ries into the bout at the T-Mo­bile Arena in­clud­ing knock­outs of Amir Khan and Liam Smith in his last two fights.

Chavez boasts a record of 50-21 with 32 knock­outs and is a for­mer mid­dleweight world cham­pion. But his er­ratic ca­reer tra­jec­tory in­cludes a pos­i­tive test for mar­i­juana and in re­cent years trou­ble mak­ing weight.

Crit­ics — in­clud­ing Al­varez — claim Chavez would never have got­ten away with his lack of pro­fes­sion­al­ism if it wasn’t for the rev­er­ence with which his fa­ther, Julio Ce­sar Chavez, is re­garded among Mexican fight fans.

“I think a lot of his fans are more his fa­ther’s fans than his, and his fans fol­low his fa­ther, what his fa­ther says,” Al­varez said in the build-up to the fight.

“He him­self has not had a real dis­ci­plined ca­reer.

“He is not a role model for the young chil­dren and the young fight­ers,” said Al­varez, who was in­fu­ri­ated by Chavez’s digs over his fail­ure to make a fight with un­beaten Kazakh Gen­nady Golovkin.

Al­varez dumped his World Box­ing Coun­cil mid­dleweight world belt last year when the sanc­tion­ing body gave him a 15-day win­dow to make a fight with Golovkin af­ter the Mexican’s knock­out vic­tory over Khan.

Al­varez is still in­censed that the WBC handed the ti­tle to Golovkin.

He said this week that if to­mor­row’s bout does spring­board him into a bout with the 37-0 Kazakh — who scrapped plans for a June fight against Billy Joe Saun­ders to be ready for a pos­si­ble big-money Al­varez clash — it will hap­pen “with­out the WBC.”

“For all of the other ti­tles, but not theirs,” Al­varez said. AFP

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