‘Canelo’ Alvarez beats Chavez Jr., will face Golovkin in September

Updated May 7, 2017 - 2:18 am

The showdown between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was supposed to be the latest chapter in the All-Mexican ring wars.

Instead, the announced crowd of 20,510 at T-Mobile Arena got a glorified tuneup match on Saturday.

Alvarez dominated Chavez for a shutout unanimous decision, 120-108 on all three scorecards, and ended the night by announcing his long-awaited bout with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in September.

It was a strange setup before the biggest fight that could be made in boxing today was made official. The night started with fans booing Alvarez before the first bell in favor of Chavez.

The crowd booed more when Chavez failed to do his part in the overhyped matchup.

“I showed I could move, I could box, I showed as a fighter I can do all things,” Alvarez said. “I thought I was going to showcase myself as a fighter that could throw punches, but he just wouldn’t do it.”

Fans booed again while heading for the exits after the 11th round.

Then the Kazakhstan flag appeared on the big screens, and Golovkin made his WWE-like entrance to the ring.

All of a sudden, Alvarez had his fans again. The crowd chanted “Ca-nel-o! Ca-nel-o!” when the Mexican superstar found himself going face-to-face with Golovkin, who was sporting a suit.

“I feel very excited, right now is a different story,” Golovkin said. “In September, it will be a different style — a big drama show. I’m ready.”

The venue wasn’t announced, but Golden Boy Promotions has reserved T-Mobile Arena for Sept. 16.

Alvarez did his part in the All-Mexican showdown by displaying vicious combinations that ended with Chavez’s head snapping back repeatedly.

The red-haired fighter needed a dance partner. That’s where Golovkin comes in.

The middleweight kingpin isn’t from Mexico, but he fights like one.

“I will give the fans Mexican style,” said Golovkin, who has a big Latino fan base.

Chavez Jr. won the mind games by getting the soft-spoken Alvarez to bark back before the fight.

Chavez, who was visibly absent from the boxing scene the past half decade, even managed to win the popularity contest before the first round.

The son of the legend with the same name let his fans down again by not firing back at Alvarez in the ring.

“Canelo beat me, he beat me at the distance,” Chavez said. “He is a very active fighter. … He’s very good and he beat me.”

Lemieux vs. Reyes

The hard-hitting David Lemieux couldn’t put the iron-chinned Marcos Reyes away during the co-main event.

Lemieux punished Reyes for 10 rounds with vicious body shots and left hooks to Reyes’ right eye, but the battered Mexican refused to go down.

The Canadian had to settle for a unanimous decision, with two judges scoring the bout 99-90 and the other 98-91.

“He is a solid fighter,” Lemieux said. “I give him the respect, he went the full 10 rounds. I could have done better, but I hurt my hand after round two.”

Matthysse vs. Taylor

There were no signs of rust for the boxer known as “The Machine.”

After 20 months away from the ring, Lucas Matthysse pummeled Emmanuel Taylor for a fifth-round technical knockout.

Matthysse, known for his memorable brawls, dropped Taylor multiple times with powerful right hands.

“This victory motivates me,” Matthysse said. “This is exactly what I needed to come back where I left off. I felt great inside the ring, and I felt like I dominated the fight at the pace I wanted.”

It was the first time the Argentina native fought at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

Diaz vs. Avila

Rising featherweight contender Joseph Diaz Jr. had a near shutout against Manuel Avila to open the pay-per-view card.

The speedy Diaz put himself at the front of the line for a world title shot after the judges gave him the 100-90, 99-91, 99-91 unanimous decision.

“My plan going in was to feel him out and be smart,” Diaz said. “Once I had him figured him out, I knew I could keep digging at him with my jab and do work.

“Next up, I’m looking for a world title shot.”

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

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