Mexico has always had stars in boxing, but no one was bigger than the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez. This era’s biggest Mexican fighter is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and now he’s getting ready to clash with the icon’s family.
Alvarez will fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 for an HBO pay-per-view event, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Friday.
The all-Mexican blockbuster fight will be set at a catchweight of 164.5 pounds with Las Vegas being the frontrunner to land arguably the biggest bout in Mexican boxing history. Alvarez, the current WBO junior middleweight champion, has never fought above 155 pounds. Chavez, the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., is dropping from his usual 168 pounds at super middleweight.
“I’m excited to announce my fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and confirm that I will be prepared, like I’ve been throughout my career, to give a great fight,” Alvarez, 26, said in a statement. “I want to remind you that when two Mexican fighters face-off, a spectacular show is guaranteed, and I can assure you that May 6 will be no exception especially during the Cinco de Mayo festivities.”
The venue wasn’t announced by Golden Boy Promotions, but Las Vegas will be the site for the bout, according to Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett. Golden Boy Promotions was granted permission by the NAC to use T-Mobile Arena for May 6 during its monthly meeting on Friday.
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) January 13, 2017
“Golden Boy told me personally and in writing that they will have a May 6 fight in Las Vegas,” Bennett said. “It’s going to be T-Mobile Arena, but maybe they look at the MGM. Not sure, but the fight is in Las Vegas.”
A fight headlined by two Mexican stars could fill a football stadium if Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium decides to join the sweepstakes. Golden Boy Promotions chose AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, over the T-Mobile Arena for Alvarez’s September victory against Liam Smith. More than 50,000 boxing fans attended the bout.
Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 knockouts) is a former middleweight champion and was once believed to be the better Mexican fighter over Alvarez. Chavez, 30, has struggled making weight the last few years and was once suspended nine months and fined $900,000 by the NAC for failing a marijuana drug test following a 2012 loss to Sergio Martinez at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Chavez recently returned from a 16-month hiatus to defeat Dominik Britsch and appeared to be in shape after making weight at 167.5 pounds.
“I dedicate this fight to Mexico,” Chavez said. “I’m going to win, but my country will too because this is the fight that boxing needs.”
Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) went on to flourish after his first career defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand in 2013 and now puts up the best PPV numbers from any current boxer.
Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, defeated Chavez’s father twice in Las Vegas during the 1990s.
“Canelo, the biggest star in boxing, will take on not only a former world champion in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but the son of the biggest star in the history of boxing in Mexico,” De La Hoya said. “Add in 98 victories and 66 knockouts between these two superstars along with a Cinco de Mayo fight date, and you have a can’t-miss battle.”
Contact Gilbert Manzano at email@example.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.