In a special 164.5 lbs catchweight attraction between current 154 lbs champion Canelo Alvarez and former Middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., there was no title on the line other than the right to be called Mexico’s best boxer. As fans witnessed at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, that’s unquestionably Alvarez, who didn’t even lose a round.
Both men threw some heavy punches at each other in the first frame. Canelo touched up Chavez to the head and body with the left hook, with Chavez returning body shots of his own. Canelo was a little more active and was able to work his jab. Apart from that, Chavez Jr. nosedived into serious offensive impotence. Alvarez asserted himself more in the second round, scoring with beautiful combination punching and using his speed advantage well. Chavez Jr. was only able to muster a few shots against the ropes. The sharpness of Canelo’s jab again was apparent in the early stages. Chavez Jr. was bleeding out of his nose after a series of blows to the head in the third. Canelo was the dominant fighter in there and Chavez’s offense was sporadic.
Canelo began the fourth round with a big right hand and a left hook, with Chavez scarcely throwing anything back. It was a boxing clinic by Alvarez, who was effectively toying with Chavez like he didn’t belong in the same continent with him. Brutal uppercuts and hooks were landing at will and noticeably hurting Chavez. The output from Chavez was a pitiful 21 punches per round after the fourth. A walloping right hand in the fifth backed Chavez up. More swift punches to the body dropped Chavez’s guard, which opened up space for him to land upstairs. In the sixth, Canelo willingly backed up against the ropes and allowed Chavez to fire off a few punches, but they didn’t seem to have any effect on him. It was as if Canelo had complete disrespect for his boxing abilities.
Chavez started the second half of the fight in no better position than he was in the first half. Canelo again let him tee off against the ropes before blasting forward with gorgeous uppercuts on the inside. The left eye of Chavez was swollen from the merciless beating. Chavez was able to do some pressuring in the eighth and show a little more urgency, but Canelo was still able to counter him and out-land his rival. By the end of the round the crowd was turning against Chavez and the Canelo chants were growing louder.
Chavez’s best round was the ninth one, as Canelo wasn’t as active or as accurate as he was earlier in the fight. Alvarez again was fighting off the ropes and taking shots to the body, but Chavez needed much more than that to win the fight. Canelo returned to delivering the beatdown in the tenth, with Chavez’s left eye nearly swollen shut. Chavez was befuddled as to how to defend the jab of Alvarez (among other punches). The crowd was growing increasingly restless over the lopsided nature of the contest, which ran counter to the all-out war they were expecting. Round 11 was another prolonged masterclass by Canelo, with Chavez providing scant evidence that he’d make a heroic comeback. The vicious body shots were piling up, the nose was still bleeding, the eye was swelling further, the punch count was getting higher.
Capping off the easy decision victory, Canelo drilled Chavez with more uppercuts, more jabs, more hooks, and Chavez showed damn near nothing in response. It was a truly inept performance by Chavez and target practice for Canelo. This was a glorified sparring session and a waste of money.
Official result: Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs) by unanimous decision (120-108 x3)
If I may provide a one-sentence editorial: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is not 1/10th the fighter his father was, and may this be the last time he ever be within spitting distance of the relevant boxing scene.