Canelo Alvarez didn't have to beat up Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for 12 rounds on Saturday night in Las Vegas-but in doing so, he became a legitimate super middleweight contender.
After weeks of taunts from the prodigal son of Julio Cesar Chavez, the ginger-haired Mexican warrior silenced the unfortunate son in a fight that was so one-sided, the judges could have taken a holiday between rounds one and ten. It was a masterful showcase of boxing from Alvarez, who fired and landed at will against Chavez Junior for the entirety of the fight.
If Canelo wanted to land a jab, he landed two on his opponent. If he wanted to fire a crushing hook to the body, he didn't have a problem. By round six, Chavez Junior's face was red and his eyes swollen from the punishment. A knockout or technical stoppage may have lessened the message that needed to be sent to the boxing world: Canelo was ready for any and every possible kind of challenge. There were two separate rounds where Chavez Junior could only connect a punch to Canelo's face or body four times or less. Canelo didn't just beat Chavez Junior; he didn't seem to break a sweat doing so.
For Canelo, the win was a personal vendetta achieved in full. Years ago, Chavez Junior mouthed off about his Mexican counterpart only beating smaller fighters and not taking challenges. Perhaps, he missed the victories over Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara in 2014. Maybe Chavez Junior was too busy ripping apart his once promising career. Failing drug tests or failing to make weight or take his genetic makeup seriously, Chavez Junior could only talk trash about greater fighters.
Saturday night, Canelo silenced the man and may have ended his career. One thing is for sure: there is no question about who holds the crown not only in Mexico, but also in boxing at the moment.
With the sweeping victory over Chavez Junior, Canelo Alvarez's record sits at 49-1-1, with seven straight wins. A year after knocking Amir Khan out cold and 17 months after besting Miguel Cotto, Canelo passed another test-and in doing so, set himself for a superfight with Russian destroyer Gennady Golovkin on September 16.
After the post-fight interviews, Canelo called the nearby Golovkin into the ring, and the undefeated made a theatrical entrance to the ring from the dressing ring wearing a suit and a smile that had swagger dripping from it. The two men stood face to face in the ring, and set a date for war this fall.
Let me assure you of something: The Canelo-Golovkin fight will be bloody, thrilling, and perhaps the best boxing will offer in the next 10-15 years. What happens when you thrust an unstoppable force in Golovkin against an immovable force in Canelo? One of the greatest fights of all time.
The fight that everybody has demanded is finally happening, and perhaps wiping the floor with Chavez Junior was the final nail in the coffin in Canelo's middleweight preparation.
When asked about whether Saturday night's fight was boring, my answer was quick and assertive. Canelo Alvarez's easy destruction of Julio Cesar Chavez Junior was like watching Arnold Schwarzenegger dispose of bad guys in a cheesy 1980's action flick. You knew the end result, but enjoyed the process nonetheless.
What lies ahead is the real prize-a meeting between boxing's biggest punchers. Please get here quick, September.