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Our call: Cinco de Canelo

By Jose Romero - May 05, 2017

If Cinco de Mayo weekend should mean anything in this country, it is that we are all treated to a big-time boxing mega-fight. 

And this Saturday in Las Vegas is as good as it gets for the community that helps keep the sport afloat -- Mexicans and Mexican Americans. 

They'll help fill T-Mobile Arena. They'll constitute a big percentage of the pay-per-view buys. And some will be Team Chavez, while many will be Team Canelo. 

It's the fight the Mexican community has long waited to see, maybe ever since Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Oscar De La Hoya fought many years ago. 

The oddsmakers money is on Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, and he is the more polished fighter. Canelo is only 26 years old and has been a professional since he was 15, with 50 fights to his credit. His only loss was to the guy everyone loses to, Floyd Mayweather Jr., in 2013. 

While Canelo has been criticized for ducking some quality opponents at certain times, he's beaten some very good ones. He emerged as a force to be reckoned with in 2010 with his knockout of Carlos Baldomir in Los Angeles, and since then has wins over Kermit Cintron, Sugar Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, James Kirkland, Josesito Lopez and Erislandy Lara, all quality fighters.

Canelo has more recently earned wins over Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan, two of the sport's biggest names over the past couple of years. 

Chavez Jr. is the son of a legend, and it's been hard for him to live up to his father's status as icon. He's lost twice in his last six fights, and has looked out of shape. He has 50 wins and only the two defeats, but his resume of opponents pales in comparison to that of Canelo. 

Chavez looked trim and fit this week, but how much weight will he put on between the weigh-in and the fight? It could inhibit his performance, as it has in the past. 

Canelo's biggest challenge could be that he is facing a free-swinger with an unorthodox style in Chavez. But Canelo has the technical advantage and should have most of the crowd on his side on Saturday. 

Chavez is a draw because of his name, and has probably won a couple of fights based on that name and what it means to Mexicans. But he has never really shown a flair for the dramatic, doesn't put on much of a show and had better come to the ring with a strategy on Saturday, or he'll be embarrassed.

Chavez deserves some credit for wins over quality fighters like Sergio Martinez, Andy Lee and Marco Antonio Rubio, but those represent the majority of his high-caliber decisions. 

Canelo certainly can't afford to look ahead to a possible matchup with Gennady Golovkin, which could be in the cards should he win. A fight with "GGG" would solidify Canelo's status as one who is willing to fight the best of the best. 

But first things first. He needs to take care of business against Chavez, which he should do.


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