If you haven’t heard, there is a big fight in Las Vegas this Saturday, featuring Mexico’s two biggest sells: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO’s) and Julio Caesar Chavez Junior (50-2-1, 32 KO’s).
The ginger-haired 26-year-old is an odds-on favorite at -600, while the son of the legendary Mexican enters at +400.
Is it worth putting your money on the underdog? Probably not. Chavez Jr., though he looks ripped and maintained his composure in camp (mostly), the skill level between him and his opponent looks a bridge too far to cross. Julio hasn’t beaten a highly-rated foe in nearly half a decade, when he was largely outboxed before stepping on the gas and stopping Irishman Andy Lee.
Alvarez, however, is widely viewed as a pound-for-pound fighter who has put out consistent performances. He has progressed, as well, showing sharper defense and the subtleties you gather from ring experience. He also doesn’t have the baggage Chavez has.
The undercard features some notable talent. Marlen Esparza, Ronny Rios, David Lemieux, Lucas Matthysse and Joseph Diaz will all be participating.
Marlen Esparza (1-0) has a winnable fight against Samantha Salazar (2-3-1).
Ronny Rios (27-1, 12 KO’s) squares off with Daniel Noriega (30-10-1, 15 KO’s) in a bout aimed at getting Rios more experience.
Montreal-resident David Lemieux (37-4, 33 KO’s) is staying active after his show-stopping performance against fellow banger, Curtis Stevens. He will take on rugged journeyman, Marcos Reyes (35-4, 26 KO’s).
Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KO’s) gets back into the mix after a 19-month layoff, but at a higher division this time, 147. His first test is fringe contender, Emmanuel Taylor (20-4, 14 KO’s), who has had solid showings against Adrien Broner and Chris Algieri.
“Jo-Jo” Diaz (23-0, 13 KO’s), a former amateur standout and one of Golden Boy’s favorite prospects, matches wits with fellow unbeaten featherweight, Manuel Avila (22-0, 8 KO’s).
Edis Tatli (29-1, 10 KO’s), one of the better defensive fighters in the game, stays busy against Belgium-resident, Francesco Patera (17-2, 7 KO’s).
Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KO’s) continues his ascent up the heavyweight ladder in a fight with a last-minute replacement, that being former ESPN Boxcino participant, Razvan Cojanu (16-2, 9 KO’s)
Russian up-and-comer, Umar Salamov (18-0, 13 KO’s), gets into the ring with Emil Markic (24-1, 19 KO’s).
George Kambosos Jr. (11-0, 6 KO’s), an Australian lightweight to watch, who has quick hands and has had a good amount of sparring stateside, is paired in a domestic showdown with another prospect, Qamil Balla (11-0-1, 5 KO’s).