Can an underdog win?

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Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

The upcoming May 6 bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Canelo Alvarez is shaping up to be an interesting fight, even if the junior of one of Mexico’s greatest boxers is coming in as the underdog. This should, however, should not be a surprise.

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While Alvarez is definitely bringing in better credentials into the ring, the size advantage of Chavez can never be discounted. In fact, the contracted catch weight for the fight, which is 164.5 pounds, heavily favors Chavez who at 6’1” towers over the 5’9” Alvarez. And as I have stated many times in my past columns, the present weigh in rules favor the bigger fighter who can put on more weight for the fight. Weigh ins today are conducted at least 24 hours before the fight. Under the old rules, weigh ins are conducted a few hours before the fight.

So during the actual bout, Chavez can weigh as much as 170 pounds while Alvarez may tip the scales at 165 pounds. While Alvarez is The Ring middleweight (160 pounds) champion, most of his fights have been at welterweight (147 pounds) and junior middleweight (154 pounds). Chavez is not ranked by The Ring.

However, Alvarez is the much younger fighter at 26 years old while Chavez is 31.

Looking at the numerous fight videos of Chavez and Alvarez, fans can expect an exciting bout that has a chance to end in a knockout.

The main weapon of Chavez has been the right cross, which should be a surprise because that is the favorite weapon of taller fighters. Alvarez, on the other hand, makes good use of both the left hook and right cross.

Chavez is more Mexican in his fighting style because he loves to move forward and engages in flurries, but is not really good in defense. On the other hand, Alvarez is more cerebral in his approach and has better defense, but is still willing to exchange punches.

To believe that Chavez has nothing to gain in this fight while Alvarez has everything to lose is a fallacy, because Chavez still wants to prove that he deserves his surname. If Chavez was not the son of a great Mexican fighter, there won’t be much expectations from him to excel in the ring, so somehow Chavez will feel he has to put out his 101-percent effort when he faces Alvarez this May. While Chavez’s father held world titles in three divisions, he has only held the World Boxing Council middleweight title so far. Maybe Chavez should have aspired to be an actor? Or should we admire Chavez for putting his good looks on the line by becoming a professional boxer?

As for Alvarez, he has been criticized lately for not taking on a legit middleweight fighter who can really test him, and Chavez may just be the fighter who can show to the world if Alvarez is the real deal.

So can Chavez, the big underdog in this fight, win?

If Chavez wins, especially by stoppage, the boxing world will be clamoring for him to face undefeated knockout artist Gennady Golovkin who has been aching to fight Alvarez.

But let’s not spoil the May 6 fight between Chavez and Alvarez by clamoring for Chavez-Golovkin. Also, Alvarez winning over Chavez can pave the way for Alvarez-Golovkin, which can become the marquee fight of the 21st century.

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