Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. — The Split

By Marc Livitz on May 4, 2017
Canelo vs. Chavez, Jr. — The Split
The presser was comprised almost exclusively of visitors from Mexico. (Hogan Photos)

De La Hoya opened the presser by declaring that the all-Mexico clash may well be the biggest in the country’s history…

According to reputable sources, the bulk of media who attended Wednesday afternoon’s final press conference at the MGM Grand was comprised almost exclusively of visitors from Mexico. Additionally, favoritism is in plain sight and perhaps that is a good thing. Whether individuals choose to privately or even publicly cheer for either Canelo Alvarez or Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Saturday’s clash at the T-Mobile Arena may be split, right down the middle in terms of support. Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Oscar De La Hoya opened the presser by declaring that the all-Mexico clash may well be the biggest in the country’s history. “Pump those brakes!” some may say. Of course, it’s his duty as a promoter to make such an assertion.

Regardless, even though Chavez, Jr. has already been dealt a few beatings in his career (at the hands of Sergio Martinez and Andrzej Fonfara, respectively) and that his dedication to the sport has been repeatedly called into question, some fans seem willing to adopt him for the evening if it means he delivers his own form of a beating to his opponent from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Likewise, Canelo’s slowly doing what he can to become a crossover star of sorts, perhaps most evident recently by his appearance in a Tecate beer commercial with Sylvester Stallone. Many would like to see him send the son of the legend packing for good. Underneath the rubble of what’s being touted as “bad blood” between the two combatants is the additional fact that the two men are contracted with rival television networks in their native land.

As a source in Mexico communicated to this writer, “en Mexico, la pelea pasa gratis en TV abierta y es competencia entre las dos principales de television, TV Azteca y Televisa.” In Mexico, Televisa and TV Azteca aren’t exactly friends. In any case, each powerhouse company is televising the bout free of charge to Mexican based households. It’s somewhat reminiscent of when HBO and Showtime found a way to play nice for the sake of two titanic promotions, most recently the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao clash two years ago as well as when Lennox Lewis squared off against Mike Tyson in 2002. It can be done. Now the challenge will be to see if fans north of the border are willing to pay $70, more or less to watch the bout at home or spend four hours at a cinema. We’ll find out next week. Inflated figures or not, the fact that the bout sold out in around ten days and Vegas hotel ballrooms are selling tickets to see the bout on CCTV is a step in the right direction.

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