Weekend boxing tips: Alvarez v Chavez Jr

Alvarez Chavez

After 11/2 and 11/4 winning tips on last weekend's big Joshua v Klitschko fght, our Simon Crawford previews Saturday night's all-Mexican battle between Saul Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Recommended bets: Alvarez v Chavez

2pts Saul Alvarez to beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr between rounds 7-9 at 5/1- Alvarez is levels above Chavez and will force the stoppage.

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Nothing could be more fitting to celebrate Mexico's national Cinco de Mayo holiday than to have two of its biggest sporting icons go head-to-head in a mouth-watering clash in Las Vegas.

Saul Alvarez takes on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in a catchweight contest at 164.5lbs, with the winner seemingly on course for a showdown with granite-fisted middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.

But national pride will be at the forefront both fighter's mindset and we should be in for a quality encounter.

Canelo said: "He’s one more of the 50 of all my opponents that I’ve faced. I’ve wanted to rip their head off; I wanted to beat them; I wanted to knock them out.

"This is a little extra though. There’s a little bit more motivation, of course, because of the rivalry, but it’s another one of my fights.

"Titles are very important to me but this is above that. This goes above a title, any title. It’s for honour, for pride, and it’s very important for me. It’s also important to keep making history in my career." 

Alvarez (48-1-1, 32KOs) is the reigning WBO world super-welterweight champion - a title he ripped away from Liverpool's  Liam Smith via a ninth-round stoppage back in September - but he has  stated he has no intention of defending it and instead will focus all of  his intention on the 160lbs division.

Still only 26, he has  already packed so much into a stellar career which has seen him become a  two-weight world champion having beaten the likes of Amir Khan, Miguel  Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley and Kermit Cintron.

The only blot on his copybook is a majority points defeat at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr - but that is hardly a disgrace.

Chavez  (50-2-1, 32KOs) is five years older and also holds significant advantages in height and reach but in recent times has been campaigning up at light-heavyweight.

Son of former Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, he believes his size will have a crucial bearing on the fight.

"I do think I can knock him out," he said. "I am a big fighter; I have fought in the light-heavyweight division, a division where one punch can change the outcome of the fight. I think if  I land the right punch, I can knock him out.

"It is at a great time in my career. I think this is my last opportunity and I am going to take advantage of it."

I don't think there is is any doubt that Alvarez holds most of the aces when it comes being the more skillful, rounded and high-profle fighter of the two.

He has a stiff jab and creates good angles to throw lightning fast combinations with a 68 per cent knockout ratio testimony to the power he has at his disposal.

But will it still have the same impact having to move up in weight?

Chavez Jr is very much a maverick kind of character, sensational on his day but just as likely to skip training and miss weight.

He will not have found it easy to boil down to 164lbs and that could nullify his natural physical advantages.

He does have fast hands and is an intelligent boxer but when all is said and done I just don't think he is on the same level as Alvarez.

The fact Chavez has not mixed it at world level since he was bested by Sergio  Martinez - at middleweight - back in 2012 tells its own story.

Alavrez is tough and takes a shot well but I still think Chavez will make a  fast start and will look for an early stoppage by throwing some big bombs in an effort to catch his fellow Mexican cold.

But if this doesn't work, then I feel he will retreat into his shell and look to survive as I don't see a plan B in his locker.

However,  Alvarez is a master of picking the right shots and I think once he weathers the early storm, he will be able to pick off his opponent at will with body shots - which did for Liam Smith - particularly effective  against someone who perhaps is struggling at the weight.

Alvarez  is the odds-on favourote across the board and just a shade over evens in places to win by decision or inside the distance so not too much value there.

I believe he will have taken over by the  halfway mark so I am taking the 5/1 being offered by bet365 for him to win between rounds 7-9.

Where to watch on TV: BoxNation/BT Sport

 Posted at 0940 GMT on 05/05/17  

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