Saul “Canelo” Alvarez set the stage for a fall mega-fight, when he cruised to a unanimous decision win over Julio Chavez Jr. in a 12-round beatdown to claim Mexican bragging rights on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Alvarez used Chavez for target practice, landing jabs, hooks and combinations at will as he won every round of the 164-pound (75 kg) fight on all three judges’ scorecards.
Chavez, who has a four inch (10 cm) height advantage, was booed during and after the fight by the standing room only crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.
Alvarez treated the lopsided bout as if it were a sparring session in the gym, even standing up between rounds for the entire fight.
He landed 228 punches to just 71 for Chavez and an incredible 31 percent of his jabs connected as he had his way with former champion Chavez, who has largely made his career off the name of his famous boxing champion father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
Alvarez, who is the World Boxing Organization light middleweight champion, improved to 49-1-1 with his only loss coming against Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
There was no title on the line Saturday as Alvarez moved up in weight to fight the much bigger Chavez at a catchweight of 164lbs. Alvarez was the heavy favorite going into the fight and it didn’t take long to see why. Chavez had no answer for the punches from Alvarez which often came in combinations of three, four and sometimes even six.
Now Alvarez will drop down to 160-pounds, to face IBO, IBF, WBA, WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on September 16, in what is going to be the biggest fight of the year.
The deal was officially announced on Saturday night.
“I feel very excited,” said Golovkin. “Right now is a different story. In September, it will be a different style — a big drama show. I’m ready. Tonight, first congrats to Canelo and his team. Right now, I think everyone is excited for September. Canelo looked very good tonight, and 100 percent he is the biggest challenge of my career. Good luck to Canelo in September.”