AFTER succumbing to Canelo Alvarez in a one sided points defeat at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday (May 6), Julio Cesar Chavez Jr explained his dismal performance.
He did not put it down to Canelo hurting him early on or his own decision to retreat from him and decline to engage. He put it down to being out of action for so long before the fight, only boxing once last year. “Canelo’s a great fighter, he did his job tonight and the inactivity, it hurt me here tonight,” he said. “I always thought he was a good fighter. He just had better timing, a better fighter tonight. The activity helped him and [inactivity] hindered me.”
Chavez weighed in at 164lbs, the lightest he has been since 2012. He admitted that that drained him. “Tonight I did the best that I could. My body didn’t do the things that I wanted to do. That’s what happened tonight. I move on from it,” he said. “164lbs in five years from 168, I don’t feel as strong… I’m staying at 168, that’s the best for me and you know I could have changed a few things.
“It wasn’t working. He did a good fight he was very smart in there, very intelligent what he was doing. He never changed his plans, he never risked too much. He did enough.”
Junior did not fault his gameplan. “I’ll keep working with Nacho [Beristain, his trainer]. I think the strategy was smart, fight him in the middle of the ring, that’s what we wanted to do. When he went to the ropes, I just didn’t have the strength to go after him and do some damage,” Chavez said.
He blamed making the weight for his low punch output, and counter-intuitively did not rate Canelo’s power. “He didn’t hurt me,” Chavez claimed. “He’s not a big natural puncher. I felt his punch but not to hurt me. I just want to tell the people of Sinoloa I apologise. Obviously they wanted a war, I couldn’t give it to them tonight. My body just wasn’t able to.”
He had to concede that Alvarez is the best Mexican fighter operating today. “What he’s doing in the ring is smart,” said Julio. “He does things right, he’s dedicated, he works. You saw tonight the best I tried. [Sergio] Martinez is better but I think he is the best Mexican fighter at this moment in time.”
Furthermore he expects Alvarez to perform against Gennady Golovkin in September. Chavez reckoned, “It’s a tough fight, it’s a good fight. Canelo showed tonight how good he can be. I think Golovkin will be the favourite but it’s a 50-50 fight.”