Just a few years ago, fans of Mexican boxing were engaged in a heated debate: who would follow in the footsteps of Julio Cesar Chavez to become Mexico’s next great boxing icon? In one corner, there was Chavez’s son, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., a confident yet raw fighter whose pedigree was undeniable. In the other corner was Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez, a prodigious pugilist who was steadily climbing the ranks after turning pro at 15. As each fighter’s profile grew, fans began calling for Chavez Jr. and Canelo to fight each other and settle the question of who would be Mexico’s “next big thing.”
Unfortunately, Chavez Jr.’s career plateaued. After losing to Sergio Martinez in 2012, Chavez Jr. tested positive for marijuana use. He was suspended for nine months and ever since, he’s been criticized for lacking discipline — even by his own father.
Alvarez’s star continued to rise, leading to a much-hyped fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. Despite losing to Mayweather, Canelo has maintained his status as one of boxing’s brightest stars.
Boxing fans were hoping to see a bout between Canelo and Genaddy Golovkin, a heavy puncher from Kazakhstan considered one of boxing’s best. But if you follow boxing, you know the best fights don’t always happen at the right moment. Instead of Golovkin, it appears Canelo has Chavez Jr. in his sights.
Chavez Jr. says he’s game but recently tweeted that he hasn’t been offered a contract.
— Julio Cesar Chavez (@jcchavezjr1) January 11, 2017
“I’m waiting for them to send me the contract for the fight but I haven’t received it. I’ve said ‘yes’ to everything @GoldenBoyBoxing,” wrote Chavez.
Oscar De La Hoya, founder of Golden Boy Promotions, says Chavez Jr. is full of it.
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) January 12, 2017
Then Canelo got into the fray, telling Chavez Jr. that his promoter is treating him like a child.
@jcchavezjr1 no dejes que te traten como a un niño, el contrato lo tiene tu gente desde ayer fírmalo y que se haga la pelea ??
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) January 12, 2017
“@jcchavezjr1 don’t let them treat you like a child, your people have had the contract since yesterday, sign it so we can make the fight happen,” wrote Canelo.
Chavez Jr. fired back by saying he didn’t want Canelo to hype things up and then duck him, like he did with Genaddy Golovkin.
@Canelo la gente sabe que no es justo lo que intentaste hacer con otro peleador que no quisiste pelear con el ay que tener humildad canelo
— Julio Cesar Chavez (@jcchavezjr1) January 12, 2017
“@Canelo the people know what you tried to do with another fighter and it was unfair… you didn’t want to fight him. You need to have humility,” wrote Chavez Jr.
Just last year, the two were posing for pictures together. This year, they may face off in the ring.
— Julio Cesar Chavez (@jcchavezjr1) August 14, 2016
Who’s telling the truth? Who knows. According to the Los Angeles Times, De La Hoya is currently suing Chavez Jr.’s promoter, Al Haymon, over “monopolistic practices,” which could explain why there appears to be a miscommunication between the two camps. Maybe it’s all just fabricated drama to hype the fight. If the fight does take place, it will be scheduled for May 6, with Las Vegas as the frontrunner to host the bout.