Boxing

Canelo Alvarez wins to set up mega-money Golovkin bout, but does Arlington have a shot?

Canelo Alvarez, right, of Mexico, hits Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., of Mexico, during their catch weight boxing match Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Canelo Alvarez, right, of Mexico, hits Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., of Mexico, during their catch weight boxing match Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Las Vegas. AP

In boxing, only the ring is square, as the saying goes, so nobody is surprised that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez easily defeated Julio Chavez Jr. on Saturday night in a match that perhaps never should have been made.

Immediately after the obligatory drubbing was dispensed, Alvarez and middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin of Russian announced that their mega-fight would happen Sept. 16, 2017, the Mexican Independence Day holiday.

The contract has been signed, The Associated Press reported, only the venue is undetermined.

Last year, Alvarez defeated Britain’s Liam Smith on Sept. 17, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, but it seems unlikely Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could pry this fight out of Las Vegas. Saturday night, 20,510 watched Alvarez-Chavez Jr. at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.

Getting the Raiders out of Oakland into Las Vegas was a piece of cake. Getting a blockbuster fight out of Las Vegas might be another thing.

Mexico vs. former Russia/Soviet Union (Golovkin is from Kazakhstan), in Texas, AT&T Stadium, on Mexican Independence Day, with maybe Jerry Jones and President Donald Trump ringside? Too perfect.

So, how lopsided was the Alvarez-Chavez Jr. fight, a matchup of former middleweight champions in a catchweight bout at 164 pounds? Alvarez won every round on all three judges’ cards, the 10-9s adding up to 120-108.

Alvarez had a 228-71 edge in punches landed and an 83-15 advantage in jabs landed, the AP reported.

But as ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas replied on “SportsCenter” on Saturday night when asked why the bout was scheduled, “For money.”

I still favor Golovkin, but as I said a lot closer now, because Canelo has been improving over the last two years. And I’ve seen a little sliding (from Golovkin).

ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas

“I mean, It’s pretty simple. The promoters knew if they put this son of a legend [Chavez Jr.] in the ring with another Mexican fighter, a Mexican fighter that’s one of the top 10 fighters in the world, they knew that the great Latino fan base would come out, and that means pay-per-view numbers, that means money.

“And what they also knew is that they would not risk their golden goose, the Triple G fight would still be safe, still be in front of them.

“So get [Alvarez] some rounds, keep him busy, make a lot of money, also use it to build the Triple G fight, because if you have a dominant performance, which is what I figured it would be, now you can sell the fight for the max.

“And that’s what the promoters are in there for, to make money.”

Atlas said boxing will have to weather the storm of “angry fans who want a rebate on their ticket” after the Chavez Jr. debacle.

But the Alvarez-Golovkin matchup is too tempting, Atlas indicated.

“I thought a year and a half ago Golovkin was too big and strong for Canelo. I really did,” Atlas said.

But Golovkin “is 35 years old now, he’s slidin’, there’s no doubt, but he’s still a big and strong guy, he’s a guy that’s aggressive, he’s a guy that will throw punches.” (Chavez Jr. didn’t0.

The pay-per-view numbers, Atlas said, “will go through the roof. I still favor Golovkin, but as I said a lot closer now, because Canelo has been improving over the last two years. I haven’t seen any improvement from Golovkin. And I’ve seen a little sliding.”

There’s a sucker, a boxing fan and a Cowboys fan born every minute, and bless us all.

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