It’s no secret that their followers are clamoring for an all-Mexican clash between THE RING’s No. 5-rated middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and THE RING’s No. 2-rated junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
In fact, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, who handles Chavez Jr., and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who has Alvarez, have already indicated to RingTV.com that they would soon like to match the two youngsters.
On Saturday night, Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KOs) did his part to assure that the clash remains a possibility with an HBO-televised sixth-round stoppage of Peter Manfredo Jr. in Houston.
Alvarez (38-0-1, 28 KOs) will attempt to similarly display his skills in yet another HBO-televised bout on Saturday when he risks his WBC 154-pound belt against veteran Kermit Cintron (33-4-1, 28 KOs) at Monumental Plaza de Toros, in Mexico City.
But Alvarez said he feels no pressure to equal the effort of his countryman, Chavez Jr., whose performance led the 30-year-old Manfredo Jr. to announce his retirement.
“You know, I’m not worried about Julio. I’m not worried about making a statement or anything. I’m concentrating on my fight and I’m just trying to do my job,” said the popular 21-year-old fighter said during a recent media conference call.
“I don’t worry about other things and I’m not influenced by anything else. I have to fight Kermit Cintron, and that’s my next fight and that’s all.”
The rivalry between Mexico, Alvarez’s country, and that of Cintron’s native Puerto Rico looms large.
“I’m motivated of course like you’re supposed to be when you’re fighting against a Puerto Rican fighter. He’s a great ex-champion. But more than anything, I’m motivated because he’s a good fighter,” said Alvarez.
“I’m fighting a very, very good fighter and a fighter that has a lot of experience. So the level of competition is actually what has me excited for this fight.”
Alvarez is coming off September’s contentious sixth-round knockout of Alfonso Gomez, who gave Alvarez some problems with his pressure early on.
“First of all, for the fight with Gomez, I felt very good about it. I felt very good. I didn’t execute my gameplan 100 percent, but I was comfortable in the fight. I felt good, and I got the job done,” said Alvarez.
“With regard to Kermit, he’s a better fighter. He’s at a higher level. He’s bigger, and he’s stronger, and obviously, a former champion, so he’s a better fighter than Gomez.”
“I think that I would like to fight Alvarez first,” Chavez Jr. said of a potential clash with Alvarez. “For the Mexican people.”
Photo by Eztel Espinosa, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org