Canelo Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez: Just what boxing needs?Written by Lee Cleveland
Boxing needs big fights.
And yes, Canelo Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, two fighters with crowd-pleasing styles, needs to happen in May.
There's not enough mainstream interest in Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin yet, the biggest fight in boxing and one that makes perfect sense.
For both fighters, the risk exceeds the reward because the money simply isn't there for a fight of that magnitude.
Despite what some boxing purists say, superfights, regardless of whether they make sense, are good for the health for the sport because they a) generate a lot of mainstream buzz, b) make a lot of money and c) sometimes help create stars.
Some say Oscar De La Hoya vs Manny Pacquiao was a senseless match-up but the outcome was totally unexpected and, more importantly, it garnered mainstream interest and was the catalyst for creating one of the biggest stars sports has ever known.
Let's face it... Great match-ups that make a lot of sense, like Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev and Lucas Matthysse, were quality bouts but only the sport's hardcore junkies cared.
Coverage for showdowns of that magnitude should be on the front page of mainstream publications yet they received very little buzz outside the boxing community because the casual fan in the U.S. either didn't know who they were or simply didn't care.
Given the all-important risk vs reward factor, a fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Canelo would be big enough - and mainstream enough - to make it worthwhile for both fighters and the winner may become a big star a la Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Oscar.
Perhaps the winner of Canelo vs Chavez Jr shines in front of a mainstream audience, increases his drawing power among the masses (i.e. non die-hard boxing fans) and fights Golovkin later this year when the money pot is much larger for both parties?
You can't throw two guys in the ring and say, "Fight!" Even when it makes perfect 'boxing' sense, it may not make 'business' sense.
Boxing needs stars, and the best way to create them is to showcase them in big fights in front of large, mainstream audiences.... Regardless of whether they always make 'boxing' sense.
Generate widespread public interest in the fighters first, and the superfights that DO make 'boxing' sense will follow.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.