Canelo Alvarez exuded confidence Monday as he continued training for his May 6 showdown against popular Mexican countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 knockouts) said in an extended conversation with the Los Angeles Times at his gym that he has confidence he’ll knock out Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs), who not only has a good chin but likely will inflate beyond the bout’s 164-pound limit at weigh-in to perhaps 180 pounds by the next night.
While he was at it, Alvarez added he has renewed self-assurance about his chances to defeat Gennady Golovkin in a possible September fight.
“It’s my first time moving up to this division and to this weight, but I do have the power to knock [Chavez] out when that opportunity occurs,” Alvarez said.
“Everything’s going great. The camp has been great. I feel stronger. I feel that now that I don’t have to cut weight, I feel more powerful. I can get more out of the training with less fatigue on my body.”
Alvarez, who last fought in September when he scored a ninth-round knockout of England’s Liam Smith to win the World Boxing Organization light-middleweight (154 pounds) title in front of more than 50,000 at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas, said Monday that he weighs 175 pounds.
Before beating Smith, Alvarez produced one of the most impressive knockouts of 2016 by flattening 155-pound foe Amir Khan with a massive sixth-round punch, sending him to a Las Vegas hospital.
While Chavez, the former 160-pound world champion, has battled questions about his commitment to training and has missed weight on a few occasions, he fought at 167 pounds in December and has posted photos on social media looking lean and muscular while working out in the mountains above Mexico City.
“I’m expecting the best Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I hope he is ready,” Alvarez said, “because I’m getting ready to give my best, fight to the best of my ability.
“My [advantages of] my experience, my discipline, my skills, my ability — [I expect] to use that in the ring.”
Three-belt middleweight champion Golovkin, 34, raised question marks March 18 about his previously perceived invincibility when his 23-fight knockout streak ended in a tightly contested unanimous-decision victory at Madison Square Garden over Daniel Jacobs.
Alvarez, 26, said he watched the bout.
“We — my camp and I — already knew what kind of fighter [Golovkin] was. We knew these things the media and the world are just seeing now,” Alvarez said. “To us, it’s nothing new. Same ol’ thing.”
What did Alvarez see in Jacobs’ showing that he believes he can duplicate or improve upon?
“What Danny Jacobs did, I can do much more on that fight night. Golovkin’s style is [one] that he doesn’t know how to go backwards. He doesn’t know how to fight from the outside. He’s very powerful and strong, but he only knows how to fight on the inside. If you’re in front of him, he’s going to get you. But if you’re around him, giving him a hard time … there’s so many ways to beat him.”
Alvarez, who has conducted past interviews by speaking in Spanish, even agreed to answer some questions in English and was especially forthcoming about the excitement around the first Cinco de Mayo pay-per-view card headlined by two Mexicans.
“I’m very excited. Two Mexicans. Cinco de Mayo weekend. It’s great for me,” he said. “Two Mexicans on pay-per-view … it should be a great day for the Mexican people.”