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Canelo Alvarez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bet of purse money could be all for show

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Canelo Alvarez, left, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. strike a pose during a news conference Monday in Mexico City.
(Marco Ugarte / Associated Press)

Even if it was sealed by a handshake on national television in their home country, the high-stakes bet between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. means nothing unless it becomes part of a revised signed contract, the head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission said Wednesday.

Alvarez, who’ll meet Chavez Jr. on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a 164-pound catch-weight bout, got flustered Tuesday, according to people observing a segment with HBO’s Max Kellerman and offered to wager Chavez his entire purse to underline how confident he is about a victory.

One official there said Alvarez grew agitated “and said, ‘I’ll bet you my whole purse.’ … People were breathing deeply, and then they shook hands.”

The fighters repeated the scene on Univision, and Alvarez promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who was sitting next to Alvarez, tweeted, “Things just got real! @Canelo and @jchavezjr1 just bet their purse!”

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While their fan bases might never forgive the losing fighter who ultimately will likely avoid following through on the deal, purse money has legal protections.

Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett, whose office delivers guaranteed purse checks to fighters, said it’s unlikely such a deal — conveniently timed during a four-city promotional tour — ever becomes reality.

“I’m not even sure our deputy attorney general would even allow it — betting purses is a lot of money and doesn’t seem like a wise thing to do,” Bennett said.

“If they want to put that in their new contract, then I’d see, but we don’t condone our fighters betting against each other for their purses. It’s never been done in my time here.”

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