Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 28th
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austin-trout-martinez-alvarez-chavez-jrIt is bad enough when a promoter is attempting to protect his own fighter, or when a sanctioning body begins doing the same.  However, when they are both in it together, it is amazing how long a prospect can go untested.

Canelo Alvarez is no longer a prospect, and neither is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.  They are bonified contenders now, as their respective victories over Shane Mosley and Andy Lee finally show.  However, the WBC in particular seems to be of the practice of making a man a champion before he is even a contender.  Both of these men replaced Sergio Martinez as champion in two respective weight classes, without ever defeating him.  They did so with the help of the WBC, and their respective promoters: Golden Boy and Top Rank.  

Chavez has no one else with whom to cash in.  He is being forced to finally face Martinez.  The timing is right, too.  Arum has built him up to the point where his confidence is high, and his strong chin has been revealed.  Therefore even if he loses to Martinez, it will probably not be humiliating.  This will enable JC Jr to blame the loss on weight issues, and move up to 168 with his fan base still intact.  Given Martinez' propensity for having close-ish fights, it might even be close enough for the old Chavez corruption magic to work a screw job decision.  This is Arum we are talking about here.  

For Alvarez, however, he gets a smoother ride.  There are huge names in Mayweather and Pacquiao for him to face.  Promotional anger will likely prevent the Pacquiao fight from happening... as Arum would rather die than share a penny with Golden Boy.  That leaves Mayweather, whom Canelo is being groomed to lose to.  He will likely also not get the Pacquiao fight, no matter how badly the fans still want it, and Alvarez will be a nice payday for a May 5th or Sept 15 Mexico-pandering event.  

The proof of this little plan, is that vital contenders like Austin Trout and Cornelius Bundrage are being bypassed by Alvarez's management.  Both men have belts, and would help make Canelo look like the unquestioned man at 154lb, were he to get by them.  However, Trout has the skills and style to frustrate and defeat Alvarez, and while K9 would be a huge underdog, if Alvarez has any chin issues at all, we are going to find out with Bundrage.  I think Golden Boy would just assume we be kept ignorant of that aspect of Canelo's development.  

The only answer to this nonsense of over-protection is actually several answers.  We need to see fighters fight 6 times a year, not 2.  We need to see network TV pick up boxing again, so people other than the very best have a chance at stardom, and big money.  We also need a national commission to curb corrupt officiating.  All things that would happen if the fans had their druthers.  The obstacle to all of these things, are promoters.  How did that happen?  It says right in their name that they are supposed to bring more people to our sport.  However, it is them more than any other force, which are keeping fans away.

Chris Strait

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