Fresh off the “Big Drama Show” of Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko, boxing has another blockbuster to offer tonight (Sat., May 6, 2017) as Mexican sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez faces prodigal son Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MMAmania will have LIVE coverage of “Canelo vs. Chavez Jr.” tonight, starting with the HBO pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. You can also catch the undercard, which includes world-ranked Ronny Rios, below starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KO), who previously claimed he was not ready for Middleweight, faces the largest opponent of his career in Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KO), whose raw size and strength have felled the likes of Andy Lee in the past. It’s an intriguing stylistic clash at the very least and should make for quality television.
Three fights will set the stage for the main event. Middleweight destroyer David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KO) looks for another highlight-reel finish against Marcos Reyes (35-4, 26 KO), former 140-pound boogeyman Lucas Matthysse (37-4, 34 KO) looks for a successful Welterweight debut against Emmanuel Taylor (20-4, 14 KO), and Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr. (23-0, 13 KO) faces fellow Featherweight prospect Manuel Avila (22-0, 8 KO).
“Alvarez Vs. Chavez Jr.” Quick Results:
Catchweight: Canelo Alvarez def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by unanimous decision (120-108 x3)
Middleweight: David Lemieux def. Marcos Reyes by unanimous decision (99-90 x2, 98-91)
Welterweight: Lucas Matthysse def. Emmanuel Taylor by TKO at 1:21 of Round Five
Featherweight: Joseph Diaz Jr. def. Manuel Avila by unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91 x2)
“Alvarez Vs. Chavez Jr.” Play-By-Play Results:
Round one: Canelo on the front foot early. Both men working behind the jab. Canelo to the body. Body shot from Chavez. One minute in. Body shot by Canelo. Overhand right lands for him. Jabs by Canelo. One minute to go. Not much from Chavez at the moment. Slow final minute. 10-9 Alvarez.
Round two: Chavez looking a little more active. Considerable speed edge for Alvarez, who rips to the body. Chavez to the body. Alvarez’s jab looks very effective. One minute in. Left hooks low and high by Alvarez, Chavez backs him to the ropes and lands a few. Nasty uppercut and body shot by Canelo. Body shot again. One minute to go. Chavez with some jabs. Alvarez baking him down, goes to the body well. 10-9, 20-18 Alvarez.
Round three: Alvarez moving forward behind his jab. Chavez blocking combinations, not offering much in return. One minute in. Solid right hands by Canelo near the corner. Chavez with a left hook inside. Right cross, left uppercut, left hook from Alvarez. Hard right cross behind the guard. One minute to go. Combinations by Alvarez. Chavez with a nice combination on the ropes, backed off by a heavy cross and left hooks. Chavez bleeding from the nose. 10-9, 30-27 Alvarez.
Round four: Brutal body shots by Alvarez. Chavez is completely failing to bully Alvarez and if he can’t do that he’s in for a beating. Alvarez stalking forward with heavy combinations. 1-2-1 from Canelo, right hand by Chavez. Body shot from Canelo, uppercut upstairs. Heavy right cross. Uppercut and two right crosses. Right cross and uppercut. Alvarez is whooping on him. One minute to go. Gnarly body shot. 1-2 by Chavez, jab from Canelo. 10-9, 40-36 Alvarez.
Round five: Canelo back on the attack. Looking for big right hands. Stiff jabs from Canelo. HUGE counter right knocks Chavez back. One minute in. Uppercut, body shot, overhand right, body shot. Chavez with a right downstairs, very little behind it. Alvarez clubs him with an uppercut and cross. One minute to go. Right to the body by Alvarez. More jabs. Both whiff on right hands. Yet more Alvarez jabs until the bell. 10-9, 50-45 Alvarez.
Round six: Right to the body from Canelo, then to the head. Chavez retreating, showing very little volume. Hard right to the body from Canelo. One minute in. Left hook connects. Good work inside. Chavez isn’t even throwing at close range. Chavez backs him to the ropes, looks for a combination. One minute to go. Alvarez just standing with his back on the ropes, inviting Chavez in. Body shots by the big man. 10-9, 60-54 Alvarez.
Round seven: More of Alvarez stalking, putting together heavy combinations. Chavez covering up, not looking to counter. Chavez opens up on the ropes. Canelo forces him back with a combination, punctuated by a heavy right uppercut. One minute in. 1-2 from Canelo. Chavez to the body. Combinations again from Alvarez to the head and body. Chavez is finally throwing back, but still getting outclassed. One minute to go. Right to the body by Alvarez, 1-2 downstairs from Chavez. 10-9, 70-63 Alvarez.
Round eight: Alvarez simply isn’t troubled by anything Chavez is doing. Hard right hand upstairs from Canelo. Chavez does some work on the ropes. One minute in. Good left hook by Canelo to back him away. Alvarez back on the advance. They trade body shots. Straight right by Chavez. Combination by Alvarez on the ropes with a minute to go. Not much in the final minute. 10-9, 80-72 Alvarez.
Round nine: Canelo warned for a low blow early. Chavez tries some short uppercuts. Chavez backs him to the ropes and puts together combinations. Alvarez with stiff jabs in return. One minute in. Chavez banging away, warned for low blows himself. Combination backs Chavez off. Clinch. Body shot from Canelo. Cracking jab. One minute to go. Chavez backs him to the ropes, forced away fairly quickly this time. 10-9, 90-81 Alvarez.
Round ten: Alvarez moving forward. Nice body shot. 1-2 connects. Lead left hook, body shots, uppercut a minute in. Left hook and uppercut. Chavez to the body, eats a bigger right hand. Good uppercut by Alvarez. One minute to go. Chavez to the body, takes a glancing right cross. Alvarez with a cross and uppercut. Body shots and right hand on the pivot. 10-9, 100-90 Alvarez.
Round eleven: There’s just no drama here. Canelo is in full control and Chavez has done nothing to set the stage for a comeback. Canelo landing hard to the head and body. One minute in. Right hand through the guard, one to the body. Left hook upstairs. Good combination. One minute to go. Chavez is in almost total retreat. Canelo bouncing punches off his forearm. Right hand to the body strays low. 10-9, 110-99 Alvarez.
Round twelve: Alvarez still pursuing, still connecting. Good uppercut. Chavez has zero urgency. One minute in. Decent right by Chavez on the ropes. One minute to go. Canelo walking after him without a care in the world. Good counter rights. Double hooks. Another hook downstairs. 10-9, 120-108 Alvarez
Final result: Alvarez def. Chavez Jr. by unanimous decision
David Lemieux vs. Marcos Reyes
Round one: Lemieux marching forward as usual. Right hands to the body. Overhand right connects. Clinch. Jabs by Reyes a minute in. Right to the body from Lemieux. Double right hands, left hooks inside. Uppercut through the guard. Counter left hook stings Reyes. Reyes backs him off with a right cross. One minute to go. Lemieux to the body, takes a combination upstairs. Clinch. Clinch. 10-9 Lemieux.
Round two: Glancing right by Lemieux. Clinch. Straight right and body shots. 1-2 by Reyes. Left hook from Lemieux. The power difference is huge. One minute in. Clinch. Lemieux throwing heat, lands to the body. Reyes clinches. Left hook from Lemieux around the guard. One minute to go. Left hook and uppercut on the exit. That hook opened a cut on Reyes. Lemieux right cross. Reyes with a solid left hook. 10-9, 20-18 Lemieux.
Round three: Back to the advance from Lemieux. Hard body shots and a left hook appears to hurt Reyes. Right hand prompts Reyes to clinch. BIG uppercut on the ropes and he is in full seek-and-destroy mode. Reyes on his bicycle as Lemieux pursues. Reyes to the body. Another left hook has Reyes backing off. Big right hand and body shots. Reyes waving him on with a minute to go. Massive overhand right, uppercut. Lemieux’s beating the piss out of him. Left hook, right hand. Big 1-2. Uppercut and a savage hook to the body. Reyes throwing back, but just eating some massive shots. 10-8, 30-26 Lemieux.
Round four: Lemieux with a right downstairs. Double jab and left hook. 2-1 and Reyes clinches. One minute in. Reyes throwing arm punches. Combination lands for him. BIG right hand sends Reyes’ mouthpiece flying and he clinches to get the ref to put it back. Lemieux with a nice uppercut. One minute to go. 1-2 again from Lemieux. Good uppercut by Reyes, who’s throwing with furious abandon. Solid work by Reyes. Big right cross. Close round. 10-9, 40-35 Lemieux.
Round five: Counter right lands for Reyes. Lead right connects for Lemieux. Reyes throwing more volume. Pretty clear low blow. Left hook lands for him a minute in. Counter right. 1-2 lands, left hook comes back at him. Nice right hook. Right hand by Lemieux. Reyes offering much more volume. God body shot. One minute to go. Lemieux to the body. 1-1-2 by Reyes. 10-9 Reyes, 49-45 Lemieux.
Round six: Reyes opens up to the body. Lead right connects for Lemieux. One minute in. Lemieux just not throwing nearly enough and Reyes catches him with a combination. Right hand lands for Lemieux. To the body. Right hand from Lemieux and a jab knocks out Reyes’ mouthpiece again. One minute to go. Hard jab by Lemieux as Reyes steps into the clinch. Left hook lands. Close. 10-9 Reyes, 58-55 Lemieux.
Round seven: Left hook for Lemieux. Reyes digs to the body. Good body shot from Lemieux. One minute in. Overhand right connects, Reyes clinch. Left hook from Lemieux. BIG left hook from Lemieux and an uppercut afterwards seem to hurt Reyes, who ties up. Lemieux coming after him. Straight right lands. Reyes to the body inside. Another booming left hook. One minute to go. Right straight, left hook. Straight right. Body shot. Reyes with a solid straight right. Left hook by Lemieux. Reyes still fighting back until the bell. 10-9, 68-64 Lemieux.
Round eight: Left hook lands for Lemieux. Overhand right and a huge uppercut by Lemieux. Reyes has shrugged off some absurd punches. Combination by Reyes. Left hook again by Lemieux. One minute in. Sharp jab. Reyes goes low-high with a flurry. Again. Counter right by Reyes as Lemieux whiffs big. Another right by Lemieux. Lead right. One minute to go. Good shots by Reyes exiting the clinch. Another clinch. Another right by Lemieux. Reyes with a right cross. There’s some fighting after the bell as Reyes once again keeps throwing after the ref’s order, resulting in a lost point. 10-8, 78-72 Lemieux with the point deduction.
Round nine: Reyes with some decent punches in the first thirty seconds. Right hand by Lemieux. One minute in. Clinching. Reyes to the body. Left hook lands for him. Lemieux answers with one of his own. Good flurry from Reyes met by thumping left hook. Reyes ties up after taking more punches. One minute to go. Reyes doing fairly well when he opens up. Left hand lands for Lemieux. Hook upstairs. Again. 10-9, 88-81 Lemieux.
Round ten: Reyes still has some fight in him. Hook from Lemieux, then a savage combination that snaps Reyes’ head back. Reyes clinches. Body shot from Lemieux a minute in, Reyes comes back with a lengthy flurry. He still wants it. Good counters. Big hook by Lemieux and Reyes clinches, only to eat a right inside. Both punch on the break. One minute to go. Both continue to exchange until the end. 10-9, 98-90 Lemieux.
Final result: Lemieux def. Reyes by unanimous decision
Lucas Matthysse vs. Emmanuel Taylor
Round one: Matthysse on the front foot as usual. Left hook lands for him as Taylor goes to the body. Body shot a minute in. Neither man has landed big yet. Matthysse to the body, uppercut misses with a minute to go. Cross counter from Taylor, then body shots. Matthysse with hooks high and low. Taylor complaining of rabbit punching. BIG counter right and Taylor is hurt right before the bell. 10-9 Matthysse.
Round two: Matthysse looking invigorated as he marches forward. 3-2 lands for him. Body shots. Hard right hand as they clinch. Solid jabs from Taylor. Overhand right lands, then another from Matthysse. Uppercut connects, then a hard right in the clinch. Matthysse might have put the fear of God in him with that right hand last round. Matthysse with a right to the body. Uppercut and 1-2 with a minute to go. Matthysse looking to end things with his right hand. Combination from Taylor. Jab dings Taylor and Matthysse tears into him on the ropes. Taylor escapes the corner. 10-9, 20-18 Matthysse.
Round three: Clash of heads pauses the action early. Doctor clears Matthysse to continue. Taylor throwing hard, eats a left hook. Good exchanges in the center. Left hook from Taylor. Cross counter. One minute in. Two right hands by Taylor, counter left hook. Just as he looks to be taking control, Matthysse drops him with a 1-2 on the retreat. Taylor pops right back up. Big right hands by Matthysse when they resume. Matthysse forcing him to the ropes, opening up to the head and body. One minute to go. Clinch. Clinch. Left hook catches Taylor leaning, then another. 10-8, 30-26 Matthysse.
Round four: Another right hand by Matthysse. Hard left hook. Cross counter. Body shot. Taylor with his back to the ropes for worrying amounts of time. Good body shot and swatting right upstairs. One minute in. Good left hook. 1-2 lands for Matthysse through the guard, check hook comes back. Good right by Taylor knocks Matthysse’s mouthpiece out and they pause to put it back in. One minute to go. Uppercut and 1-2 by Matthysse. Matthysse pressuring. Taylor trying to claim rabbit punches, ref is correctly not buying it. Good exchange, uppercut has Taylor retreating. Matthysse rips to the body. 10-9, 40-35 Matthysse.
Round five: Good counter right by Taylor. Big right from Matthysse. Clinch. Both go to the body. Uppercut from Taylor. One minute in. 2-1 lands for Matthysse. Matthysse with a jab upstairs, takes punches inside. Jabs by the Argentinian. Left hooks from both and a monster left hook sends Taylor teetering to the ground on the ropes. Taylor looks like he has no idea where he is when he makes it to the feet and the ref calls it.
Final result: Matthysse def. Taylor by TKO
Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Manuel Avila
Round one: Diaz in red, Avila in blue. Solid jab early from Avlia, body shots. Lovely 2-3 and body shot from Diaz. Overhand left whiffs. One minute in. Body shot exchange. Check hook and 1-2 after Avila body shots. Avila busier, Diaz sharper. Nice straight left from JoJo, right hook after a body shot. One minute to go. Lead left hand. Avila’s cracks him with a powerful jab, takes a left to the body. 10-9 Diaz.
Round two: Counter left hand from Diaz as Avila advances. 1-2 upstairs. Lovely pivot by Diaz. Right hook by Diaz. Counter right by Avila has Diaz backing up and he follows up to the body a minute in. Combination by Diaz upstairs. Straight lefts landing. Straight right by Avila. One minute to go. Diaz’s right hook in particular is landing beautifully as Avila advances or leans in. Good 1-2 by Diaz. 1-2 arguably drops Avila, ref calls a slip. 10-9, 20-18 Diaz.
Round three: Another quick 1-2 by Diaz and a straight left on the counter. He’s just faster and more accurate thus far, sliding just out of range and coming back with quality counters. Nice counter left a minute in. Body shots. Clinch. Avila digs to the body inside. Another long left and 1-2 from the American. Low-high with the 1-2, eats a cuffing right hand as they clinch. One minute to go. Avila’s struggling to consistently get through Diaz’s guard and that right hook is always waiting for him. Hard left hand in the last ten seconds and they trade. 10-9, 30-27 Diaz.
Round four: Early clinch, Avila tries a flurry. Much more aggressive early on. Looping left lands for Diaz. Straight left through the guard, heavy right comes back. One minute in. Clinch. Good low-high left-right and 1-2 from Diaz. Avila blasts him with a left hook, uppercut, body shot. Left hook connects. One minute to go. 1-2-1 by Diaz, check hook. Avila to the body. Diaz pops him with a straight left. Check hook again, left to the body. Good exchange to end the round. 10-9 Avila, 39-37 Diaz.
Round five: Good 1-2 by Diaz to open the round. Avila wading in, lands a right downstairs. Diaz looking for combinations. One minute in. Avila falling short with rights. Diaz hooks inside. Avila to the body. 1-2-3 from Diaz. One minute to go. Avila to the body, eats a 1-2. Good work by Diaz in the corner. Left hand by Diaz, eats a left hook as he tries to press. 10-9, 49-46 Diaz.
Round six: Avila fires a right hand and they tie up. 1-2-3 from Diaz. Avila’s got some issues with his eyes, gets cracked hard by a left hand while attacking. One minute in. Body shots by Diaz. Left hook from Avila in combination. Diaz backs him to the corner and fires in combination. Nice work to the body. One minute to go. Avila comes back with a right hand, more bodywork from Diaz. Diaz potshotting. Uppercut by Avila, right hook by Diaz at close range. They roughhouse in the clinch. 10-9, 59-55 Diaz.
Round seven: Avila’s got a cut on his left eyelid. Not huge, but that’s a real bad spot.
Diaz patiently moving forward. Right hook lands for him as Avila ducks. Avila flurries inside, dinged by a low-chambered left. Clinch a minute in. Diaz to the body. Combination by JoJo. Avila clinches up, looking much more reluctant to engage. One minute to go. Diaz backs him to the corner and opens up until Avila clinches. Nice check hook. Again. Clinch. Counter left, then on the attack. Avila just doesn’t have the drive to attack he needs right now. 10-9, 69-64 Diaz.
Round eight: Diaz still patient, working at range. Nice combination upstairs. Avila tying up as Diaz gets inside. One minute in. Avila straight right, Diaz body shot. Clinch. Three-piece by Diaz. More clinches. Right hook connects. Diaz bangs to the body, takes one in return. Left hand to the center of the midsection seems to rattle Avila. One minute to go. Clinch. Diaz with another left downstairs, then a combination to the head. Avila comes back with a left hook and straight right soon after. Lead left from Diaz. 10-9, 79-73 Diaz.
Round nine: Diaz still advancing, targeting the body. Left hands upstairs. 1-2. 1-2-1. Target practice for Diaz right now, Avila retreating and reacting to feints. Diaz backs him to the ropes and digs to the body. Clinch a minute in. Diaz rips him with about seven consecutive punches and then a straight left. Avila lands a pair of right hands, still backing off. One minute to go. Diaz combinations, sharp right hook. Clinch. 10-9, 89-82 Diaz.
Round ten: Avila going harder, throwing like he means it. Diaz cracks him with another straight left. Clinch. One minute in. Straight left by Diaz, blunting any sustained efforts from Avila. Sharp right hook on the exit. Hard left hands and a right hook. Diaz landing constant barrages. One minute to go. Avila’s tired, taking damage. Right hooks, straight lefts. Body shot, right hook. Avila clinching. 10-9, 99-91 Diaz.
Final result: Diaz Jr. def. Avila by unanimous decision