Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr Prediction: Chávez Should Upset Canelo

Throughout his last three fights, Saul Canelo Álvarez has shown a tendency to constantly try to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into striking range. Once this happens, he will throw a left jab followed by a straight right hand with the intention of getting their opponents to focus on blocking the combination. If the opponent decides to stand still and prevents the combination, it gives him a small window of opportunity to attack the exposed body by throwing a left or right hook. On the other hand, if the opponent decides to avoid the combination by taking a few steps back and circling out of striking range; he will throw the lead left hook to momentarily stop their movement thus giving him time to get back into striking range. During this period, Canelo has gone undefeated because his opponents didn’t have the stamina to continuously circle out of range and then a counter throughout the course of 12 rounds. Due to this, some opponents are forced to give into his pressure because they would attempt to cut angles and experience early fatigue from a lack of stamina which would put them in a position to have to exchange with him. On the other hand, some opponents came to the conclusion that they were better off trading punches with him because they were aware of the fact that they didn’t have the stamina to cut angles.

Although this strategy has given Canelo so much success, there are a few flaws within this strategy that can be easily exploited. For instance, when Canelo is trying to avoid his opponent’s punches he tends to sway his upper body backward or simply duck under the punch. As a result, he can defend the punches without having to leave his striking range. However, his style of defense should give Julio Cesar Chavez Jr many opportunities to close the distance and attack the body. For example, when they are in the pocket together Chavez Jr can throw the left jab to make him sway his upper body backward. Once this happens, Chavez Jr has a couple of seconds to completely close the distance and start attacking the body with hooks. After a couple of rounds, Canelo should start to incorporate some movement because he realizes that it is not good to trade punches with a larger man in close quarters. Due to this, he should start to stick and move for a few rounds but eventually get tired because he isn’t used to fighting that way thus forcing him back to square one. Therefore I expect Chavez to win via late stoppage or decision.

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