Chavez Jr. maintaining championship mindset for megafight against Alvarez

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is confident he won’t lose again in a big fight. Not even to Canelo Alvarez.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. became a 160-pound world champion as he opened his career with a record of 46-0-1, but he has gone 4-2 since then entering Saturday's 164.5-pound nontitle bout against Mexican rival Canelo Alvarez.

Chavez, a former 160-pound world champion and the son of Mexican boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., faces Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a 12-round megafight that highlights Cinco de Mayo weekend.

“I don't plan on losing,” Chavez said. “It's not something I'm thinking about. This fight and boxing is not about luck. It's about hard work, and it's what you have in your heart.

“If you work hard and your heart is in it, you'll have good results. So, no, it's not luck. I don't believe in luck, and I don't plan on losing. So there's nothing for me to discuss regarding that.”

The hype for these two Mexican fighters brings back memories for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs). In September 2012, Chavez entered the ring 46-0-1 for his 160-pound title defense against Sergio Martinez, but he was outworked over 12 rounds and dropped a unanimous decision.

Since then, Chavez has won four of five fights weighing between 167 and 172 pounds. However, it was his April 2015 loss to former 175-pound title challenger Andrzej Fonfara that attracted the most attention, when Chavez retired on his stool after being knocked down in Round 9.

The 31-year-old native of Culiacan, Mexico, bounced back strong in his last two bouts, however, earning consecutive 10-round unanimous decisions over Marcos Reyes and Dominik Britsch.

I feel that it’s my last opportunity. I want to prove to everybody that I can still fight at the very top level. This is the biggest fight of my career. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., on fighting Canelo Alvarez

“Against Fonfara, I didn’t have that same passion and love for boxing. It’s my fault for not preparing well enough,” Chavez said. “Those two 10-round fights were very important in rebuilding my confidence, my strength and restoring my passion. I truly feel like fighting, and you’ll see that on Saturday.”

As part of rebuilding himself mentally and physically to fight Alvarez in the 164½-pound nontitle bout, Chavez hired Hall of Fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, and strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia.

Chavez is confident he’ll be stronger than Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) on fight night thanks to what Heredia has done for him, and said he could rehydrate to as much as 178 pounds after Friday’s weigh-in.

“I’m already very close to the weight, and I’m going to be 164.5 at the weigh-in,” Chavez said. “I’m going to be the bigger fighter. I’m not sure how much more I’ll weigh in the fight, but I’ll be very, very strong.

“I’m not going to predict a round, but if I land the right punch, sure, I can knock him out. If it comes, I’ll take it.”

As the son of arguably the most iconic fighter in Mexican boxing history, one who won six world championships in three weight divisions, there is tremendous pressure to live up to what his father accomplished. But Chavez Jr. said he understands he will never shake the comparisons to his father—not even if he beats Alvarez.

“I feel that it’s my last opportunity,” Chavez said. “I want to prove to everybody that I can still fight at the very top level. This is the biggest fight of my career. [Alvarez] can make whatever plans he wants for after he loses against me.”

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