Mexican Independence Day Weekend Showdown

By: Gordie Tamayo

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We are weeks away from some of the most anticipated bouts of the year taking place Mexican Independence Day Weekend. On the same night, in the same city, boxing fans get their choice between viewing WBC Middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs Sergio Martinez battling on one side of Las Vegas or Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Josesito Lopez on the other.

As intriguing as the main event matchups, is the surmounting drama that has led up to the bouts from both promotional sides. Most recently WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux has been dropped from the Chavez/Martinez undercard where he was scheduled to face prospect Robert Marroquin. Rigondeaux’s filed motion to allow his scheduled bout to continue despite it being made without his manager’s involvement, was denied through the courts. As a result, Marroquin will go on to face substitute Oscar Gonzalez and Rigondeaux misses out on the biggest televised opportunity of his life.

On the opposite side of the spectrum James Kirkland was one of the front runners to face Canelo Alvarez in what would have been the biggest fight of his career. Yet through complications of injuries to an inability to come to a financial agreement between camps, Kirkland went to the wayside and is now finding himself in legal battles of his own, trying to break away from current promoter Golden Boy. Kirkland’s predicament has been largely portrayed one way and that is of a fighter who is burning bridges with the wrong people and rolling dice that the grass gets greener on the other side.

Aside from the pre-fight hurdles, we still have two separate events leading up to one historic evening that could surprise even the most seasoned boxing gurus.  Although the changes to the fight card threw plans for a loop, there is plenty to focus on come fight night. Chavez Jr. has been equally as scrutinized as Canelo for their questionable resumes and September 15th is going to be a defining moment for both fighters.

Chavez Jr. is facing the toughest threat of his boxing career against Martinez and with both of them running the verbal gauntlet; one is bound to come out in dominant fashion with bragging rights. A win here will answer many questions about both fighters and settle a much heated debate amongst the division. And despite much criticism of Canelo facing Lopez, it’s no question that Lopez has the heart and grit to pose a problem even for Canelo. The smaller framed brawler is no stranger to being on the low end of the totem pole which sets him at somewhat of an advantage.  

Most are expecting Canelo to maul right through Lopez so if he can throw Canelo off of his rhythm and force him to box his fight three minutes of each round, he may be able have a fighter’s chance. It will not be an easy task of course. Canelo is in full swing, fine tuning himself for what comes ahead and many insiders are claiming the young icon is looking fierce in his final weeks of preparation. Could many be writing Lopez off though?  It has been announced that Golden Boy already has a scheduled date with Showtime on December 8th should Canelo get through Lopez. Everyone knows what happened when Ortiz faced Lopez and it was assumed Ortiz would be the one facing Canelo here in a few weeks. Regardless of the outcomes, Mexican Independence Day weekend is guaranteed to have spectators witnessing fireworks. If Lopez and camp have fate on their side, fans may even get to see lightening strike twice.

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