Canelo-Chavez bout in the works; biggest sticking point is weight

LOS ANGELES -- Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the biggest names in Mexican boxing, are in talks to meet May 6 -- Cinco de Mayo weekend -- on HBO PPV, both camps told ESPN on Thursday.

"We're in talks, we've been talking for about a month," Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez's promoter, said. "There's interest on both sides."

The biggest obstacle is the weight. If a deal is hammered out the weight would probably 164 or 165 pounds. Alvarez has never boxed above 155 pounds. Chavez has been 167½ or heavier for his past five fights dating to 2013.

Alvarez, a reigning junior middleweight titleholder, is the former middleweight champion but fought those bouts at a catchweight of 155 pounds rather than division limit of 160 pounds.

Chavez is a former middleweight titleholder but he has been fighting in the 168-pound super middleweight division in recent years, and even slightly heavier.

"The catchweight is being negotiated," Gomez said. "Canelo has a limit he wants, they have a limit Chavez wants, so it's being negotiated."

Besides the weight there is also the issue of the rancor between Golden Boy and Chavez adviser Al Haymon, whom Golden Boy is suing for $300 million. It filed the federal lawsuit in May 2015 alleging that Haymon and his various business entities have repeatedly violated antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.

If the fight can be made it figures to be a big one. There was a lot of talk about the showdown a few years ago, before Chavez, one of the fighting sons of Hall of Famer Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., was easily defeated by Sergio Martinez in their 2012 middleweight world championship fight and eventually moved up in weight.

"It would be a good fight. The Mexican fans would really get behind it," Gomez said. "It's two really big names. We're far apart, but we're in talks. Hopefully, we can make it."

Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs), 30, has failed to make weight for several fights, had issues outside the ring and went just 3-2 in a five-fight stretch. After 17 months out of the ring, he returned on Dec. 10. He made weight (167.9 pounds) and looked good in a one-sided 10-round decision against fringe contender Dominik Britsch.

Chavez's camp said it was also hopeful they could make the match.

"He had some bad people in his life making bad decisions and giving him bad advice," said Sean Gibbons, Chavez's longtime matchmaker. "Julio was derailed from the path that he needed to be on. He's back on the right path. He made weight comfortably for Britsch. He made the weight so easy. The contract was 169 but he said, 'I'm coming in under to show that I'm back and serious.' He proved to the people he's serious and that he's for real. The time is right and he can make the weight. The fight with Britsch was to prove to the public that he is ready for Canelo or (Gennady) Golovkin."

Gibbons, who said he would like to see the fight contracted at 165 pounds, said Chavez's attorney, Guadalupe Valencia, reached out to Golden Boy to gauge the interest in making the fight and there was interest.

Alvarez (48-1-1), 26, dropped down to junior middleweight in September and knocked out Liam Smith in the ninth round to win another title. Alvarez suffered an avulsion fracture in his right thumb, forcing him to give up a Dec. 10 date for his next fight. Now he and Golden Boy are talking about a possible February bout, although it is more likely he will just sit out until a May 6 fight, whomever it is against.

If he wins that bout Gomez said the hope is that the long-awaited showdown with Golovkin will take place in September. Gomez said Golden Boy and Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions have been talking about a deal, but that the biggest obstacle is Golden Boy's insistence on paying Golovkin's side a flat fee -- at least $15 million -- while Golovkin's side wants to have a stake, as much as 40 percent, in the event.