Take a trip on social media or on boxing website message boards and, other than the ever-present Mayweather-Pacquiao talk, the main topic of conversation is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez on September 15th.
Chavez-Martinez, however, will be sharing Mexican Independence Day in the same city with another high profile bout featuring a young Mexican star as Saul "El Canelo" Alvarez takes on Josesito Lopez. Although the head to head rivalry of the two simultaneous Las Vegas cards is history-making, only one of the bouts has managed to capture the public's attention.
It's no mystery why Chavez-Martinez, housed in Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center and broadcast on pay-per-view, is the talk of the sport. The drama has been building for close to two years and the fight's back story is as compelling as any other in the sport. Can Martinez expose Chavez Jr. as a protected, bogus WBC middleweight champion and regain the belt that's rightfully his? Can Chavez Jr. finally win credibility and the respect of hardcore fight fans who see him as the product of pure nepotism? The words have been harsh, the animosity is real. And, of course, the fans are eating it up like peanut M&M's.
At the same time and just a couple of miles away at the MGM Grand, Saul Alvarez will defend his WBC junior middleweight title against Josesito Lopez. Many have questioned the opponent selection for Alvarez and the fact that Lopez was a natural junior welterweight before moving up to stop Victor Ortiz in a welterweight contest to earn this shot. Regardless of the criticism, though, Lopez always comes to fight and the bout, itself, should be entertaining.
However, in comparison to Chavez-Martinez, few are really talking about Alvarez-Lopez. Even though it'll be on Showtime rather than pay-per-view and part of a solid quadruple header, the Golden Boy-promoted card still can't seem to get much traction among the hardcore fight fans.
Really, only Golden Boy is to blame for being overshadowed in the big September 15th showdown.
"Canelo" Alvarez is an honest fighter who always puts on a decent show and Lopez is a legitimately solid professional with a feel good rags-to-riches story. Both could've been part of the show in exciting bouts against more appropriate opposition. Instead, it's a bit of a farce for boxing purists who will rightfully bristle at the idea of this being a "world" title bout and it reeks of a slapped-together contest with no real back story or logic, other than "this is what Golden Boy settled on."
Who knows, maybe both cards will produce quality action, but currently, only Chavez-Martinez is making fans care.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.