As if the upcoming fight between Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and Julio César Chávez Jr. needed more hype, now we’ve gotten to take a look at the huichol belt they’re fighting for, and it is gorgeous.
The belt, named “Presidente Adolfo López Mateos,” was commissioned to the Arte Marakame studio in Morelia, owned by artist Fernando Montilla. The huichol craftsman of the belt, Luis de la Cruz, used over 40,000 pieces of crystal beads for the project, which will be awarded to the winner of the May 6th bout in Las Vegas. Going forward, the belt, which is already being valued at over 100,000 pesos, will be fought for twice a year, around the Mexican holidays of May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) and September 16 (Mexican Independence Day).
While the one-of-a-kind belt raises the stakes for the fight, Canelo and César Chávez Jr. have had enough animosity to fuel the run-up to the most anticipated headline fight of the young year. Most recently, on a Tuesday conference call, Canelo said that his opponent’s comments about the doping tests prior to the fight have been stupid “pendejadas.” Previously, César Chávez Jr. and his trainer, Angel Heredia, had called out Canelo, saying that it was strange that Álvarez was doubting Las Vegas’s Voluntary Anti-Doping Association’s usage of urine tests over blood tests.
On the Tuesday call with reporters, Canelo stated that “What he’s saying is very stupid. Simply put, very stupid, because we’re talking about VADA – the top agency, very professional. Whether they do blood, whether they do urine, they know what they’re doing.” He also went on to call the second-generation boxer a “non-coherent person,” and one that acts as if he were still a child.
For their part, César Chávez Jr.’s camp has stated that Canelo made a mistake choosing him for his next rival, and that their fighter’s reach and power will defeat the red-headed catchweight.