By Clive Bernath: One could quite easily argue, and be well justified in doing so, that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and John Duddy are two of the most over hyped boxers fighting today. Both men have been built up by their respective promoters and both men’s pr and matchmaking machines have excelled in building them up into championship contenders.
On Saturday night Chavez Jr and Duddy, the pride of Ireland, clash over 12 round at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas for something called the vacant WBC silver middleweight title. Make of the title what you will in terms of importance. What is important though is the winner will almost certainly go on and legitimately argue they should be granted the opportunity to fight for a major world title at 160lbs.
It appears both Chavez Jr and Duddy are pretty evenly matched but what could swing in favour of the undefeated Mexican is the obvious advantage of having SecondsOut trainer of the year Freddie Roach in his corner.
Speaking at a recent media workout the 24 year-old son of Mexican boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez said: “At first I thought to myself, ‘Could I really hack it with Freddie Roach? Could I make it?’
“I did and I am a better fighter for it. He has taught me so much in our time together. I am excited, motivated and in great condition. I am going to show everyone Saturday what being in great condition really means. Duddy is a good strong fighter, however. I expect a tough fight and I am sure Duddy will fight hard."
Roach too had nothing but praise for Chavez Jr: "There really was an over/under line - two weeks – on how long it would take Julio to make it in our gym. The ’over’ won easy. None of the things people warned me about him were true,” insisted Roach.
“He came in and worked hard. He loves to run and this morning he was the one who woke me up and said ’Coach, time to get up and run.’ He is such a great person to know.
"We are in tough against Duddy. Duddy likes to throw hard right hands and Julio tends to get hit with rights. That’s not a good combination for us. Julio had no problems sparring 12 rounds in the gym last week. He is in very good shape and if he can pressure Duddy, I think Julio has a very good chance of being the first to stop him."
As mentioned earlier, both Chavez Jr, 41-0-1-(300 and Duddy, 29-1-(18), benefited greatly from excellent pr and matchmaking which of course is exactly how good prospects develop into contenders. Saturday’s fight will see the winner go on to establish himself as a legitimate contender to fight for a world title, which is why I expect we could just witness one of the most exciting fights of 2010.
June 23, 2010