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18 JUNE 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Chavez, Jr. & Donaire Doubleheader Press Conference News and Notes

By: Marc Livitz: Top Rank hosted a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. to formally announce the upcoming championship doubleheader featuring Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. & Nonito Donaire in separate bouts, which will take place on February 4. Undefeated Chavez will defend his World Middleweight title when he faces fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio in the evening’s main event.

Donaire, the number one rated bantamweight in the world will move up one division to junior featherweight and tangle with Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. for the vacant WBO title. The advertised “Welcome to the Future” fight card will be televised in the United States on HBO World Championship Boxing and should provide a night of exciting bouts. When the four main combatants’ ring histories are put together, they collectively share a record of 145-7-3(113 KO’s). Although Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. has begun to clearly distinguish himself in the middleweight division, he still faces at times heightened scrutiny of his performances, given the namesake he carries with him at all times. As the son of all-time Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., Julio, Jr. will be making the second defense of his middleweight title, which he captured last June in Los Angeles, CA with a majority decision win versus Sebastian Zbik of Germany. His opponent, Marco Antonio Rubio has not lost in nearly three years. His last defeat came at the hands of former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. Rubio gained some attention last April when he delivered a shocking upset TKO loss to the previously undefeated Canadian prospect, David Lemieux.

Nonito Donaire of San Leandro, CA by way of General Santos City, Philippines is one of the top fighters on many pound-for-pound lists throughout the boxing world. His 2nd round knockout of Mexico’s Fernando Montiel in February of 2011 gained “Knockout of the Year” honors on this website, as well as several others. Donaire will be making the four-pound jump upward to the junior featherweight class. Waiting for him will be the son of another legend, Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. His father Wilfredo, Sr. is one of the best known fighters ever to emerge from the boxing-crazed island nation of Puerto Rico, but he also made news this past May when he was responsible for stopping a fight which resulted in his son’s first loss. Wilfredo, Jr. was in a close bout with Mexican slugger Jorge Arce during their bout in Las Vegas until the twelfth round, when Vazquez, Jr. was overwhelmed by a nonstop barrage of punches from Arce. His father threw in the towel to prompt the referee to stop the fight at the :55 mark of the final round. Clearly, Vazquez, Jr. will be looking for redemption versus Donaire.

Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum began the press conference with the following statements. “It’s certainly great to be back in Texas and we are honored to bring you two great championship fights. The fight fans here in San Antonio are among the best in the world. Thanks is also due to HBO Sports and its recognition of the sport of boxing and the power that it has.”, Arum said.

Wilfredo Vazquez, Sr. then took to the podium and briefly reminisced back to a glorious night he experienced in San Antonio in January of 1995, when he defeated Orlando Canizales for the WBA World super bantamweight title at the Freeman Coliseum, which is but a few miles from the Alamodome where his son will be fighting. “I won here in San Antonio around 17 years ago and I was a ten to one underdog. We are ready to give San Antonio another surprise on February 4th and we have been working very hard back in Puerto Rico for the past three months.”, he stated to the media and boxing fans who were in attendance. His son, Wilfredo, Sr. then got behind the microphone and had the following statements after he welcomed the afternoon’s attendees. “As you know, this fight is for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title. Thanks to Mr. Arum and Top Rank for (giving me) the chance to fight for this title. I know this will be a very tough and competitive fight. We’ve been working very hard in Puerto Rico. This will be a very difficult test, but I wish to be mentioned with the elites such as Pacquiao & Mayweather. There is respect between us. He (Donaire) knows that I’m a good fighter and I know Donaire is a good fighter, but I’m ready to win the world title”, Vazquez said.

Nonito Donaire
acknowledged the mutual reverence between he and Vazquez, although he was quick to remind everyone that there was still a fight coming on February 4. “He (Vazquez) always puts on a great performance. Even in his loss to Arce, he showed the heart of a warrior. I know I’ll get the best Vazquez on the fourth. Yes, here are two fighters who respect each other, but at the same time will go out to rip each other’s heads off.”, Donaire affirmed.

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. enlisted the help of legendary trainer, Freddie Roach in 2010 prior to Chavez’s bout with Irishman John Duddy, which also took place in the Alamodome. Roach took to the podium and
gave a brief but intent glare at Marco Antonio Rubio. Roach assured Rubio that his powerful and effective right hand would be thrown in the direction of a very prepared fighter. “We are ready for you one hundred percent. We’ve seen you work with that right hand of yours, but this will be another good win for us”, Roach said.

Marco Antonio Rubio did not mix his words “Thanks to Bob Arum for the opportunity to fight for this world title. I’ll show the best performance of my career. We have gone back and corrected the problems of my past. I am going to win and I will be too much for Chavez.”, said Rubio.

Bob Arum then briefly reaffirmed the threat posed by Rubio. “I don’t know what people know or don’t know about Rubio. Last year, a promoter up in Canada thought his fighter (David Lemieux) would get an easy win. He was wrong.”, Arum added.

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was the final participant to speak on Tuesday afternoon. “Good morning, everyone and happy new year.
I’m very happy to be back in Texas. I was in Houston for my last fight and the people of Texas are always behind me. I will give them a great fight on February 4th. I know that Rubio has said in the past that I would never fight him, but here I am. Everyone will know why I am the world champion. I want to tank Bob Arum and HBO for how they have handled my career.”, the undefeated Mexican fighter said.

Chavez then added, “I am very excited to fight someone that everyone respects. This fight will only allow me to become a better fighter. Many thought I couldn’t make it and that I was only the son. My hard work and sweat has made me the champion that I am. If you want to cheer for me, that’s fine. If you want to cheer for him, that’s fine, too. This is a fight that I really want to win and if I have to die in the ring, then I’ll die in the ring.”

January 3, 2012

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