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19 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Chavez, Jr. ‘Boxing is my Life’

By Marc Livitz: Fair or not, there will always be a hefty share of athletes who are always going to be subjected to a high amount of microscopic-like scrutiny. While many fighters are brought up through the ranks with a high degree of care and concern, there are those among them who also are viewed as sold and/or promoted based on name recognition in the hopes that the talent within will eventually outweigh as well as outshine all other factors. Throughout his career, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. has long had the tag, albeit perhaps unfairly of nepotism as well favoritism thrust upon him in more than just a few instances.


The fact that he is the son of one of boxing’s all time greats has been brought up numerous times throughout the past decade and beyond. Chavez, Jr. had no amateur career and began his professional journey at the age of 17. He soon became the face as well as selling point for "Latin Fury" pay TV telecasts before he eventually was put into the running for first a regional, then a world title conveniently by the Mexico City based WBC. He soon enlisted a Hall of Fame trainer in Freddie Roach to assist in his journey as a world champion, yet it didn’t take long for Roach to show dissatisfaction with Julio Jr.’s work ethic and indifference to training. To his credit, Julio did have impressive outings against such game opposition as current world champion, "Irish" Andy Lee and Marco Antonio Rubio.


Finally, he was thoroughly outclassed in September 2012 by Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas, although he did nearly score a knockout with just moments to go in the bout. A year passed before we saw him in the ring again and the brick wall he found in the form of Austin, Texas native Brian Vera proved a tough night for the Culiacan native. Many, if not all observers felt that Vera deserved the decision win by leaps and bounds. However, it was not to be and thanks to inexplicable scoring, Chavez, Jr. kept the one loss on his record intact and did so once again when he scored a much more convincing win against Vera last March in their rematch in San Antonio, TX.


Just as previously seen, a year has now passed since Julio entered the ring and his life has changed even more since then. He’s not only a new father, but he’s also parted ways with his long time promotional company, Top Rank. He’s made the jump from HBO to Showtime as well. These days, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KO’s) can be found under the tutelage of trainer extraordinaire, Joe Goosen in Lake Tahoe, Nevada as he prepares for his comeback bout on April 18. There will be a catchweight of 172 pounds in place on the day of the weigh in.


For anyone who follows boxing, a comeback fight usually isn’t against the likes of someone as seasoned and tough as Andrzej Fonfara of Chicago (26-3, 15 KO’S). Nevertheless, Julio, Jr. sounded ready as he took part in an international conference call this afternoon to speak about his April 18 bout with Fonfara, which will be televised in the United States on the Showtime network. Selected highlights are listed below.


Opening Statements, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.: "Training has been very good and I’ve been training much harder in the past. I’m okay with getting down to 172 pounds. I feel like I’m in great shape."


Opening Statements, Andrzej Fonfara: "I feel great. Chavez, Jr. is a former world champion. Sparring has gone well and I spent some time in Los Angeles and Houston and I’ll finish camp in Chicago. I’m ready to meet Chavez, Jr. and show him that I’m the better fighter."


Joe Goosen, Trainer of Chavez, Jr.: "Thanks very much to Showtime for having us on their network. Julio is very serious about this fight. Like Fonfara, he trained for a few weeks in Los Angeles and now we’re up in Lake Tahoe. It’s very secluded up here and Julio has shown me that he’s willing to work very hard for this fight."


"I can’t tell you how happy I am to be working with him. It’s been something that I always wanted to do and I know his father very well. I can’t wait for April 18th and show everyone what we’ve done. I’m very confident with what we’ve been doing"


Sam Colonna, Trainer of Fonfara: "I kept saying "no" to names they had been throwing at us, but I said yes right when Julio’s name came up. It’s an honor to fight him. We’ve always wanted this, but the weights weren’t always the same. It will be an action jammed fight and we can’t wait."


Boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr: "This will be a very hard and tough fight for my son, Julio. Fonfara is a very tough fighter and I didn’t want this for my son. He wanted it, though. He wanted a hard fight and he believes that winning this fight will give him more credibility."


Chavez, Jr. on a year long layoff (in perfect English): "I feel good and I feel fresh once again. I know it can be difficult to take one year off, but I stayed in the gym everyday working on my skills. I’m very confident because I have been in boxing all my life. This fight will be at 172 and that’s good for me. I feel good in sparring and good in training. I am ready to win another world title."


On his Future as a Light Heavyweight: "Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson, for example. These guys are very strong, but after this fight I think I’ll go down to 168 for about two years. After that, I’ll think about going up to 175."


Fonfara on his May 2014 loss to Adonis Stevenson and bout with Chavez, Jr.: "I showed lots of heart and pride. Physically, I feel good. I’ve trained so hard for this fight and I feel that I’m the better boxer. I have sparred lots of hard rounds with several former champions. Chavez says that he’s trained hard for this fight, but I train hard, no matter what. I go to the gym and I leave my heart there every time."


Julio, Jr. on his famous name: "It’s done good things for me because I’ve been a world champion. It’s an advantage for me so that I can have the people know more about me. It helps me and I beat the top guys at 168 pounds. I’ve shown the people that I can fight well and that I’m a good fighter. My style is a style for the people. Fonfara is a good fight for me. He fights with a lot of heart and a great chin."


Julio, Sr. on the same: "The name has obviously helped, but we’re very different, He fights at a higher weight than I did and physically, he’s a lot bigger than me. He’s his own fighter."


Chavez, Jr. on Past Weight Issues: "I’ve never weighed more than 172 (pounds) in all my years of boxing. I’ve always made weight and I don’t have problems in making weight. If he does, then I’ll get $100,000. This a good weight for both fighters."


On his new trainer: "Joe Goosen motivates fighters. I like him a lot and he’s a hard worker just like me. This show is for the people. I thank my new promotional company for allowing me to know who my opponent will be in advance."


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March 18 2015

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