This past weekend has been incredibly busy for me. Instead of focusing on boxing, most of my time and energy had been spent at the annual Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo; the second largest comic book convention in the country. So instead of catching up on the latest Mayweather – Pacquiao news, I was asking Iron Man writer/artist Bob Layton what it was like working alongside Steve Ditko. More after the break.
However, just before I left early Sunday morning so that I could spend two hours in line, I thought I would make a quick check of any news and the one that stood out in my mind was my discovery that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr had been stopped in the ninth round by Andrzej Fonfara. I watched the last few minutes of the fight and as I made my way to the convention, my mind wasn’t on what panels to attend or comics to buy, but more over why I shouldn’t have been so surprised by this.
If you’ve listened to the BOXING 4 FREE podcast or read other posts from the site, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m not a big fan or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.. I think he’s a lazy, spoiled, self-entitled brat who didn’t take the sport seriously. He had fought only twice in the past two years and the first fight with Bryan Vera was one that many observers felt he should have lost.
But I also thought that if he was willing to move up to fight Fonfara, something his father disapproved of, then maybe he was starting to get disciplined. After all, Fonfara is no pushover. He withstood all of Adonis Stevenson‘s punches and even though he lost a decision, he was able to drop the light-heavyweight champion. That and he did have a height and reach advantage. While I wasn’t crazy about the 172 pound catch-weight, I somewhat understood it as Junior probably wanted to ease himself into being a light-heavyweight.
But if there was any ease in the fight, it all belonged to Fonfara who had no problem landing on Chavez, who kept coming forward with his head and chin wide open for the uppercut. His father kept shouting advice and giving it for his seconds to relay, but it wasn’t doing any good.
Finally, in the ninth round, Chavez was floored for the first time in his career and at the end of the round, he went back to his corner and before anyone knew it, the fight had been stopped by the corner. As empty beer cans rained down from the angry Mexican fans, Julio was answering questions from Showtime‘s Jim Gray. At one point he even claimed to have won the fight, but that might have just been the result of broken English. Then he went on to say that he wanted a rematch with Fonfara, but this time it would have to be at 170 pounds.
At that point I knew that any progress he might have been making as a fighter had vanished. He could have said, “I need to go back to 168, I’m too small for the light-heavyweight division.” It reminded me of the first Vera fight when he kept changing the weight limit all because he knew deep down that he wasn’t disciplined enough to make the weight limit he originally agreed on.
A few days after the fight, Justin brought up the point that Julio Jr. didn’t have an amateur career and that could be playing a factor into it as well. “He likes to eat but doesn’t have the capacity to diet when the time comes. I think that’s one of the benefits of amateur boxing; it instills discipline.”
But when you grow up a rich kid, being told that you can’t eat isn’t something that’s going to come easy. Chavez really has to think long and hard about what his next move is going to be and how he’ll go about it. He’s shown that he’s too small for 175, has trouble making 168 most of the time and going back to middleweight would probably kill him. Whatever he’s going to do he better realize that he’s closer to thirty than thirteen and that victory isn’t always secure simply because his name is Julio Cesar Chavez.