Back to the Drawing Board

By Robert Ecksel on April 19, 2015
Back to the Drawing Board
Fonfara was more accurate. Fonfara can box as well as punch. (Esther Lin/Showtime)

To call the loss inevitable is not quite accurate. But the only person surprised at the loss appears to be Chavez himself…

Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Andrzej Fonfara (27-3, 16 KOs), aka The Polish Prince, from Chicago by way of Radon, Poland, destroyed former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-2-1, 32 KOs), from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, forcing a ninth-round stoppage.

Fonfara was the busier fighter. Fonfara was more accurate. Fonfara can box as well as punch.

Chavez, by contrast, was Chavez. Using his head as a battering ram, using his career as a springboard to another career not yet determined, Chavez looked less like a fighter than a hobbyist whose hobby caught up with him.

To call the loss inevitable is not quite accurate. But the only person surprised at the loss appears to be Chavez himself.

After he was dropped for the first time in 52 professional fights, Chavez returned to his corner a beaten man and told his trainer Joe Goossen, “I’m done.”

Truer words were never spoken.

At the time of the stoppage, Chavez was trailing by wide margins on all three scorecards, 89-80 and 88-81 twice.

“I knew he was a tough fighter, quick and in good shape,” said Fonfara after the fight, “but when he hit me for the first time in the first round, I knew I was going to win this fight. He didn’t punch as hard as everybody said he did.”

Chavez Jr. may be enigmatic. He may be mercurial. He may be quixoticl. What he is not and can never be is his famous father.

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  1. travis roste 03:03pm, 04/21/2015

    manuel ramos quit on his feet during joe frazier nysac championship fight in later 60’s. its happened before by a mexican fighter.

  2. Clarence George 12:06pm, 04/20/2015

    Understood, Nicolas, and I think you’re right about the source of the crowd’s ire.  They’ll never forgive Junior for having quit on his stool, however justified that decision may have been.  Mind you, I don’t mind a bit of rambunction, especially on the part of the ladies.  Nothing wrong with a little salsa.  Think Lupe Velez.  But the idea of having a cup of (hopefully) beer thrown at me doesn’t have a whole lot of appeal.  What really annoyed me, however, was the pusillanimous political correctness of Ranallo.  If the crowd’s behaving badly, then say so.  You don’t have to preach about it, but call a spade a spade.

    By the way, my favorite such episode is when one of the boxer’s mothers entered the ring, attacking her son’s opponent with a shoe.  Reminiscent of Ruth Buzzi’s Gladys Ormphby.  Mrs. Wilson’s boy, Tony, got the win, because Steve McCarthy, who was injured, refused to return to the ring.  Weird decision, IMO, as McCarthy should have won by disqualification.  At the very least, it should have been declared a no contest.  Enjoy:

  3. nicolas 09:31am, 04/20/2015

    Just a little side note here Clarence: I read that Art Hafey stated when he went to Monterey, Mexico and knocked out Ruben Olivares in the 5th round, these fans came into the ring towards him, and he thought there would be trouble. But instead, they carried him around the ring in triumph.

  4. nicolas 09:27am, 04/20/2015

    Clarence: I certainly was not trying to justify the crowd behavior. I just wanted to point out that they were not angry that the fight did not go the way they wanted it to go. They were far more angry at their countrymen. Considering past incidents in that part of the country when Mexican fighters were fighting, this was quite mild. Look back at when Lionel Rose fought Chucho Castillo in the 60’s, when Ruben Olivares lost to David Khotey, or even when Johnny Owens was knocked out and died when he fought Lupe Pintor. Perhaps it is the high ticket prices, but audiences today sure behave better than they did in the past.

  5. Clarence George 03:26am, 04/20/2015

    I’d like to add, if I may, that Amir Imam (yet another boxer apparently related to Joe Gans) is a smug and ungracious cove; a sore winner.  I didn’t like how the commentators slobbered all over him and thought the judges gave him the win by a ridiculous margin.  Walter Castillo didn’t get the credit he deserved for some impressive body work.

    Omar Chavez-Richard Guttierez was an OK bout, and I thought the judges got it right.  I had Chavez winning 77-74.

  6. NYIrish 05:59pm, 04/19/2015

    Junior got screwed. They put him in with a guy that could fight, in a higher weight division, after a year layoff. He’s a warrior. But there’s a lot that goes on between fights that’s not making him a better fighter. Too much backstory. First instinct is to blame management. But who manages him? Himself? Kinda like acting as your own attorney in a felony. Some fighters don’t listen and are basically untrainable and have all the answers. If he keeps showing up to fight unprepared he will be “hurt permanent” if it hasn’t happened already.

  7. Koolz 02:41pm, 04/19/2015

    no more Froch and no more GGG after that display!!!

    Chavez Jr should just focus on his family now.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:29pm, 04/19/2015

    No reach around for Luis in Liverpool either, I guess. When you go into the other guys back yard and you’re a volume puncher it’s much easier for the judges to not score punches punches that are “not landing cleanly”.

  9. Clarence George 01:09pm, 04/19/2015

    Irish:  I don’t know if I will, or can, ever again think of Gray except as Squeers.  My own take is that Junior, however unconsciously, wanted to lose the fight in spectacular fashion as a means to leaving the fight game.  That motivation would explain why he opted to go up against Fonfara and why he put on such a terrible performance.  My guess is that he wants to sit poolside, getting fat and losing his hair à la Brendan Fraser.

    Well done, Nicolas.  I thought Chavez would win this one.  Uppermost in my mind was Fonfara’s lackluster performance against Doudou Ngumbu late last year, despite winning.  I was struck last night by how reluctant Joe Goosen was to stop the fight.  I suppose it could have gone into the 10th round, but would have been stopped in the first few seconds, assuming the ref knew what he was doing.  The behavior of the crowd, regardless of the reason, was disgraceful, as only Brian Custer was man enough to point out.  It wasn’t “exuberant,” as the politically correct and insufferable Mauro Ranallo insisted.  As for the post-fight interview, Junior’s team was indeed embarrassed, but I don’t think it’s because he was on anything.  Rather, they recognized, as Gray should have, that the beating had scrambled his brain and that he was in no condition to be anything other than incoherent.

    Incidentally, my favorite fighter of the evening was tiny but tough Oscar Escandon, though I had him losing to Moises Flores 115-110.

  10. nicolas 10:57am, 04/19/2015

    I had predicted in an earlier article about this fight from Teron Briggs that I thought Fonfara had an excellent chance of stopping Chavez. Surprised when two Mexican writers for called this an upset. What upset, you can read my post in the article by Mr. Briggs. The only smart person in the Chavez Jr. group who seemed to know this was a bad idea was Chavez Sr. Perhaps they thought this would be a good humbling experience for Jr. A riot almost seemed to be breaking out when the fight was stopped, however those fans I think were not as upset with Fonfara as they were with Chavez Jr. Just listen to the boos when Grey interviewed Chavez Jr. I think even his people behind him were embarrassed and stunned by Jr’s comments to Mr Grey. Would anyone be surprised if some tests came out and it would be a repeat of tests that came out after Jr.‘s loss to Martinez?

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:14am, 04/19/2015

    Clarence George-Here’s my observation on this one….that was Baby Huey Chavez at his absolute best last night…..goes to show that his career was one big screwing for his “fanaticos” without so much as a reach around!

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:10am, 04/19/2015

    Clarence George-Great observation! Jimmy Gray missed his calling….he was born to play Wackford Squeers….pity poor Smike!

  13. Clarence George 09:25am, 04/19/2015

    An embarrassingly bad performance by Chavez, and in so many ways, from leading with his face to whining to the ref.  I’m glad the fight was stopped, it desperately needed to be, but he shouldn’t have lied about his leg.  He certainly didn’t have to.  But why Jim Gray was offended is what I don’t get.  A nasty piece of work, he is, straight out of central casting as the sadistic headmaster of a broken-down boys’ boarding school.

    By the way, I had it 87-81 for Fonfara at the time of the stoppage.

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:04am, 04/19/2015

    If Golota had the mental toughness of Fonfara… wait…..if Golota wasn’t insane he would have been a match for Lennox Lewis all those years ago.

  15. FrankinDallas 07:30am, 04/19/2015

    It was a leg injury to that led to the “no mas”. At least, that’s what
    Jr said.

  16. Kid Blast 07:21am, 04/19/2015

    No surprise to me. Teddy Atlas once dissed Fonfara and said his neck is too thin and Glen Johnson would slaughter him. Now Teddy sings his praises. How do you say, “two faced?”

  17. peter 07:14am, 04/19/2015

    Chavez Jr. is an accident waiting to happen. Brain damage is right around the corner.

  18. Laurena 06:28am, 04/19/2015

    Post-fight Chavez, Jr. said he wants a “rematch” and that he “won the fight?”  Please, Julio, save me a place on your planet. It’s always sunny there, apparently.

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