Can Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Still Matter?

By Paul Magno on November 13, 2018
Can Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Still Matter?
“At my weight I know I can beat anyone. I am focused. I feel strong. Angulo will be first.”

Depending how you look at things, Chavez Jr. has either greatly underachieved or he has merely lived down to realistic expectations…

A few years back, I wrote this in a piece entitled “Chavez Jr. and the Arrogance of Ignorance:”

“It may seem as though Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was born a made man, but back in 2008, when fans in Hermosillo, Sonora pelted the ring with garbage and cups of beer in protest of his controversial split decision win over Minnesota’s Matt Vanda, he certainly didn’t seem to be living a charmed in-ring life.

“Jr. sat in his corner, dejected and deflated, protected from the debris with towels by his corner men while his father battled with angry fans at ringside. On that night he gave a heartfelt post-fight interview in the beer-soaked ring about not ever wanting to fight again…

“But Jr.’s arrogance and more than a pinch of ignorance pushed him forward. Days after the Hermosillo fiasco, he would talk to the press and blast his “jealous” critics in the media. In Jr.’s world, the near-riot wasn’t about the controversial decision (one judge had Chavez winning all ten rounds of the closely-contested bout) or the frustration of the fans who felt that they weren’t getting an honest deal with the kid. No, this was about him being picked on by those who were jealous of his wealth and fame. And he was going to keep fighting and keep winning, just to shut them up. He spoke with the bravado of someone used to getting what he wanted and one who knew that it would just be a matter of time before his enemies would be humbled.”

Ten years after the Hermosillo incident, Hijo de la Leyenda has yet to “shut them up.” If anything, the critics have won out and if they haven’t already scored a definitive TKO against the second generation fighter’s legacy and career, they are just one arm shove to the canvas away from doing so.

Depending how you look at things, Chavez Jr. has either greatly underachieved or he has merely lived down to realistic expectations. For a two-year period, though, he managed to look pretty good and show some decent instincts. From 2010 to 2012, the then-24-year-old kid scored dominant wins over John Duddy, Billy Lyell, Sebastian Zbik, Peter Manfredo Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, and Andy Lee—and he showed himself to not entirely be the punchline to every boxing fan’s jokes about nepotism.

And then everything fell apart.

In September of 2012, he was completely outboxed by Sergio Martinez for the WBC middleweight title he had been gifted the previous year (despite nearly stopping an exhausted, injured Martinez in the final round). After that, the floodgates opened and Jr. spent the next five years dealing in failed drug tests, battles with weight, and general lackluster performances in a 4-2 run through six bouts.

The end of that run was considered by many to be the end of Chavez Jr. as he essentially no-showed an all-Mexico pay-per-view battle against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and lost an embarrassingly wide unanimous decision.
But now, just about 18 months after that shutout loss, Jr. is back and, if pre-fight publicity is to be believed, ready and eager to make another run at shutting “them” up.

Fighting against Alfredo Angulo December 1 on the Countdown Live show prior to the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury pay-per-view show at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Chavez Jr. has been very vocal about this being the first bout of a legitimate comeback.

“I am excited to be back on December 1 to perform for the great Mexican fans in Los Angeles,” he recently said via press release. “At my weight I know I can beat anyone. I am focused and feel strong. Angulo will be first, but then I will pursue a belt at 168. I’m putting the division on notice. Chavez is back.”

The 32-year-old is no longer a forgivable, albeit disagreeable, kid and most everyone has already written him off. But he should get by faded, beefed-up junior middleweight contender Angulo and, fair or not, his name value will eventually earn him a shot at any title he chooses. If he can maintain a healthy 168 lbs. in a division currently ruled by solid, but not spectacular champs and show at least some of the up side he showed at 160 during his 2010-2012 run, he may be able to once again become world champ.

The question now—as it has always been when it comes to Chavez Jr.—is whether he’s serious about doing any of this.

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  1. andrew 07:01pm, 11/15/2018

    No

  2. Kid Blast 12:15pm, 11/14/2018

    He looks like his mother who is very tall. The old man is no trip to Hollywood.

  3. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 08:43am, 11/14/2018

    A bit off topic, but maybe not.  Was this guy adopted by Chavez Sr. I mean he doesn’t look like his father at all and Junior is 6’1” whereas Papa is only 5’7” maybe.  You look at Marvis Frazier and there is no doubt that Joe was the father. Just saying.

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