Chavez Jr. Makes His Mark

By Robert Mladinich on June 5, 2011
Despite the fight being very entertaining, questions linger about Chavez Jr.

In essence, a small super middleweight was fighting a cruiserweight, but both were able to fight on very even terms for the entire 12 rounds…

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Culiacan, Mexico, has always maintained that there was more to his game than just his name. But being the son of the greatest fighter in Mexican history, people couldn’t help but anoint him with the nickname “Son of the Legend.”

The 25-year-old never seemed entirely comfortable with that designation as he tried to forge his own identity and create his own legacy in the world’s toughest vocation. He took a giant step in that direction by winning a very spirited and competitive 12-round majority decision, as well as the WBC middleweight title, from previously undefeated Sebastian Zbik of Germany at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on June 4.

Although the 29-year-old Zbik, 30-1 (10), was fighting outside of Europe for the first time, he was unruffled by all of the accolades accorded to the challenger in the weeks leading up to the fight. Despite his lack of power, Zbik is a supremely confident ring technician who threw an astounding 834 punches, of which he connected with 391 or 47 percent.

If he was blessed with more power, it is unlikely that any middleweight could survive his offensive game because he usually throws punches in bunches of five or six at a time.

Chavez Jr., now 43-0-1 (30) with 1 no contest, was able to withstand Zbik’s punches, mainly because they lacked the requisite power needed at this level of competition. With his father looking on, Chavez Jr. connected with 256 of the 796 punches he threw, the majority of which seemed to be to Zbik’s body.

By the later rounds Zbik was visibly drained by the incessant body punching, but still he valiantly fought on. It was hard for viewers not to grimace as Zbik gasped or grunted as his midsection was ravaged by three, four and sometimes five punches at a clip.

Despite the fight being very entertaining, questions linger about Chavez Jr. He weighed in at 160 pounds, but entered the ring at 180. Zbik weighed in at 159 ¾ pounds, but entered the ring at 165. In essence, a small super middleweight was fighting a cruiserweight, but both were able to fight on very even terms for the entire 12 rounds.

Judge Steve Morrow saw it a 114-114 draw, while Raul Caiz Jr. had it 115-113 and John Keane scored it 116-112 for Chavez Jr.

“I came to win the fight for Mexico,” proclaimed the newly crowned champion.

HBO commentator Max Kellerman described Chavez Jr. as having “real charisma” and “looking like a rock star.” His broadcast colleague, Roy Jones Jr., said, “I don’t care what language you speak, this was a great middleweight fight.”

On June 11, however, all of the attention Chavez Jr. has been garnering will be diverted as his father will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. The reality is that Chavez the younger, who is incredibly mature for his age, is just fine sharing in his dual roles as the son of a legend, as well as a prospective legend in his own right.

When asked what his father said to him immediately after his victory was announced, the broad, beaming smile on his face spoke of a pride and warmth that is rooted in pure love and adoration.

“He said, ‘Congratulations and I love you,’” said Chavez Jr.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Vs. Sebastian Zbik Press Conference and Exclusive Interview

Zbik vs. Chavez Jr. Final Press Conference

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Sebastian Zbik Weigh In / Pesaje

Chavez Jr vs Zbik (HBO)

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  1. Joe 03:26am, 06/09/2011

    Zbik was hand-picked for that reason, he had no chance against a guy who is a light heavyweight.  I like Jr too (I like Omar more) so he’ll make some good fights and money. But he isn’t ready for Sergio - that’s a couple years off in the distance. Hey BobFather serve Kelly up for him next.

  2. Stan 11:38am, 06/08/2011

    I am a big fan of Chavez Senior, thus, I pull for Junior. But I didn’t see much to take joy from in the Zbik fight. If Zbik had any power whatsoever, the fight wouldn’t have lasted 3 rounds. I realize Junior is trying to change his style to that of a stand-up boxer, but why he holds his hands, especially the left, down so far is beyond me. He has a long way to go, and the opponents are just going to get tougher. Zbik fought a stupid fight plan, even with his lack of power, his lack of real movement played right into Junior’s hands.

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