Chavez Junior’s last shot at glory

Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

If you want to end up getting mauled or killed in Mexico, just shout out loud any invective against Julio Cesar Chavez, who is revered in his country almost the same way Filipinos treasure Manny Pacquiao.

But if you shout invectives about the son of Chavez, Julio Cesar Jr., in Mexico, there is a big chance you won’t get mauled or killed.

Unfortunately, the junior of Mexico’s most revered boxing figure had to bear the brunt of carrying his father’s name to a point that he was expected to duplicate Chavez’s envious legacy in the ring. He has failed so far.

Although Chavez failed to avenge his two stoppage losses to Oscar dela Hoya and Pernell Whitaker almost made him look like an amateur, there is no denying he is Mexico’s most accomplished boxer. He retired with a record of 107-6-2 with 86 knockouts and collared titles in three weight divisions. He fought up to light welterweight (140 pounds) division.

Chavez Jr. has fought in the higher divisions and was the World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion. With a record of 50-2-1 with 32 KOs and only one world title won so far, Chavez Jr. cannot be likened to his father. But Chavez Jr. can punch and wage war!

In his losing effort in a world unification bout for the middleweight title against Sergio Martinez in September 2012, Chavez Jr. fell behind the score cards but was able to deck his opponent in the last round to the delight of the crowd that was predominantly Mexican.

If Chavez Jr. had another surname, he may not have been derided by the boxing press for failing to duplicate his father’s ring legacy.

But on May 6 this year, Chavez Jr. will have the chance to redeem himself when he squares off with Saul Alvarez at a catch weight that favors him, or 164.5 pounds.

Alvarez (48-1-1 with 34 KOs) has never fought above middleweight (160 pounds) and is the former WBC middleweight champion and current World Boxing Organization junior middleweight (154 pounds) champion.

Well, this is what I expect from the Chavez Jr.-Alvarez bout: all-out war!

Mexico really has a tradition of pitting their compatriots against each other, because Mexicans love to watch their boxers slug it out in the ring. And Alvarez and Chavez Jr. fight like the typical Mexican pug or love to slug it out. Mexican boxers never fight like Floyd Mayweather Jr.!

While Alvarez is also a methodical fighter, or he sizes up his opponent and has good defense, we have seen how he unloads when the opposition is on the verge of crumpling. But against Chavez Jr., Alvarez better think he is not in for a picnic.

At 30 years old and standing 6’1”, Chavez Jr. cannot be considered past his peak and is tall for a middleweight or even a super welterweight (168 pounds). Alvarez is 5’9”. Chavez Jr. also holds a three-inch reach advantage over the 26-year old Alvarez.

So how will this fight unfold?

It is actually stupid to believe Alvarez can just walk through the punches of Chavez Jr. who has one-punch knockdown power as proven in the Martinez fight. But when Alvarez lets loose his combinations, especially if he gets to land his vaunted right crosses, hell could break loose!

For Chavez Jr., this fight is make-or-break, because a loss, especially by stoppage, can result in his retirement.

As for Alvarez, a win, either by wide decision or stoppage, would bolster his stock and make Gennady Golovkin (36-0 with 33 KOs) green with envy from the attention Alvarez would be getting after the bout (should Alvarez win).

Golovkin, who holds four versions of the world middleweight titles, must be thinking now that it should be him who should be facing Chavez Jr.

Don’t miss this fight!


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