Julio Cesar Chavez Jr stepped on the scales on Friday and finally saw a number he liked. After several weeks of trying to get his weight down, the Mexican weighed in at 172.4-pounds for his comeback fight against Brian Vera in Carson, California. It is 4.4 more than the super-middleweight contract limit agreed upon for the fight.
But Chavez made it under the new 173 catchweight finally chosen for the bout and said he was ready to show he can still fight. Chavez, with a record of 46-1-1, including 32 knockouts, has not fought since he staggered and nearly stopped Martinez in the 12th round before he suffered his first career loss last September.
He tested positive for marijuana use, leading to a nine-month suspension and a hefty fine. He split up with trainer Freddie Roach and strength coach Alex Ariza, hiring his father as his trainer.
Roach, who played a major role in Chavez's surge to world-class competence, grew frustrated when Chavez elected to train in the living room of his rented house instead of his gym.
Top Rank's Bob Arum ranks Chavez high among the most frustrating fighters he has ever promoted.
"If a guy has no ability, or mediocre ability, and he [messes up], it's irritating," Arum said. "But you don't feel the same way as a guy who has extraordinary ability who then [messes] up. I thought his performance in the Martinez fight, in preparation for that fight, was just awful, something I had never experienced.
"Unfortunately, the way the fight ended, it wasn't almost like a loss. People said, 'Hey, another few seconds, you could have won.' I was really surprised at this long a delay before he got his act back together and got back in the ring."
After serving his suspension for a relatively small amount of marijuana in his system, Chavez chose Vera (23-6, 14), a lively underdog from Texas, for his comeback fight outside Los Angeles. Then the weight problems began, and they still haven't ended.Tags: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr , Bob Arum , boxing