By Miguel Rivera
At first it took a lot of work, but little by little the results of his training with conditioning coach Memo Heredia, and technique with experienced Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristáin, have boosted the confidence of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The former WBC middleweight champion is preparing for a grudge match with fellow Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, which takes place on May 6th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Chavez Jr. is training hard at the Otomí Ceremonial Center in Mexico, which is located 3,200 meters above sea level.
The fight with Canelo takes place at a catch-weight of 164.5-pounds. Chavez Jr. last fought at 168-pounds, which is the super middleweight limit, last December in Mexico. Canelo fought at the junior middleweight limit of 154-pounds last September when he captured the WBO title from Liam Smith.
"People tell me that if I prepare well I will beat Canelo, and that gives me confidence because I will prepare well and then I will win," said Chavez Jr. to ESPN Deportes.
"I've always viewed this as a winnable fight, but today I view it as being even more winnable because I've put my body through hard work and it has responded well, in all aspects. I believe that when I punch I'm punching at my hardest ever and I'm improving my speed as well. I feel good, rejuvenated, it's been great to be here."
As for weight, Memo Heredia reported that Chavez Jr. is at about 182 pounds and when he finished his training for the day he reaches 179 pounds. Nacho Beristáin said that he will ask both Heredia and Julio to get the weight to 175 pounds in the next two weeks so the fighter can feel comfortable with it, and then having Julio drop another 10 pounds by the time of the official weigh-in will not be a problem.