by David P. Greisman
Ronnie Shields (Chavez Jr.): “That’s a tough one to call, because I think that Rubio, since he beat the guy from Canada [David Lemieux], of course he’s a slow starter, but he came on really well and was able to knock him out. But Chavez, the way he’s boxing right now, I think he’s boxing really well. I think If Chavez comes out and boxes the way he’s been boxing, he definitely has a chance to win the first five or six rounds, just boxing. The problem is he has to hurt Rubio in order for him to continue to keep boxing. I think he has to make Rubio respect him.
“On he flip side of that, Rubio says he wants to fight him the same way he fought the Canadian kid, and I don’t think he can do that because Chavez is boxing really well now. But if he comes out and he doesn’t get respect from Chavez, then it’s going to be a long night for him. Chavez is going to keep boxing him. If he doesn’t hurt Chavez in any way, then there’s no way he’s going to win a decision. My prediction is going to be Chavez by close, unanimous decision.”
Henry Ramirez (Chavez Jr.): “That’s an interesting fight. I give the edge to Chavez. He’s improved. It seems like he’s working hard and doing what he has to do, because you always hear the rumors about him maybe not being as dedicated to the sport as he needed to be. He’s improving and stepped up the level of opposition. Rubio is no slouch. He’s a good puncher. I like Chavez jr. in a pretty entertaining fight. Overall, he’s a better fighter.”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (Chavez Jr.): “I just think that with a title comes more maturity. With Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., I’ve watched him as he first started and as they hand fed him. They did do the right thing by him. They didn’t give him any tough opposition. Every fight that he participated in, he grew more confident and more comfortable until he got to a certain point where he fought for a world title, and he was confident and comfortable and won the world title.
“When you win a world title, it brings an aura of invincibility to you as long as you keep doing the right thing. [The result] could be a decision, because Rubio’s tough and Rubio can punch a little bit. He knocked out Lemieux. Rubio is no pushover. It’s going to be a good, tough fight, and whoever wants it more is going to get it. I think Chavez will probably out-box him, because he’s a little taller than Rubio. He has to use his attributes. You don’t just go in and fight fire with fire. He’s a good boxer and has a longer reach. That’s what he should use.”
John Scully (Chavez Jr.): “I would say Chavez Jr. I definitely feel that Chavez Jr. is underrated and that, because of his association with his father’s name, people overlook him and they look down on the fact that he had so many fights before he stepped up and fought upper-level competition. I think he’s a good fighter. He’s just like any other guy. He took his time. He worked his way up. He learned as he went. He showed power last time in the Manfredo fight. I think he’s going to win. I think he’ll box and cause Rubio a lot of trouble with the jab and with those punches from a distance. Not that it’ll be an easy fight, but I’ll pick Chavez to win a decision.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org