by Rick Reeno
Billy Keane, the manager of WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., has advised BoxingScene.com that his fighter suffered a hand injury which is jeopardizing the upcoming fight with Ronald Hearns, scheduled for September 17 in Mexico.
The freak injury occurred a few weeks ago when Chavez was in a room and lifted his hand in the air and suffered a cut from a ceiling fan. The wound required stitches, but the hand has not healed properly and Chavez has been unable to spar or take part in strenuous gym activities that require the use of both hands. According to Keane, Chavez attempted to spar and the hand “didn’t feel good.”
“His hand was clipped by a ceiling fan. He went to the doctor and he had two to three stitches [to close the wound]. The doctor advised him not to fight, but Julio wanted to press on. He’s been training but he hasn’t been able to spar or really hit the bag but he’s been doing his groundwork. I went to Tijuana and I looked at the hand and it still looked very infected; it looked like it wasn’t healing right so I’m sending him to a doctor and we should know more in the next day or so,” Keane told BoxingScene.com.
“I originally saw his hand when he cut it. It was a bad cut that required stitches. It was on top of his hand, near his knuckle.”
Hearns’ promoter, Lou DiBella, is not sold on Chavez’s injury. DiBella, and members of Hearns’ team, heard about the recent rumors that were circulating in Mexico with respect to Chavez allegedly being overweight. The WBC initially did not release the boxer’s weight when he stepped on the scale for a 30-day safety weigh-in on August 17th, but the sanctioning body released the number of 173-pounds the following day – which several reporters in Mexico placed in doubt.
“Why didn’t he pull out two weeks ago? He suffered an injury two weeks ago and yesterday he was training with [Antonio] Margarito. Come on,” DiBella said.
Even before the Hearns fight was finalized, Chavez had another date lined up. He returns on November 19th against Peter Manfredo Jr., who ironically is also promoted by DiBella. HBO will televise the Chavez-Manfredo bout.