By Rick Reeno
Billy Keane, manager of WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., spoke to BoxingScene.com to set the record on the circulated reports that certain members of Chavez's team are either being or have already been replaced.
Reports have recently surfaced that trainer Freddie Roach and/or strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza were no longer involved with Chavez.
“As far as I know, there is no one Julio has mentioned to me that [he wants out], Freddie or Alex,” Keane told BoixngScene.com.
According to Keane, there are geographical complications with Chavez training in Las Vegas and Roach/Ariza training Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. However, Chavez has a strong Mexican team, led by his father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., that prepares him for fights when Roach/Ariza are facing scheduling conflicts.
Chavez is training for a scheduled defense on June 16th against Andy Lee at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
"Ariza has been training him the last two days in Las Vegas. There is a logistical obstacle with Alex being here and with Manny [in LA] and going back and forth, so Julio's dad has stepped up and is helping with his boxing. He is always a great help. Julio has a real strong Mexican team that works with him year round [and they] don't get the credit they deserve," Keane said.
"There is a talented boxing guy, a body worker who helps him with his weight. He has a solid core group that really allow Freddie and Alex to slide in the way they do, because they keep a consistency in Julio's life with his father and the core Mexican team. The desire is to have success. The desire is to put the team right back in there, work around the obstacles logistically as best as we can and work it day by day."
"His father and the Mexican team are what really make it possible for Freddie and Alex to have the busy schedule, because [the team is] capable. Obviously his father is beyond capable. They know how to prepare him for a fight. They allow Freddie and Alex to come in and fine tune and make little adjustments."
The WBC issued recently issued a press release, declaring that Chavez and mandatory challenger Segrio Martinez signed document for a fight in the fall. While Keane admits the document is not a binding contract agreement, it does certify Chavez’s desire to fight Martinez next.
“It brings Julio’s concrete desire to fight Martinez one step closer. It’s putting pen to paper, subject to the terms and conditions being worked out, that it’s the fight that he wants. He’s not ducking the fight. It’s a fight he desires very much,” Keane said.
“Obviously Julio cannot sign for a fight without his promoter. Top Rank is his promoter. He cannot enter into a bout agreement without [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum’s approval. Julio wanted it to be known that this was the fight he was seeking. Obviously you cannot commit 100% to a fight when you have a fight pending, [and cannot commit when] you haven’t been able to discuss what the terms of the contract will be. He’s committed to that fight. ”