Advertisement
Advertisement

HBO’s New Gatti?: JCC Post-Fight Report Card

By Cliff Rold

The wheels did not come off the train.  Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. did the second time what he should have the first, getting himself into shape and beating down a game but overmatched Brian Vera on Saturday.

It was the sort of performance that told us a lot of what we already knew.  Vera is a limited but rugged warrior who, based on his style, is a big punch short of being a player.  He makes great fights with what he’s got and can play spoiler.  He is who he was coming in.

The same is true of Junior.  He is who he was coming in but after this latest outing, it’s worth asking: is he HBO’s new Arturo Gatti?

Let’s go the report card.

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Chavez B; Vera B/Post: Same

Pre-Fight: Power – Chavez B+; Vera B/Post: B; B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Chavez C; Vera B-/Post: C; C-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Chavez B-; Vera B/Post: B+; A

In terms of intangibles, Vera has the sort of professional character and heart fans always look for.  His work ethic has allowed him to become someone who can be plugged in with many the right big names at Middleweight and Super Middleweight without looking out of place.

Names like Chavez.  While the decision in their first bout still bears a stink, the silver lining was getting two entertaining scraps out of the deal.  This time, Chavez got in shape and it showed.  Where he lacked for activity between big bombs in the first fight, he kept his hands moving this time and earned the win.  All the while, he took plenty of leather in return, something he does in most fights.

While he hasn’t faced many elite punchers, it’s safe to say he’s got an elite beard based on how little he appears affected by the shots he has taken in multiple fights now.  Chavez is reliable in that sense.  He’s also reliable in terms of what to expect at the right level of foe.

Matched with an elite talent like Sergio Martinez, he was badly outclassed until a sheer size advantage made for a dramatic end.  Martinez isn’t a big Middleweight.  As he makes his way into the mine fields at Super Middleweight and potentially Light Heavyweight, that won’t bode well against talents like Andre Ward, but at the next level down (guys like Sakio Bika for instance, though promotional issues might obstruct that particular fight), we could get some good scraps.

This is where Chavez might fill the gap left behind by Gatti.  No, he hasn’t been in the same sort of chaotic wars as yet and may not.  Gatti-type wars are exceptions to most rules.  And there is nothing to indicate he is as yet as good as Gatti.  Chavez has yet to beat anyone as good as Tracy Patterson or Gabe Ruelas. 

But what ultimately was Gatti’s role?  He was the reliable action star whose fights could make the meat and potatoes fan happy, win or lose, against the right level of opposition and who could serve as the big name walkover for the elite.  Unlike Gatti, Chavez can even play a little bit of the villain to add a little spice to events.   

Gatti made classic fare with guys below the elite level like Ivan Robinson and Mickey Ward and was drubbed against Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather.  Chavez is must-see TV against guys like Vera, Andy Lee, and John Duddy.  Those sorts of fights can maintain his brand while spacing out nights like Martinez already and perhaps Gennady Golovkin or Ward down the road.

On those nights, he will serve the function of making better fighters into bigger stars before resuming action with the fighters he can beat.  None of this is a bad thing.  It speaks to how important Chavez can be to the sport as long as he continues on and can stay in decent shape.

He isn’t a great fighter and he won’t be one.  Chavez though is a good one and he’s good in all the right ways to make him easy to anticipate.

Report Card Picks 2014: 7-5

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Golovkin on 03-05-2014

This made me cringe when I read it this morning. I am a fan of Chavez Jr but please don't disrespect the memory of Gatti by putting him in the same sentence as either of these two. Gatti was special,…

Comment by BoxngLove on 03-05-2014

yeah.. don't see the resemblance whatsoever in Gatti to either of these guy. It's one thing to say a guy is entertaining, another to say he is not the best, but that sure as **** does not make him Gatti

Comment by CANELOLUJAH on 03-04-2014

Vera game but without a real punch that as far as you going to go.

Comment by RlCKY on 03-04-2014

I agree with the comparison as laid out in the article. But it doesn't go much further than that. You're usually going to be entertained one way or another watching this kid fight.

Comment by DondiNeverLeft on 03-04-2014

That's funny because of friend of mine actually told me that Vera kind of reminded him of Gatti. I get the comparison.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Canelo Jabs Critics: Nobody Will Pressure Me Into Golovkin Fight! Chocolatito To Finish With 113 Rounds of Sparring For Cuadras Imminent Big Fights Prompt 2017 Wish List Canelo Smiles: Lara Calling Out GGG, Golovkin Won't Fight Him! Danny Roman Hopes To Continue Raising His Competition Joseph Parker's Younger Brother To Make Pro Debut on October 1 David Lemieux Had Surgery To Repair a Torn Meniscus Jean-Claude Van Damme Wants Mayweather-Pacquiao II Eric Molina: If No David Price - Bring on David Haye Showdown! Del Valle Provides a Tough Litmus Test For De La Hoya, Team Says Canelo: I'm Making History - Golovkin is Older and Fought Nobody! Rosado, Monroe Exchange Harsh Words Ahead of Sept. 17 Fight Ray Edwards, Former NFL Veteran, Inks Boxing Promotional Pact Rosado-Monroe Winner Could Get Canelo Next, Says Golden Boy VP Diego De La Hoya: Just Having The Last Name is Not Enough Jermall Charlo is NOT Yet on Board For Julian Williams Defense Tommy Oosthuizen Resumes Career With a Stoppage Win Peralta Parks Cab in The Garage, Ready For Guerrero Rematch De La Hoya: Canelo in The Process of Being a Worldwide Superstar Canelo vs. Smith: Sadam Ali, Eddie Gomez Added To The Card Kid Galahad: Brook Will Beat Golovkin in Style, Box His Ears Off! Malignaggi: I Wouldn't Mind a Shot at David Peralta Next P. Fury: Brook in a Win-Win Position Against Gennady Golovkin David Price Eager To Face Joseph Parker on Joshua Card Crolla Very Motivated To Topple Jorge Linares in 'Legacy Fight' Ricky Burns, if He Beats Relikh, To Land Adrien Broner Next? Mayweather vs. Pacquiao PPV: Strange Twist in Waiter Lawsuit Lauren's Trainer: Svensson Never Fought Anyone on This Level Teddy Atlas: Nobody at 147 is in a Hurry To Face Errol Spence Abel Ramos Breaks Down Juan Jesus Rivera in Six Rounds Edwards Gaining Steam in Camp as Casimero Bout Nears "Fighting Words" - Guerrero, Angulo and the Right Time To Go Canelo: Ready To Face Golovkin? He Has To Be Ready For Me! Two Olympians Investigated For Gambling Allegations in Rio Sammy Valentin Joins WBO Drug Free Kids Movement In Tampa Canelo, Smith No Longer VADA Testing - No Cause For Concern Peralta: I Was a Sad Cab Driver, Now I'm a Happy Boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov Denies Promotional Deal, Eyes Olympics Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook Video: Badou Jack Talks James DeGale Unification, More
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement