Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Takes Pride In Championship Status

By Jake Donovan, photos by Nina Mariah Donovan

Don’t believe that belts matter? Tell that to any current alphabet title claimant today.

Sure, it’s widely recognized that Sergio Martinez is the true lineal middleweight champion of the world. But don’t tell Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. that his belt doesn’t matter.

If so, his newfound love for the sport could suddenly waver.

The biggest surprise during the press tour hyping up this weekend’s title defense against Peter Manfredo Jr. is the fact that Chavez Jr (43-0-1-1NC, 30KO) has long ago been in proper fighting shape. The bout marks the first defense of the title he acquired in a hard-fought decision win over Sebastian Zbik this past June, and has no plans to relinquish that status any time soon.

“I believe that with the responsibility of being a world champion that I have to get better,” Chavez Jr. says, as he prepares for his defense against Manfredo at Reliant Arena in Houston, with HBO to televise their main event. “With each fight I believe I’m doing that. I want to be world champion for a very long time.”

It took nearly eight years for the 25-year old Chavez Jr to grow from learn-as-you-earn newcomer to the sport, to middleweight titlist. There was a long stretch in his career where many believed he’d never advance beyond the side show level, but that began to change dating back to his 12-round war with John Duddy a year ago.

The fight marked the first time that the second-generation prizefighter hooked up with world class trainer Freddie Roach and his all-star team. The results have shown with each passing fight, but this camp in particular caught the eye of the man in charge of fine tuning his body.

“That he entered this camp already in shape showed me that he’s taking things seriously,” noted Alex Ariza, the strength and conditioning coach perhaps more famous for his work with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. “He’s always told us that becoming a champion would make him take the sport far more seriously. I’m very proud of him.”

The routine for past Chavez Jr. camps have normally centered around trimming excess flab and praying like hell that the scale doesn’t go beyond fight weight once it’s time for the official weigh-in. Training just to make weight detracts from the ability to get into true fighting shape, though that wasn’t an issue this time around.

“You’re 10 steps ahead of the game,” Ariza notes of the fact that Chavez Jr. already entered camp ahead of schedule. “Now we get to focus on the real stuff. You get to have shorter, smarter and more intense training camps so you’re not killing yourself.”

Still, making weight and showing off a finely chiseled physique is only good for the cameras. Once the bell rings, you still have to fight. That is where Chavez Jr. continues to battle extra hard in convincing people that his career is to be taken seriously and not just as some freak show.

Of course, he readily recognizes the shadows that will forever hover over him. However, he believes it’s time that critics see him for his own capabilities, and not the legacy to which he’s unfairly expected to measure up.

“I believe that I’ve added credibility to my career with my championship,” Chavez Jr. states, while acknowledging the incredible career of his Hall-of-Fame father Julio Sr, who remains in his corner in a constructive and positive manner. “I’m always going to be his son, but little by little I’m forging my own career.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by mshap on 11-18-2011

totally agree about the bogus nature of Jr.s 'championship' -- I don't think his people will EVER let him get in there with a top tier guy because they know that would probably burst his bubble.....

Comment by nycsmooth on 11-18-2011

Proud for a belt that he was "given", never fought a top 10 challenger, the most protected boxer in OUR sport...eventually he'll fight a good boxer..can't see him boxing Canelo or Martinez, & be exposed for the fraud he is...what…

Comment by boxer2k5 on 11-18-2011

too bad hes no champion. how can you consider yourself nto only the champion but a champion when the champion never lost his belt was and still willing and wanting to fight you. was strip of belt giving some made…

Comment by vacon04 on 11-18-2011

He sucks ... He had an unbelievable weight advantage over Zbik and still got a controversial decision, in fact I had Zbik winning the fight. Then he won't defend his title against Martinez, he's been avoiding him since he got…

Comment by S H A R K B O Y on 11-18-2011

Jr.'s going to get a rude awakening once he gets exposed...........again.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (8)
Top Headlines Manny Pacquiao Backs Philippines President in War on ISIS Photos: Adonis Stevenson Grinds Hard For Fonfara Rematch Brook Quit Vs. Spence Because He Was Worried He'd Go Blind Photos: Jean Pascal, Roy Jones Jr. Come Together - Putting in Work Brook, Hearn Agree the Time is Right to Move Up to 154 Pounds Kovalev Feels Boost With Russian Coach For Andre Ward Rematch Photos: Andrzej Fonfara Open Workout For Stevenson Rematch Kudryashov vs. Durodola II Undercard is Coming Together Felix Alvarado, Rene Alvarado, Byron Rojas Get Knockout Wins Groves: I'm Sure I'll Beat DeGale Again, I Beat Him Twice Already Tim Tszyu Set To Return on July 22 in Toowoomba Sanchez: Golovkin Will Wear Canelo Down By Eight or Ninth Michael Conlan: I Want a Better Opponent Next, A Real Threat Who Can Handle "The Truth" After Brook-Spence? Joshua Could Lose IBF Belt Prior To Klitschko II, Pulev Stands Firm Omar Narvaez vs. Nikolay Potapov For WBO Interim-Title Diego Chaves Lands Grudge Match, Fabian Maidana on Undercard Golden Boy Prez on Working With Cotto Again, Canelo Rematch Povetkin vs. Rudenko Will Require Doping Tests, Says Manager Lipinets' Manager: Indongo Will Face Crawford, Belt Will Be Vacant Roach Relieved, Says Pacquiao Finally Getting Back into Form Miguel Cotto Will Resume Training at Wild Card on July 3 Bellew: Brook Had The Fight Beaten Out of Him By Errol Spence Porter: Spence Sent Message To Entire Welterweight Division Khan Wants to Fight Brook at Bramall Lane Next Summer Spence Broke Brook's Left Orbital Bone, Surgery a Possibility Spence: Brook Had To Quit - Or Eye May Get Permanent Damage Alexander vs. Collazo in Play For Potential Garcia-Broner Card Spence: I Proved Myself; Now It's Time for Thurman to Fight Me! Photos: Errol Spence Drops, Stops Kell Brook - MONSTER Gallery Photos: Groves Finally Does It, Stops Chudinov To Become Champ Callum Smith Pumped, Feels 100% Ready For Anthony Dirrell Groves: Who Wants To Fight Me? I'm Tired of Chasing People Papazov Edges Chaniev, Chebotarev Gets Another Kayo Win Arum: If McGregor Can't Get Mayweather, Then Pacquiao is There! Marquez Fires Back at Miguel Cotto: Take Care of Kamegai First! WBC Asian Boxing Council: Titov and Kurbanov Are Honoured Julio Ceja Drops, Stops Anselmo Moreno in Three Rounds Orlando Salido Gets Off The Floor To Stop Perez in Eight Spence: I Was Sluggish, Wasn't Sharp; Give Myself a B-Minus
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement