Advertisement
Advertisement

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 Chris Eubank Jr: I Can Knock Gennady Golovkin Out! Froch Cautions Joshua Not To Rush, Picks Fury To Beat Klitschko Kerry Hope is Convinced Vijender Singh Was Scared at Presser Zeuge is Sparring With Braehmer For De Carolis WBA Title Clash McGregor Was Looking For 50-50 Split With Floyd Mayweather Firat Arslan vs. Nuri Seferi Crossroads Bout on September 18 Eubank Sr. Baits Golovkin: Prove To Me That You Can Beat My Son! Rey Ojeda Shocks Puerto Rico With Retirement Announcement Thurman-Porter Makes Working Weekend Worth The Wrangling Cotto vs. Marquez Negotiations Continue To Play Out Hurd: I Didn’t Want to Force the Stoppage After Dropping Molina Joshua Warns Wilder: Focus on Arreola, I'll Be To America Soon Photos/Weights: Edner Cherry vs Lydell Rhodes, Douglas-Collado 30 Day Weights: Crawford 150.4-Pounds, Postol 145.5-Pounds Bob Arum Details Top Rank's Plans in China Examining the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter Scorecards Golovkin-Eubank Moves Closer After 'Very Positive' Talks in London Povetkin's Promoter: No Interim-Fight, Wilder Shot By Year's End Thurman-Porter: Highest Barclays Boxing Gate, 2nd Largest Crowd Roach Embraces Pacquiao-Broner: We'd Go For The Knockout! Juan Diaz: Win Over Vazquez Takes Me One Step Closer To Title Terence Crawford Special Debuts on HBO, July 9th Oscar Molina: I'll Come Back From Loss to Jarrett Hurd Froch: If Eubank Faces Golovkin in September - I'd Be Shocked Brook: After Vargas - I Need To Get in There With Keith Thurman! Ivan Baranchyk, Tommy Morrison's Son Win Big in Miami Pablo Cesar Cano-Alfonso Gomez Set For July 15, Gibson is Out Thurman: Porter Isn't Top Two, But He Remains Marquee at 147 Golovkin vs. Eubank: Hearn Aims To Finalize Deal in 48-72 Hours Tommy Langford-Ronny Gabel Set For July 16th in Cardiff Postol, Roach Reflect Back on Knocking Lucas Matthysse Out Frank Warren: Liam Smith Has Very Good Shot To Beat Canelo! Vargas To Kell Brook: I Already Signed, Let's Get This Over With! Thurman Wants To Keep Fighting on Free TV, Not on Pay-Per-View Froch: Golovkin Rejected Terms, I'd Walk Through DeGale in 5 or 6 Casey Ramos Faces Paredes on Top Rank Bill, 7/16 on UniMas Joseph Parker Embraces Anthony Joshua Title Fight For The Fall Mayweather Admits: For The 'Right Price' I Might Come Back! Mikaela Lauren-Klara Svensson Showdown Set For Sept. 10 Mayweather Backs Golden Boy's Decision on Canelo-Golovkin
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement