By Francisco Salazar
One minute, trainer Robert Garcia and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. looked as though they were going to work together. The next minute, both went about their separate ways due to scheduling conflicts.
After a meeting and a few text messages, it looks as though both are back to working with one another.
Garcia will travel to Chavez’s hometown of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico to train the Mexican fighter over the next few weeks. Chavez will return to action on March 1st, when he faces Bryan Vera at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.
The bout is a rematch of their September 28th meeting that saw Chavez win an unpopular and disputed 10 round decision at the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA. Most media at ringside thought Vera did enough to win and the decision was met with a cascade of boos from what was a pro-Chavez crowd.
A few weeks later, Garcia and Chavez met in Las Vegas the night before Timothy Bradley squared off against Juan Manuel Marquez. Both had verbally agreed to work together as Garcia extended an invitation for Chavez to train at his gym in Oxnard, CA.
The workouts did not materialize as Chavez wanted Garcia to work exclusively with him. Garcia was not able to do that as he was preparing Miguel (Mikey) Garcia, Brandon Rios, and Marcos Maidana for their respective bouts in November and December.
A few weeks ago, Garcia visited Chavez as the Mexican fighter was training in Santa Monica. After a verbal agreement and a few text messages, Garcia agreed to train Chavez.
Garcia made an announcement while he was being interviewed on the “A Los Golpes” (To the Blows) television show on ESPN Deportes on Monday afternoon.
“Chavez and I had a verbal agreement to work with one another in October that did not happen,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com in a telephone interview on Tuesday night. “He wanted me to go to Culiacan, but I told him I couldn’t leave my guys. I was getting Mikey, Brandon, and Marcos for their fights in November and December. I know he was busy with his daughter was born (on December 18th) as well.”
“Mikey just fought last month, so I got a text from Chavez and we met up with him in Santa Monica, where he was training for a few weeks. We talked and he asked if I would train him. My guys are in the gym training, but there aren’t any dates yet. I have nothing going on in February, so I said yes and agreed to go down to Culiacan to work with him.”
Garcia flies out to Culiacan on Friday.
In the first Vera fight, Chavez had Vladimir Baldenebro in his corner along with his father, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr.
One would assume Baldenebro will still be in the Chavez camp, but having Garcia in camp as well may give Chavez the discipline that he is lacked in previous fights. Chavez had trouble making weight for the Vera fight that resulted in Top Rank and Banner Promotions (Vera’s promoter) to agree on a catch-weight of 173 pounds a few days before the fight took place.
Garcia believes in what Chavez has told him so far on looking forward to working with him.
“He’s been texting me saying that he is ready to go when I get there. He even told me he has a bedroom at his house for me to stay in when I’m there. So, we’ll see how it goes.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and RingTV. He could be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing