LOS ANGELES—At the age of 33, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is now mature enough to admit he’s made mistakes along the way of his 16-year career boxing out of the shadows of his legendary father.
“No more time to play,” Chavez Jr. told BoxingScene.com in a recent interview while working out at the Wild Card Gym, as Freddie Roached prepared him for mitt work. “I want to be the best. That's why I'm still in boxing.”
Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33 KOs) will get another shot at redemption Dec. 20 when he takes on Daniel Jacobs in a super middleweight fight in Phoenix, Arizona which will stream on DAZN. The fight was originally slated for Las Vegas, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended the second-generation fighter after he failed to comply with an ordered random drug test last month.
Chavez Jr. is guilty for having twice tested positive for banned substances which resulted in suspensions, and he was away from the ring since losing to Canelo Alvarez in May 2017 when he resurfaced August in Mexico to fight for the first time in 27 months.
“I was distracting my career for the last three-to-four years doing stupid things,” said Chavez Jr. “That created a lot of problems. Now that I'm older, I know what I want, and that's the most important thing … Daniel Jacobs is a very good fighter. As someone who beat cancer, he also understands life. I understand life better now too. It will be a great.”
Chavez Jr. said he already knows his gameplan going into the fight, and it solely revolves around relentless output and the proper training and conditioning to allow for that to happen.
“I know I needed Freddie Roach's style and throwing more punches. I feel great, because Freddie helped me a lot in my life. I've had a lot of inactivity, but my best style is inside. I'm going to try and pressure him because distance is not the best for me. He's not a big puncher, but he's fast. He knows how to throw punches. He's a complete fighter who uses the ring well.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.