By Jake Donovan
Julio César Chávez Jr. is ready to make up for lost time.
The second-generation former titlist returned the ring for the first time in more than two years, the moment lasting all of 82 seconds as he tore through Colombia’s Evert Bravo on Saturday evening in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Mexico.
Chavez Jr. hadn’t been seen in the ring since a May 2017 12-round shutout loss to countryman Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or in the win column since Dec. 2016.
Saturday’s performance checked off that box, with a left hook to the liver delivering his first knockout win since a 7th round stoppage of Andy Lee in his final successful middleweight title defense in June 2012. You have to go back three more years for Chavez Jr.’s last 1st round knockout which came in Sept. 2012.
“Boxing is like that,” Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33KOs) said after Saturday’s win, which came in front of 6,000 strong at Antonio R. Márquez Stadium. “I wanted to give a more spectacle performance for the people, but that hook was well connected and did the job.
“I am very happy because I prepared myself like never before.”
His physique suggested otherwise, weighing in at a career heaviest 175¼ pounds for the occasion. Still, it was all about getting back in the ring, which has been an issue ever since losing his middleweight title to Sergio Martinez in Sept. 2012. Chavez Jr. had fought just six times in seven years prior to Saturday’s bout, yet is already planning for at least three fights in 2019 (lncluding this one) before challenging for another major belt.
The son of legendary Hall of Fame former three-division titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. has been rumored to be heading towards a future showdown with former middleweight title claimant Daniel Jacobs. The pairing remains more wait-and-see than a steadfast plan, as he has firm designs on a realistic next step.
“I want to return in September against (Alfredo) Angulo and then go for the super middleweight title," Chavez Jr. insisted in calling out his all-action countryman.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox