Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is back in the win column.
The second-generation boxer and former middleweight titlist was slow out of the gate but eventually pulled through in a 4th round stoppage of Massachusetts-based journeyman Jeyson Minda in their super middleweight affair.
Chavez scored knockdowns in rounds two, three and four. The last of the lot prompted a corner stoppage midway through the 4th round of their main event Friday evening at Parque Revolución in Chávez’s hometown of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
The opening round gave the adoring local public plenty of cause for concern.
Chavez—having lost two straight and three of his last four starts—was outboxed by the visiting Minda in round one, bleeding from the nose by the end of the frame. The sequence brought back ugly memories of what transpired in his clash with Daniel Jacobs last December in Phoenix, where he was forced to quit after five rounds which in turn produced a riot.
Minda tried to continue to box his way to victory in round two, though it was a matter of time before Chavez Jr. would have his say in changing that trend. It came in the form of punishing body shots, producing the first of three knockdowns on the night. That moment came late in round two, with Minda forced to a knee and barely beating the count just before the bell.
Chavez continued with his attack in round three, working the body and along with landing the occasional head shot. An awkward sequence came in the middle of the frame, with Minda falling to the canvas and Chavez stepping over him before shouting for the well-traveled Ecuadorian to put up a fight.
A right hand to the midsection knocked the wind out of Minda late in round three. He once again beat the count, but draped himself over the top rope at round’s end which caused momentary confusion as to whether he wanted to continue.
Minda came out for round four, but was a spent fighter by that point. Chavez went on the attack, providing the finishing touch courtesy of a right hand upstairs. A mandatory eight count was issued, with Minda (14-3-1, 8KOs) willing to continue but his corner not as eager as they stood on the ring apron with white towel in tow.
The win is the first for Chavez since scoring a 1st round knockout of Evert Bravo last August in San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico. The win was his first fight in 27 months after having dropped a 12-round shutout to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May 2017, with the confidence-restoring knockout setting up a fight with Jacobs for year’s end.
The event was mired in controversy, with Chavez issued a suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for evading contracted testers during an attempted random drug test last October. The development and ensuing lawsuit forced the fight to relocate to Phoenix, whose aftermath resulted in Chavez also being suspended indefinitely by the Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission.
Chavez remains under temporary suspension by both governing bodies, which prevents him from fighting anywhere in the United States until such cases are resolved. With that has come two straight fights in his native Mexico, though his first post-pandemic fight ending in a shocking technical decision defeat to countryman Mario Cazares this past September in Tijuana.
The knockout win over Minda rights the ship, as Chavez advances to 52-5-1 (34KOs).
Friday's bout aired live on independent Pay-Per-View, coming at a suggested retail price of $9.50.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox