3 More Rounds

Chavez Jr. said to be showing maturity in camp

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

Photo: Esther Lin / Showtime

From the tightly wound confines of the Ten Goose Gym in Van Nuys, California, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fielded questions in front of Showtime and ESPN cameras last Friday, did some pad work with new trainer Joe Goossen and even interacted with his toddler daughter in advance of this weekends’ showdown with Andrez Fonfara in a Showtime televised event from Carson, California.

Chavez appeared in the sweat dripped gym in svelte shape in front of about 60 media members, did TV spots and then hit the target pad for a good ten minutes with Goossen holding the reigns.

“I am fighting [Andrzej] Fonfara now because I like big opponents. I like the challenge of fighting good, hungry fighters. Just because Fonfara doesn’t have the name recognition of other fighters, it doesn’t make him an easy fighter. He’s tough,” said Chavez.

“I feel comfortable at light heavyweight,” added Chavez. “Any time that you can add a couple pounds, you feel better. Although I will be fighting at 175, I feel most comfortable at 168 as a boxer. Since I have had one year off, it was a better choice to fight at this weight so that I could see how my body feels.”

Goossen relayed to media that although this is his first fight with the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez, he had no trouble getting Junior to do whatever was asked of him while holding camp in Lake Tahoe.

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“Lake Tahoe was tremendous for training camp,” said Goossen. “You are isolated and it’s not an easy thing. When you aren’t training you are sitting in a hotel room. You are deprived the comforts of home, but it really gives you that concentration and dedication factor and I think that will interpret into some positive results.”

Trainer Ricky Funez and brother Omar Chavez were also in attendance. The younger brother has a spot on the undercard of the fight set for the popluar fight location of the Stub Hub Center.

Goossen, who famously trained the likes of Diego Corrales, cited this as an example of his fighters’ maturity.

“I matured over my years, once I had a kid and a family and I think the same has happened with Julio. Life becomes clearer when you put away the immaturity. You realize that you have a future and if you really want to access what’s available to you, then you are going to have to work hard and dedicate yourself to it.

As things wound down and headed to the back of the Los Angeles area gym, one could notice an enlarged photo of the moment Corrales came from behind to stop Jose Luis Castillo in what many have labeled not only one of the greatest fights of the last thirty years, but perhaps one of the greatest ever.

Goossen prompted Corrales to go for the stop, which Corrales did in emphatic fashion and gave both the fighter and his trainer their crowning moments in the ring.

You get the sense by looking at the picture that if Goossen were offered a bundle of cash for the picture, he’d politely, or un-politely, tell you to keep your money.

Once in the back of the gym, Julio Sr. took questions from media, but playfully dodged away from videographer Ellie Seckbach’s questions regarding the upcoming Floyd Mayweather Jr./Manny Pacquiao mega bout.

Chavez Sr. stops by to say hello (Photo: Big Joe Miranda)

Chavez Sr. stops by to say hello (Photo: Big Joe Miranda)

“I think Joe [Goossen] is doing a great job, we are on the same page,” Chavez Sr. told the media. “We are all focused on him [Chavez Jr.] getting to the fight well prepared. This fight requires great preparation because he is going into the fight at a weight that’s higher than his normal weight and he is facing a very tough opponent.”

One questions’ he did answer from Seckbach was this:

“How is it that all of his boxing family has such solid chins?,” asked Seckbach.

“Frijoles y arroz,” smiled Chavez Sr.

Translation: “Beans and rice.”

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