Reality check for Chavez Jr.
- Updated: April 20, 2015
Going into his light heavyweight clash against Andrzej Fonfara this past Saturday night, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had been criticized for many things including his weight issues, his apparent lack of dedication, and other out of the ring antics.
After eight grueling rounds at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, Chavez ‘ career received a rude awakening. Fonfara (27-3, 16 KOs) put a beatdown on Chavez (48-2-1, 32 KOs) that left him bloodied, bruised and willing to quit on his stool. It was an ugly scene afterward, in which the pro-Chavez crowd was disgusted by the mid-round surrender, as debris was hurled at the ring while a chorus of boos summed it all up.
Despite only two losses on his ledger, Chavez is at a crossroads in his career. He has alienated fans with his less than stellar work ethic, excuses and even his post-fight interview in which he told Showtime’s Jim Gray that he thought he was winning the fight. Now after the pummeling he suffered at the hands on Fonfara, Chavez will need to make some serious decisions about what he does next. Though he was the one who wanted to fight at a higher weight, since he is unwilling to make weight for the middleweight or even super middleweight division, where he belongs, it’s clear as day that he needs to stay far away from the 175-pound division, where his power won’t travel and his chin can’t hold up. In the fight with Fonfara, his weaknesses were also on full display as he was target practice for Fonfara – unable to move his head and with no apparent defense in sight.
Though Chavez only had two amateur fights, he now has over 50 professional fights, but doesn’t seem to be improving one iota. Even under the tutelage of Joe Goossen, who has shown success working with fighters who like to slug it out, Chavez looked lost on Saturday and one has to wonder if his heart is still in boxing. He hasn’t looked particularly good in any of his recent fights, outside of the 12th round against then-middleweight champ Sergio Martinez. One could argue he should have more losses on his record, but has gotten the benefit of the doubt a number of times. That benefit is now gone.
If Chavez can get himself back down to 160 pounds, he may yet be able to make some noise, but he has to want it. His next move will surely tell us where he stands.