A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Chavez, Jr. is back!
The son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez returns to the ring on Saturday, April 18, at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA when Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KOs) battles the tough and rugged Andrej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs). SHOWTIME will televise beginning at 10 p.m. EST.
At age 29, Chavez, Jr., a former WBC middleweight champion, will be fighting for only the third time he lost his world middleweight title to Sergio Martinez in 2012 during what was an amazing fight.
One of the difficult challenges any fighter faces when they’ve been out of the ring for so long is getting their timing back. When Chavez returned in September 2013 against Brian Vera, he didn’t look very spectacular fighting at 175 pounds (light-heavyweight). Chavez improved in the rematch a year later, but it is clear that he isn’t ready for 175.
Chavez, who has been rumored to walk around at 190 and sheds a lot of weight in camp, says he has no problems making weight after taking such a long break.
‘I feel good,” Chavez said. “I know it’s difficult when you’re off. It’s difficult to regain your timing. But I’ve been training, working at my skills. And I think, you know, I’m very confident because I have spent all my life in boxing. I’m in the 13th year of my professional career. So I don’t think this is a problem because this fight is at 172 pounds. I don’t need to have a problem with weight. And at 172, I feel good in sparring. I feel good in training. And I think I’m ready for this fight and ready to win another world title.”
Fonfara, widely regarded as ‘a man that we know that really comes to fight,’ says that he is having a great training camp and is about to enter the sparring phase of camp and is ready for Chavez.
“I’m feeling great,” Fonfara said. “I think Chavez Jr. is a great fighter, world champion. And you know, it’s good fight for me. I trained hard for the fight. We got very good camp. Now, we start a sparring session. You know, my weight is good. My training’s–all trainings are good. I spent two weeks in Houston. I’m trained there, too. Then I’m back to Chicago.” We finished camp here. And I’m–you know, I’m ready for meet Chavez in the ring April 18 and show him I’m better boxer.”
Fonfara is coming fresh off a brutal 12-round war against WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson. Fonfara, an avid fan favorite, is enjoying his newly found popularity amongst the boxing public and is excited to be fighting Chavez, Jr. another solid puncher.
“I think I showed against Stevenson that I was a fighter,” Fonfara said. “Physically, I feel good now. Since that fight, I’ve been training much harder. I think, because of that fight, I’m a better boxer because, you know, I learn a lot in fights. I’m ready for Chavez, I’ve trained hard for this fight.”
A victory for Fonfara may guarantee him another title shot down the road with Stevenson, or a bout with unified WBA/IBF/WBO champion Sergui Kovalev, who on March 15, became the first fighter to stop former world champion Jean Pascal.
As Chavez wins (as expected), don’t expect Chavez to linger around, or a campaign as a light-heavyweight contender. Chavez is planning to move down to 168.
“Oh, these guys very strong, but I think, after this fight, I’m going down to 168 and stay in this weight class,” Chavez. Jr. said. “One or two years ago I moved to 175 but that was too much for my body. Now, I’m 168. But, for the one year off, this fight is at 172.”
Tickets for the event, which is co-promoted by Goossen Promotions and Chavez Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and service charges, are on sale now and are available for purchase online at AXS.com.