Can Chavez Jr. ever make 160 again?
By Dan Ambrose: Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KO’s) has been out of the ring since losing to Sergio Martinez by a 12 round unanimous decision last September in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chavez Jr. was barely making 160 before the Martinez fight, but since that loss, Chavez Jr. has put on weight and there’s some questions about whether he can ever get down to 160 lb. to fight at middleweight again.
As it is, Chavez Jr. was struggling badly to make the 160 lb. limit and dehydrating more than I’ve ever seen a fighter. I’m sure there are fighters that have dehydrated more than Chavez Jr., but I can’t think of one that looked as emaciated as he did during the week of the fight as he struggled to make the weight. In looking at how huge Chavez Jr. would get after rehydrating, one gets the sense that he would have been better off moving to super middleweight or better yet light heavyweight a long time ago.
Of course, the advantages that Chavez Jr. got in fighting lighter fighters than him in terms of weight would mostly disappear once he started fighting super middleweights and light heavyweights. In that case, Chavez Jr. would have to beat them on talent and not size, and when you’re used to winning on size, there are a lot of unknowns that go into making that kind of career change.
There’s been talk of Chavez Jr. fighting Brian Vera at a catch-weight of 165 in August. However, the fight still hasn’t been ironed out and it’s unclear whether Chavez Jr. will fight Vera or someone else. However, I think it’s time that Chavez Jr. make the full move to 168 and not waste his time anymore struggling to make the 160 lb. division. I’m wondering whether Chavez Jr. can ever make the weight division again because he’s been out of the ring for 9 months and he was really, really struggling to make the weight before.
I think it’s time Chavez Jr. move up to 168 now. My recommendation is for Chavez Jr. to move straight up to 175, so that he can dehydrate from the 190s and easily make the 175 lb. limit. He can then rehydrate 15-20 pounds and come into his fights in the 190s without hurting himself. Light heavyweight is where Chavez Jr. should be and the division is weak enough to where he might be able to snatch a title or two.
I believe Chavez Jr. would get beaten by the super middleweights if he were to fight at that weight, and I think he’s still too heavy for that weight class. If he’s coming down from the 190s, then I think that’s still too much weight for him to be losing for his fights. We’re talking over 20+ if Chavez Jr. is rehydrating to the low 190s.