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Chavez Jr. needs a lot of improvement if he wants to beat Zbik

By Eric Thomas: Unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (42-0, 30 KO’s) has to make a lot of progress if he wants to beat WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KO’s) next month on June 4th at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California. Chavez Jr. didn’t look at all good in getting pummeled recently in a sparring session with unbeaten junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan on media day.

The speed just wasn’t there, as always, for Chavez Jr. and his defense was nowhere to be found. But more importantly, Chavez Jr. looked just as weak in sparring Martirosyan as he had in his last fight against Billy Lyell last January. Chavez Jr showed no power in his 10 round decision win over Lyell and looked slow and very hittable. He won the fight, but that really wasn’t saying much because Lyell is a fringe junior middleweight contender, not a top middleweight guy.

Chavez Jr. looks to be in better shape now compared to that fight, but his speed, defense and power are still really lacking. Martirosyan looked much better than Chavez Jr. in terms of speed, power and defense. Martirosyan was better in every way. You have to wonder what their mutual trainer Freddie Roach is now thinking about Chavez Jr. after watching that sparring session.

Roach has to know what he’s not seeing from Chavez Jr. He’s got to know that there is flaws there that go beyond training. This isn’t something that Roach can fix with a good strategy session or extra training on technique. We’re talking about things that have to do with ingrained ability – you either have power and speed or you don’t. Chavez Jr. clearly doesn’t. But he also doesn’t have very good defensive skills and that may be a big problem for him against Zbik, who may not be a powerful puncher, but he’s very skilled. He’ll be Chavez Jr. unless the Mexican fighter can come up with a great plan to win this fight.

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