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Chavez Jr. working out hard for Zbik fight but still looks slow

By Dan Ambrose: Undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (42-0-1, 30 KO’s) has been working out feverishly in training camp to prepare for his June 4th fight against WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KO’s) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Chavez Jr. will be fighting for a major world title for the first time in his eight-year pro career. He recently captured the vacant World Boxing Council Silver middleweight strap a year ago with a one-sided 12 round decision win over John Duddy.

However, that’s one of the WBC’s newly created belts and few fans really take it seriously yet. Perhaps in another 30 to 40 years, the WBC Silver belt will be seen as a significant title but right now it’s not one that has a lot of meaning. Chavez Jr. seems to have taken a backwards step after his somewhat impressive win over Duddy. In that fight, Chavez Jr. was in good shape and showed excellent speed and good boxing skills.

Apart from the fact Chavez Jr. was staggered at one point by the light hitting Duddy and hit cleanly far too many times, it was a good performance. However, Chavez Jr. looked terrible in his last fight against junior middleweight fringe contender Billy Lyell last January. Fighting a smaller guy, Chavez Jr. looked heavy, slow and very sloppy. He won the fight by a 10 round unanimous decision but few boxing fans were impressed with the performance.

Chavez Jr. seems to have responded to the criticism by whipping himself hard in training camp and looks to be in the same kind of shape he was in for the Duddy fight. However, Chavez Jr. still looks sloppy, slow and very hittable. In his recent sparring session with unbeaten junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan, Chavez Jr. came off looking really bad. Martirosyan was the much faster puncher and shockingly the more powerful guy. Chavez Jr. just seemed to apply a lot of pressure but his punches weren’t as powerful or nearly as quick. Granted, Martirosyan is one of the best fighters in the junior middleweight division and might be even better than WBA champion Miguel Cotto, but you expect a lot more from a guy like Chavez Jr. with all the hype that surrounds him.

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