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Chavez Jr. vs. Manfredo Jr. & Clottey vs. Green tonight

Joshua Clottey Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Peter Manfredo JrBy Dan Ambrose: Tonight in a Top Rank card, WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KO’s) will be putting his World Boxing Council title and unbeaten record on the line against #4 ranked contender Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6, 20 KOs) at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. The fight will be aired on HBO likely due to Chavez’s popularity among Hispanic fans. The card is kind of weak. The Chavez-Manfredo and Clottey-Green are really poor fights in my opinion, but I can understand why they were made. Chavez Jr. is a weak champion and Clottey hasn’t fought in ages.

Despite him being considered the weakest of the four middleweight champions by far among boxing fans, Chavez Jr. brings in big numbers whenever he fights. Also on the card will be former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KO’s) in a scheduled 8 round bout against Calvin Green (21-6-1, 13 KO’s). Clottey hasn’t fought since losing a one-sided 12 round decision a year ago in March 2010.

Clottey would like to get another title shot against someone like WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, but Clottey has a long ways to go before he’ll be in line for a fight against any of the champions. He can forget entirely about Pacquiao. That’s a rematch that will never happen because Clottey blew his chance when he just covered up last year in his fight against Pacquiao.

Chavez Jr. looked pretty horrible in beating paper champion Sebastian Zbik by a 12 round decision last June to win the title. Had the WBC not stripped the previous champion Sergio Martinez of the title, Chavez Jr. would have had to fight Martinez and would have been wiped out by him. But in getting a shot against the paper champion, Chavez Jr. won a title that he likely would have never won without the WBC making it easy for him. Tonight, Chavez Jr. faces the 30-year-old Manfredo, who arguably doesn’t deserve the #4 ranking that the WBC has bestowed upon him. When the fight was first announced, Manfredo was ranked much lower, but the WBC has steadily pushed him up the rankings since then for some bizarre reason. Personally, I don’t see Manfredo Jr. as a top 15 fighter. I see him as a bottom 20 guy, but I can see how this makes things easy for Chavez, though. By putting him in with a weaker opponent, it gives Chavez Jr. a much better chance to keep his title than if he were forced to fight someone better than Manfredo.

I think this card is kind of a joke and not worthy of being aired on HBO. We’ve got Clottey in a mismatch, and Chavez Jr. facing a guy with an inflated ranking. I see this as more of a Friday night ESPN2 type card at best. Chavez Jr. is the 4th best champion right now among the weak bunch of middleweight title holders.

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