Chavez-Manfredo Jr: Will Julio make weight?
By Dan Ambrose: WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KO’s) will be in action on November 19th against Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6, 20 KO’s) at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. For the 25-year-old Chavez Jr. this will be his first defense of his World Boxing Council title after barely beating the previous paper champion Sebastian Zbik by a 12 round majority decision last June.
Chavez Jr. looked bloated at 180 lbs and far too big for the weight after rehydrating following the weigh-in the day before the fight. Chavez Jr. has had to battle to make weight for the past couple of couple of years and it’s pretty clear that he’s outgrown the middleweight division but is sticking it out because he would be in way over his head if he were to fight in the stacked super middleweight division.
Chavez Jr. was supposed to have fought a tune-up fight against fringe contender Ronald Hearns in September, but Chavez injured his right hand when he for some reason decided to stick his hand into a ceiling fan. The result was a nasty laceration that caused his fight with Hearns to be canceled.
A lot of boxing fans thought that Chavez Jr. did this on purpose because he wasn’t anywhere near the 160 pound limit with little time to go before the fight. In looking at some photos of Chavez Jr. from that time, he looked like a 190 pound cruiserweight and its hard to imagine that he could have melted off 30 pounds from dehydrating himself to make the weight.
So the question is will Chavez Jr. burn off enough weight to make the 160 pound limit for the Manfredo Jr. fight, and if he does, will he be too weight drained to fight? Chavez Jr. looked horrible in the Zbik fight and in his fight before that against fringe junior middleweight contender Billy Lyell. While I’m not too impressed with Manfredo, I think he’s skilled enough to give Chavez Jr. a lot of problems if he doesn’t come into this fight in top shape.
Even if Chavez Jr. does come in great shape, he’s just not good enough to dominate a quality fighter like Manfredo Jr. We could see an upset in this fight if Manfredo Jr. can throw a lot of punches and connect with some head shots. We saw Chavez Jr. staggered against John Duddy last year in June, and if Duddy, who isn’t a big puncher.