Andre Ward: When Chavez Jr. comes up to 168, we’ve got to talk
By Dan Ambrose: WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO’s) is really looking forward to when former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KO’s) can no longer make weight for the 160 pound division and is forced to come up to 168 to campaign as a super middleweight. When that time comes, Ward expects Chavez Jr. to do the right thing by agreeing to fight him given that Ward is considered to the No.1 fighter at 168.
Ward said to Radio Raheem “I want two fights this year; hopefully in the summertime and then the end of the year. I think Chavez Jr. on Cinco de Mayo, Las Vegas, is a fight that should happen. I’m not calling him out. He’s busting out at 160 coming to 168. If he comes to 168, we’ve got to talk.”
I think when Chavez Jr. can no longer safely make 160, and who knows when that’ll be, he’ll likely skip the 168 pound division altogether and move up straight to 175 to fight as a light heavyweight. That division is one of the weakest in boxing, and there’s a good chance that Chavez Jr. can win a belt at that weight. He’s already as big as most of the light heavyweights, so there wouldn’t be a problem in terms of size.
Chavez Jr. is basically a light heavyweight anyway, but he’s somehow been able to take off huge amounts of water weight to get down to middleweight to fight against much lighter guys. At light heavyweight, he won’t have that advantage it won’t matter because the division is so weak right now.
Chavez Jr’s promoter Bob Arum is pretty wily and he knows what Chavez Jr’s limitations are as a fighter. He’s not going to put him in with Andre Ward because the outcome would be disastrous for the young Chavez Jr. He doesn’t have the boxing skills to win a fight like that, and Arum isn’t going to set him up to fail.
Arum has said in the past that he doesn’t put together fights that he’s not certain his fighters can win. He’s obviously not going to put Chavez Jr. in with a guy like Ward because the chances of Chavez Jr. beating him would be almost zero.
Even if Ward had Floyd Mayweather Jr. type popularity, I still don’t think Arum would put that fight together. I think we’d be hearing excuses about injuries needing more time to heal, an outdoor stadium not being ready, or he doesn’t know who the management representative is for Ward to contact to make the fight.
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