Chavez Jr won’t exercise his mandatory status for fight against Anthony Dirrell
By Scott Gilfoid:
Former WBC 160lb champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (48-1-1, 32 KOs) has decided not to face WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KOs). Chavez Jr, ranked #1 WBC, would have been the next guy in line to fight Dirrell, but Chavez Jr has instead opted to pass on fighting the unbeaten talent for some reason.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, the WBC was notified that Chavez Jr won’t be exercising his mandatory challenger status for a shot against Dirrell. As such, Dirrell can now take an optional defense against whomever he would like to face.
The mandatory position will be worked out next month when George Groves faces Christopher Rebrasse in a WBC super middleweight eliminator bout on September 20th.
I had a feeling this was going to happen because Chavez Jr hasn’t taken a meaningful fight since he faced Sergio Martinez in 2012, and Dirrell might be too dangerous for Chavez Jr at this point, given how poor he looked in his last three fights against Brian Vera [twice] and Martinez.
Chavez Jr has been trying to put together a fight against IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch, but that fight is now up in the air due to the negotiations crawling. Chavez Jr had a chance to fight Gennady Golovkin before that, but that fight too failed to happen. It’s been 5 months since Chavez Jr last fought, and my guess he’s not going to fight again in 2014.
Dirrell now can pick anyone he’d like to face next. It would be nice to see him face Froch in a revenge of the brother type fight, where Dirrell would be attempting to avenge his brother Andre Dirrell’s loss to Froch. But unfortunately, Froch and his promoter Eddie Hearn probably have no interest in making a fight against the blistering fast and powerful Dirrell. The fight would nbe a dangerous one, and I guess that might be reason enough for why the fight won’t happen.
Here are the top contenders the WBC had ranked for 168:
1. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
2. Gilberto Ramirez
3. Christopher Rebrasse
4. George Groves
6. Derek Edwards
7. Alexander Brand
8. Andre Dirrell
9. Badou Jack
10. Callum Smith
11. J’Leon Love
12. Marco Antonio Periban
13. Hadillah Mohoumadi
14. Peter Manfredo, Jr.
15. Nikola Sjekloca
I believe the best options for Dirrell’s voluntary defense would be against the likes of J’Leon Love, Callum Smith or Gilberto Ramirez. The rest of the bunch aren’t well known enough to make them worth fighting in my view.