Fonfara wants to KO Chavez Jr on Saturday
(Photo credit: Ester Lin/Showtime) By Dan Ambrose: #3 WBA, #3 WBC 168 pound contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KOs) is expected to be victorious this Saturday in his fight against former world title challenger Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs) in their scheduled 12 round bout on Showtime Championship Boxing on 4/18 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Even though Chavez Jr., 29, is coming off of a 13 month layoff and three consecutive poor performances in the ring, he’s still expected to defeat the 6’2 ½” Fonfara on Saturday night. But as bad as Chavez Jr. has looked in some of his recent fights, as well as other fights during his career, there are no guarantees he’ll win.
Chavez Jr. is not that kind of a talent. He’s got his famous father’s name, but not his ability or his drive to improve. For this reason you have to give the 27-year-old Fonfara a decent shot at beating Chavez Jr., or at least beating him to the point where he’ll come out of the fight looking bad.
Beating Chavez Jr. by a decision has proven difficult for fighters during his nine-year pro career. On at least three occasions in fights against Brian Vera, Matt Vanda and Carlos Molina, Chavez Jr. has lucked out in receiving either a controversial victory or a controversial draw. You can make a strong argument that Chavez Jr’s record really should be 46-4 rather than 48-1, because he did appear to lose in his first fights against Vera, Vanda and Molina.
“I want to show the whole world how good I am when I win this fight on Saturday,” Fonfara said at the final press conference with Chavez Jr. “If I get the chance, I’m going to knock him out. It’s boxing so you never know what will happen. I want to box round-by-round and win this fight. I lost the fight with [Adonis] Stevenson but I showed that I was a good boxer. I’m a much smarter fighter now because of that experience. That was a fight at the top championship level.”
Fonfara has the power and the aggressiveness to win this fight, and win it by knockout if Chavez Jr. elects to stand in front of him and trade shots for the entire fight. However, Chavez Jr. does use movement when things get tough for him, and it’s possible he’ll elect to start moving around the ring if Fonfara busts up his face on Saturday.
Chavez Jr. tends to swell up a lot when hit. We’d seen that in his fights against Sergio Martinez and Marco Antonio Rubio. Fonfara arguably punches better than all of those fighters, and he’s a lot taller. He’s able to get a lot of leverage on his punches that increases his punching power. If Chavez Jr. tries to make a statement against Fonfara by standing in the pocket against him, he might be making a big mistake that he’ll be sorry for.
“It doesn’t matter what Chavez Jr. says at a press conference, we’ll be in the ring Saturday and everything will happen there,” Fonfara said. “Fan’s can expect heavy punches, knockdowns and a great fight.”
Fonfara might be the only type of fighter that Chavez Jr. has a chance of beating at 175 and 168. The top guys at light heavyweight, Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev and Artur Beterbiev, would be a huge headache for Chavez Jr., and he wisely has decided that he doesn’t want to fight in this division. But at 168, Chavez Jr. doesn’t match up with the faster fighters like Andre Ward, Anthony Dirrell and Andre Dirrell. Perhaps for this reason, Chavez Jr. is targeting WBA champion Carl Froch for a fight later this year if he can get past Fonfara this Saturday. Froch is a slightly lighter version of Fonfara. Both guys have equal power though. Froch doesn’t hit any harder than Fonfara, so it should be an interesting fight if Chavez Jr. can get to Froch.
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