Chavez Sr. says Julio Jr. fought to survive against Canelo
By Allan Fox: Boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was disappointed in his son Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s performance last Saturday night in a loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Chavez Jr. fought like he was just there to survive against Canelo instead of there to win. Chavez Sr. tried to encourage the 30-year-old Chavez Jr. to let his hands go and give him more punches per round, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it against Canelo.
The results of the fight saw Canelo, 26, win every round in winning a wide 12 round unanimous decision victory by the scores 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108. While Chavez Jr. stayed on his feet for the full 12 rounds without getting knocked down or hurt, he took a lot of punishment from Canelo. In hindsight, Chavez Jr. might have been better off if he’d gone all out and emptied the tank shooting for a knockout in the early rounds. If Chavez Jr. had been knocked out while trying his best, then the boxing fans would have been less hard on him today for his non-performance.
“I am very disappointed,” said Chavez Jr. to ESPN Deportes. “I was asking him to throw more punches. That if he lost … that if he got knocked out that he give me a f—— round! That he give me a f—— round throwing punches! I couldn’t make him understand!”
Chavez Jr. looked like he had drained himself in training camp in getting down to the 164.5 pound catchweight for the Canelo fight. Chavez Jr. said he was over 200 pounds when he first started training to get in shape, and the amount of weight that he had to lose to get to the 164.5 lb. weight limit left him feeling weak. It looked to some boxing fans that Chavez Jr. overshot the mark by taking off too much weight, but he didn’t. He barely made weight even with his body looking like painfully thin.
At Chavez Jr’s current size, he’s probably not cut out for fighting at 168 any longer. Getting down to 164.5 was obviously too much for his body to take. Some boxing fans would argue that Golden Boy likely knew that Chavez Jr. would be too weak to fight at a high level one he got down to the 164.5lb. catchweight for the fight. If that is true, then it’s sad because the fight was supposed to be a competition that would test how good Canelo is as a fighter.
If Canelo’s opponent Chavez Jr. was put in a position where he would be too weak to fight effectively, then how does this benefit Canelo? He didn’t get a test, and the boxing fans were angry about it. By being a part of the fight, Canelo looked bad because he was in the ring with someone that wouldn’t fight back. This is just another reason why Canelo needs to stop fighting at catchweights. Making fighters boil down in weight or move up in weight doesn’t help things in my opinion. Moreover, Golden Boy needs to stop matching Chavez Jr. with fighters from the past that are no longer relevant and who are overweight.
In the last three years, Canelo has fought Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland and now Chavez Jr. Those were good fighters back in the day, but not when Golden Boy picked them out to fight Canelo. They were not the same fighters that they’d been years ago. Golden Boy should have been matching Canelo against the best contenders from today’s era, not from the era from years gone by. Chavez Jr. was good fighter a long time ago, but he’s not a good fighter now, especially at 164.5.
Chavez Sr. doesn’t think the catchweight hand an impact on Chavez Jr’s performance. Looking at how thin Chavez Jr. was for the Canelo fight, I would have to disagree. I think the weight played a huge part in Chavez Jr’s way of fighting last Saturday night against the stronger-looking Canelo.
“No, no, no, no. Definitively no,” said Chavez Sr. in talking about the catchweight for the Chavez Jr. vs. Canelo fight. “It’s true, there is a sacrifice and everything. “When you are in the ring and you feel that your body is not responding, that you aren’t doing any damage, you feel that the punches are hurting you, that you are weak, the only thing you try is to survive,” said Chavez Sr.
It would make sense to the boxing fans if Chavez Jr. had gone all out to try and knockout Canelo, but if he didn’t feel like he had the punching power to hurt him, then Chavez Jr. probably made the right decision by choosing to hang around for the full 12 rounds. Chavez Jr. looked very, very weak out there against Canelo. Even when Chavez Jr. loaded up on his shots with everything he had, he lacked power. His training team had to have spotted this in training camp.
It’s unclear why they didn’t plan an exit strategy when things started to go badly for Chavez Jr., which you can argue was right away last Saturday. Chavez Jr. didn’t do himself any good in sticking around for the full 12 rounds to soak up terrible punishment rom the heavy-handed Canelo Alvarez. Unless Chavez Jr’s strategy was to take Canelo to the deep rounds of the fight to try and get him to gas out possibly, then it was not a smart move for him to stay in there for the full 12 rounds.
Using a strategy of attrition is a risky one for a fighter that is forced to absorb shots, because by the time they do go for a knockout late in a fight, they’re often too worn down from the punches that they’ve been hit with for them to do anything. Chavez Jr’s face was badly swollen by the 10th round. He looked like he needed to be pulled out of the fight instead of left out there without him doing anything. Chavez Jr. wasn’t entertaining the boxing fans, because he was barely throwing any punches in the fight.
“That’s what Julio did, he tried to survive and that Canelo didn’t knock him out in an embarrassing way,” said Chavez Sr.”That was Julio’s fight. His body was not responding; he could not ask anymore of his body.”
One would hope that Golden Boy will change the way they match Canelo moving forward with his career because it would be a shame if they go back to matching him against over-the-hill, weight-drained fighters like they’ve done periodically in the last 3 years.n Canelo is capable of competing with the best from this era. He doesn’t need to keep fighting yesterday’s contenders/champions. Canelo is ready to fight the best now. If he can’t beat the best like Gennady Golovkin, then he’ll at least be a good contender. He can always move back down to 154 and try and fight the best in that division, which he hasn’t been doing on a consistent basis in the last few years. For every good fight against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., we’ve seen Canelo matched against someone not so good like Angulo, Kirkland, Liam Smith or Amir Khan. Those would be good fighters to face if Canelo was just starting his career out, but not after 12 years as a pro.
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