David Benavidez vs. Julio Chavez Jr. possible for July
By Dan Ambrose: WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) and former WBC 160 lb. champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs) are being talked about facing each other in July.
Chavez Jr. has done nothing to deserve a world title shot against Benavidez. Chavez Jr. lost badly to Saul Canelo Alvarez last year in May, and he hasn’t fought since then. It’ll look wrong if Chavez Jr. is given a title shot against Benavidez off the back of the loss to Canelo. Chavez Jr. isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Council at this time.
The WBC will have to give Chavez Jr. a complimentary top 15 ranking for the fight to be seen as a credible one. It would be a farce if Benavidez is given permission to fight a non-top 15 ranked contender like Chavez Jr. There are better ways to build up Benavidez into a star than for him to be fed the shell of Chavez Jr. Benavidez could face the loser of the Caleb Truax vs. James DeGale rematch or maybe Jose Uzcategui. He recently said that he wants to fight Benavidez. That would be a good fight, as long as Benavidez has a good set of wheels to chase Uzcategui when he backs away from him the way he was doing against Andre Dirrell in their rematch.
This fight had knockout written all over it. Even if Chavez Jr. just goes through the motions to make it the full 12 rounds, Benavidez is likely going to beat him so bad that the fight will need to be halted. Chavez Jr. will be way out of his league against Benavidez. Unless Chavez Jr. can get in a time machine to get back to the form he was in back in 2011, he’s going to be beat up and embarrassed by Benavidez. This will be a showcase fight for Benavidez. It’ll help Benavidez gain more boxing fans if he’s seen beating Chavez Jr. worse than Saul Canelo Alvarez did last year. It won’t be a great for the boxing public though in terms of an exciting match-up. This won’t be the big payday for Chavez Jr. that he got against Canelo. Benavidez-Chavez Jr. is not a PPV worthy fight.
The 32-year-old Chavez Jr. hasn’t fought since losing a 12 round unanimous decision to Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 6th last year on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chavez Jr. wouldn’t even engage to try and make it a fight against Canelo. It was so bad that Canelo looked like he felt sorry for Chavez Jr. Canelo was doing everything he can to try and draw Chavez Jr. out to throw punches. Canelo backed up against the ropes when he wasn’t tired, and he attempted to lure Chavez Jr. to let his hands go.
Chavez Jr. had the appearance of someone that was mentally not engaged. There was no confidence there with Chavez. He looked like a sad figure. Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. was advertised by Golden Boy Promotions as being war between two Mexican warriors. The fight turned out to be a dreadful disappointment with Canelo beating on a painfully thin Chavez Jr. It wasn’t even a fight. Chavez Jr. was emaciated from having dropped a great deal of weight to get down to the 164.5 pound catch-weight for the fight.
It was clear that Chavez Jr. had sacrificed too much weight in too much of a hurry for him to make the 164.5 pound catch-weight for the Canelo fight. If Chavez Jr. had more time to slowly take the weight off, he might have been a little more competitive. Chavez Jr. still likely would have lost the fight due to Canelo’s much faster hand speed and athletic ability. Chavez Jr. hadn’t been in a real fight since his 9th round knockout loss to Andrzej Fonfara in April 2015. That was a mismatch. Fonfara beat Chavez Jr. like a drum until he quit on his stool after the 9th round. Not surprisingly, Chavez Jr. wasn’t able to fight a guy with Canelo’s talent at this point in his career.
It’s a good fight if it happens. Benavidez, 21, is coming off of an impressive 12 round unanimous decision win over Ronald Gavril (18-3, 14 KOs) in their rematch last month on February 17. Benavidez did a much better job beating the 31-year-old Gavril in the second fight compared to his first fight last September. That was closer, but still a clear victory for the 6’2” Benavidez.
Chavez Jr. has some good wins on his resume from earlier in his 15-year pro career. Chavez Jr. had beaten Carlos Molina, Jermaine White, Matt Vanda, Luciano Leonel Cuella, Jason LeHoullier, Troy Rowland, John Duddy, Billy Lyell, Sebastian Zbik, Peter Manfredo Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Andy Lee, Brian Vera, Marcos Reyes and Dominik Britisch. Those are good wins for Chavez. They weren’t wins obviously, but still good victories. Those fights showed that when Chavez Jr. was active, he was a good fighter, especially when he was fighting at middleweight.
Chavez Jr’s career started to nosedive when he didn’t train for his PPV fight against Sergio Martinez and ended up taking a 12 round beating in September 2012. Chavez Jr. received a lot of money for that fight, and he seemed to lose his ambition to fight. The Sergio Martinez fight was 6 years ago in 2012, and since then, Chavez Jr. has had exactly 6 fights. That’s a terrible number for that many years. Chavez Jr. unfortunately hasn’t taken boxing career seriously since his loss to Martinez. At this point it’s probably too late in the game for Chavez Jr. to suddenly get back the level he was at in 2011. There have been too many years where Chavez Jr. hasn’t trained hard and kept busy. He’s not going to shake off the ring rust now with him close to 33-years-old.
Chavez Jr. should be trying to get a fight against Chris Eubank Jr. instead of Benavidez. I think that would be a better match-up for Chavez Jr. Eubank Jr. can’t punch, and he would be giving away a lot of size and power to Chavez Jr. if the fight took place in the super middleweight division. A rematch between Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee would be a good fight as well if his management were able to convince the Irish fighter to come out of retirement.