By Aragon Garcia: Promoter Eddie Hearn says he and the rest of Team Danny Jacobs always believed that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. WOULDN’T make the 168 lb limit when they made the fight with him for tonight. According to Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn, they felt that Chavez Jr. (51-3-1, 33 KOs) would weigh in over the limit, but they still made the fight at 168 with a weight penalty. Chavez Jr. lost $1 million of his $3 million contract due to him coming in overweight during Thursday’s weigh-in.
If Hearn and Team Jacobs believed that Chavez Jr. wouldn’t make weight, then why was there a weight penalty attached. Was that fair to Chavez Jr? There’s not world titles on the line for the Chavez Jr-Jacobs fight, and this isn’t an eliminator.
Why have a weight penalty for a fight without a title on the line? In hindsight, Chavez Jr. should have asked for the fight to take place at 175, and if Jacobs and Hearn didn’t agree, he should have walked away.
Why should Chavez Jr. put himself through the torture of making 168 if there’s no title on the line. He’s the ticket seller in this fight. It’s not Jacobs, who is arguably coming along for the ride. Chavez Jr. might not have realized how much negotiating power that he had for this fight.
Former WBC middleweight champion Chavez Jr. fights Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs) tonight on DAZN at 9:00 p.m., ET at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in Phoenix.
Team Jacobs knew Chavez Jr. wouldn’t make 168-lb limit
“It’s hard to say it’s unexpected,” said Hearn to IFL TV when asked about his thoughts on Chavez Jr. failing to make weight. “When I made this fight, I said to Julio, ‘I think you should be fighting at 175.’ ‘No, no, I can make 168.’ And when I made the fight with Danny Jacobs, we as a team, Team Jacobs, we always felt he probably wouldn’t make 168.
“He’s trained his b— off for this fight, he really has,” Hearn said of Chavez Jr. in his preparation for Jacobs fight. “If he was lazy, if he hadn’t trained, and if he had just eaten s—, then he would be a waste of space. But I know he’s trained really hard to make the weight. I think the stuff with the [Nevada State Athletic] Commission kind of helped,” said Hearn in talking about Chavez Jr.
The question to ask Hearn is if you and Jacobs knew Chavez Jr. wouldn’t make weight at 168, then why did you choose to have the fight take place at that contracted weight? And why the weight penalty? They should have given Chavez Jr. the fight at 175 or at least given him 4 or 5 lbs to play with in case he came in a little heavy. After all, Chavez Jr. didn’t know for sure that he would be allowed to fight Jacobs until this week because of the Nevada State Athletic] Commission issues.
Chavez Jr. missing weight gives him a slight edge
“There must have been times where he though, ‘F— it. Is this fight even going to happen?'” said Hearn. “He’s not my fighter, so I don’t feel like I have to justify what he’s done. But it doesn’t change anything about Friday night. It doesn’t give anyone an edge. I think it might give Julio a slight edge, because he’s going to be heavier than Danny Jacobs. But there’s not going to be a world title on the line,” said Hearn on Chavez Jr. vs. Jacobs.
The extra weight that Chavez Jr. came in at could possibly help him tonight. He weighed in 172 3/4 lbs during Thursday’s weigh-in. The contract weight was 168, which was fine for Jacobs, because he was moving up from 160. It definitely wasn’t a good weight for Chavez, considering that he’s been struggling to make 168 since he moved up in 2013.
In the future, Chavez Jr. needs to be more assertive when it comes to negotiating, because he’s giving his opponents a huge edge against him for matches at 168. He clearly can’t make 168 without great struggle, and it would be a mistake for him to continue to fight in this division. If he does fight at 168, he needs to make sure that he can come in heavy without losing so much money.
Some fans want to see Chavez Jr. fail
“So it’s not, ‘Oh, there’s no world title on the line.’ It’s just a fight against a guy that is one of the biggest names in Mexican boxing [Chavez Jr.], and another guy who is a huge name in American boxing [Jacobs] with former two-time middleweight champion, and former middleweight world champion Chavez,” said Chavez Jr.
“We sold 10,000 tickets. It’s going to be absolutely mental in there, and he’s [Chavez Jr.] a massive draw, and he is a little bit crazy. I feel a little bit sorry for him. Can you imagine his world growing up as the son of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. who was like a God in Mexico.
“I know what it was like for me, sometimes living in my old man’s shadow. And he was like a millionth in terms of fame and power. So I think that everyone just wants to see him fail. I see it today with journalists phoning up, ‘Chavez is a joke.’ We expect that now. Does that make it right? No, it don’t,” Hearn said in talking of Chavez Jr. coming in overweight.
Fans don’t want to see Chavez Jr. lose because they don’t want him to measure up to what his father Julio Cesar Chavez did during his career. The fans that are rooting against Chavez Jr. wanted him to fail because they view him as a slacker, who is lazy and doesn’t take his training seriously . It’s not about the fans wanting Julio Jr. to fail out of fear that he’ll steal the thunder from his retired father.
Hearn: Chavez Jr. can get respect from fans by fighting hard
“What he has to do is show heart. If he can go in there and put a great performance on, and shows a lot of bottle and heart, even if he doesn’t win, he can get the respect of the fans and the love of the fans,” said Hearn about Chavez Jr. “If 10,000 people are coming to watch Chavez at the lowest of the low, let’s be honest.
“Right now, he had a bad performance against Canelo, but it was Canelo,” said Hearn in discussing Chavez’s poor performance against Alvarez. “He’s had issues outside of the ring, and he missed weight today. Probably right now people are thinking, ‘He’s a joke.’ But it’s probably the biggest crowd we’ve had in America outside of AJ.
“He [Chavez] sold twice as many tickets as Terence Crawford, who is a pound-for-pound top star. So if he can put in a performance that makes the Mexican people go, ‘Fair play to you.’ That could be his redemption. If he wins, f– me. He’s actually cracked it. A redemption can just come from a solid performance,” said Hearn.
It doesn’t sound like Hearn believes Chavez Jr. has much of a chance of winning. When you get a promoter that is saying that a fighter can get redemption in losing, that’s a sign that they don’t see this as competitive match-up.
If Chavez Jr. can win this fight, it would be a shock to Hearn, who would then need to come up with excuses. He says he doesn’t like fighters that give excuses, but he was giving plenty after Anthony Joshua’s loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. last June.