Hearn on Chavez Jr. quitting: “You CAN’T do that”
By Kenneth Friedman: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. shocked fans last Friday night when he suddenly quit after the 5th round in his fight against former IBF/WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in Phoenix. Jacobs’ promoter Eddie Hearn wasn’t pleased that Chavez Jr. suddenly quit, as there was a huge crowd of 10,000+ fans.
Understandably, the fans were hopping mad after Chavez Jr. (51-4-1, 33 KOs) quit after round 5, being that they wanted to see the fight play out to its fullest. If Chavez Jr. was going to lose the fight, then the fans obviously wanted him to go out like a warrior on his shield.
Although Chavez Jr. was fully expected to lose badly, few boxing fans expected him to pull a ‘No Mas’ and quit the way he did against the 32-year-old Jacobs. The son of the famous Mexican boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. said that his nose was broken from being elbowed and head-butted.
When Chavez Jr. returned to his corner after the 5th, he couldn’t breathe out of his nose, and he realized he was too injured to carry on in the fight.
Hearn had Chavez Jr. and Jacobs even after 4 rounds
“After two rounds, I was thinking, ‘Chavez is dangerous,’ and even after 4 rounds when they had this tear up at the end of the 4th, they probably had it all square,” said Hearn to IFL TV in reacting to the quit job by Chavez Jr. against Jacobs. “In the 5th round, Danny started letting it go, and busted Chavez’s nose with a right hand.
“Then I saw him go back to his corner. When he busted his nose, you could see it pouring blood,” said Hearn about Chavez. “He went straight back to his corner and told [trainer] Freddie Roach, ‘I can’t continue because of my nose.’ I just thought, ‘Don’t do that, don’t do that.’ Then I think they tried to convince him to carry on, and he turned to the referee and said, ‘I can’t breathe. I’m done.’ Of course,” said Hearn when asked if Chavez Jr. quit.
“It’s so hard for us to call them quitters. You bust your nose, and you can’t breath, we would want to carry on, you know what I mean? But it’s what they do,” said Hearn. “Unfortunately, for Chavez Jr., he’s Mexican. These people are extremely passionate, they’re fighting people. Mikey Garcia was sitting next to me, and he was like, ‘You can’t do that,'” said Hearn.
Chavez Jr. gave Jacobs all kinds of problems for the first 3 1/2 rounds of the fight, and he looked like he might have been able to wear him down. In the second half of round 4, Chavez Jr. stopped throwing punches, and this enabled Jacobs to land some shots and finish the round strong. Going into the 5th, it was anyone’s guess what Chavez Jr. would do.
“You CAN’T do that” – Hearn talking about Chavez Jr quitting
“You saw the reaction [from the angry boxing fans]. I wasn’t leaving the ring,” Hearn said about the crowd reaction moments after Chavez Jr. quit in round 5. “You got to look out for the [flying] beer. I was in the ring for 15 minutes, and I missed every one. But just as I was about to get out of the ring, I got one on that leg, and one on that leg. They were just slinging beers at Chavez. It was a shame because it was a really good fight.
“For five rounds, it was a really good fight,” said Hearn. “Danny Jacobs said, ‘You’ve got a soft spot for Chavez.’ I really do, and I think he’s a vulnerable kid, and he’s a little bit crazy. I felt like tonight, he wouldn’t win the fight, but if he just gave it his all, he would get his redemption. But after five rounds, there wasn’t one person watching in the crowd or at home that was going, ‘F— good, Julio,’ but then he ruined it.
“As the fight was going on, people were thinking, ‘He can win this.’ The weight difference was massive for him,” Hearn said on Chavez’s size advantage over Jacobs. “He was walking Danny Jacobs down in the first two rounds. Danny said to be just now, ‘He was hitting me to the body, and I was thinking, Jesus.’ He was a big guy. You can’t do that,” said Hearn about Chavez Jr. quitting.
Hearn says Chavez Jr. can’t quit like that, but the fact of the matter is he’s done it before. If you saw in his fights with Canelo Alvarez, Sergio Martinez and Andrzej Fonfara, he really didn’t try in those fights. Technically, Chavez Jr. didn’t quit, but he didn’t try to win.
Fans didn’t understand Chavez Jr. choosing to quit
“With the heritage, with the pressure, and his dad…If it was someone else, they would have gotten a load of stick, but him doing it magnifies it 20 times, and I don’t think there’s a way back for him,” said Hearn on Chavez Jr. “I got a lot of stick for doing this fight, and even now, I don’t regret it, because the atmosphere is unbelievable, and the ticket sales were huge, and the ratings will be huge.
“It’s just a shame that it ended like that, because the way the fight was going, it he had just kept going and got in a tear up and was sparked two rounds later, everyone would have gone, ‘F— fair play,'” said Hearn. “But again, you bust your nose and you can’t breath, but you’re expected to carry on. People have bought tickets, and had 10 Coronas.
“They’re not going to go, ‘Fair play. You busted your nose, you can’t breathe, you shouldn’t have to carry on,'” said Hearn on Chavez Jr’s busted nose. “But this is the fight game, and the fans expect you to go the extra mile, especially when they’ve seen Martinez-Rosales a couple of minutes before where two guys have gone absolutely to hell and back in battering each other. Do you know what I mean?” said Hearn.
Chavez Jr. doesn’t have his head and heart in the game like he used to, and he was never a good fighter even in his prime. If the boxing fans didn’t know what kind of fighter Chavez Jr. was, they found out the hard way in wasting their hard-earned money paying to see him ultimately quit against Jacobs.
In a perfect world, Chavez Jr. would have to the bitter end, and gotten that magical redemption that Hearn speaks about.
Hearn wanted Chavez Jr. to continue fighting
“It was a unique experience, and one I’ll never forget,” said Hearn in talking about his decision to make the Jacobs vs. Chavez Jr fight. “One of the local media asked me, ‘Does this deter you from coming back?’ Absolutely not! You should never throw things in the ring. I love Mexican fans, but they shouldn’t.
“All the top Hispanic fighters are on DAZN. They sell tickets,” said Hearn. “The same with Julio. His credibility coming into this fight was at an all time low, and we still sold 11,000 tickets, and it was still one of the best atmospheres we’ve ever had. The viewing figures will be huge. But how many more chances [for Chavez Jr.]? I got criticized for giving him another chance. So now he’s done that. It’s a shame, because he can fight, you know?
“I was really hoping he’d put in a good performance tonight,” said Hearn on Chavez Jr. “Like I said, I didn’t think he would win the fight. When you have so much criticism, it kind of makes it hard to do what he did. Because surely you’ve got to be saying to myself, ‘My nose is busted, but I can’t turn it in. I’ll get absolutely crucified if I do that. So f— it. Let’s have another go, let’s have a tear up.’
“Chavez’s head movement in the 4th round, I thought it was great. It was a fun fight. Jessie Vargas and Mikey Garcia, who were next to me, they were going, ‘I think he’s going to win this.’ It was after 3 or 4 rounds,” said Hearn about Chavez Jr.
It’s not enough that Hearn wanted Chavez Jr. to continue fighting after the 5th round.
Jacobs could face Callum Smith or Saunders next
“I think he should fight for a world title,” said Hearn about Jacobs. “Whoever gets the world title fight against Canelo between Billy Joe and Callum Smith, I think he [Jacobs] should fight the other one. He should fight for the super middleweight world title in England or America.
“It’s a great fight. You could see that in the first two rounds, he [Jacobs] was getting walked down [by Chavez Jr.], and he was thinking, ‘This geezer is huge,'” said Hearn. “But once he started finding his speed, moving his feet side to side, and sitting down on his punches, he was impressive in the end. And it wasn’t just him busting his nose.
“I think Julio started to feel the pace, and was realizing, ‘This guy is hurting me now. I’m probably going to get stopped, so I’m going to take the easy route,'” said Hearn. “Danny’s got to be looking at challenging for the world title.”
Chavez Jr. didn’t want to continue, and you could see that he started losing interest beginning in round 4. When Chavez Jr. started bellyaching to the referee for Joshua’s accidental head-butts, and elbows, you knew he wasn’t going to stay around for too much longer.