Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is no longer going to fool anyone. Chavez for years got ahead in boxing by treading on his famous father's name. Even when it started to become obvious that he had some legitimate talent, he preferred to act like a spoiled rich kid instead of like a dedicated professional boxer.
It all came to a head in September, when Chavez made a mockery of the weight limit in his first fight with Vera in Carson, Calif. Because Chavez couldn't make the previously agreed upon limit of 163, the contract for the bout was redone and Chavez came in at just under 173.
He then went out and won a highly disputed decision.
He made few fans -- the heavily pro-Chavez crowd that was there at the start loudly booed the verdict in his favor -- and lost some of those he had.
He'll get a chance to make amends when he meets Vera in the main event of an HBO televised card at the Alamodome in San Antonio on March 1. The weight limit for the bout will be 168 pounds.
Chavez promoter Bob Arum is disgusted by Chavez's frequent missteps. He was outspoken on Monday when discussing Chavez.
"Putting aside the question of who won that fight, let's face it: It was a terrible performance," Arum said. "He turned it into a travesty with the weight. He has a chance in this fight to redeem himself by making the weight and putting on a good performance, but will he? Who knows? I'm past the point of trying to predict what he'll do. I can't do it for him. His father can't. No one can. It's up to him.
"We have to adopt a 'Show me' attitude with him. He talks the talk very well, but I won't go to the bank with a word he says. He's going to have to prove it to me."
Arum was 100 percent correct when he said that Chavez, who was suspended nine months by the Nevada Athletic Commission in 2012 for testing positive for marijuana following his loss to Sergio Martinez, has "damaged the brand."
There was a time when Chavez was clearly the biggest star among Hispanic fighters in boxing, but he's been lapped by Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez helped sell a near-record 2.2 million pay-per-view units in a September 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"And Canelo never trained for a fight in his living room," Arum said, referencing Chavez's training habits prior to the Martinez fight.
The co-feature pits Vasyl Lomachenko against Orlando Salido for Salido's WBO featherweight title. Lomachenko, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and the 2013 Yaoo Sports Prospect of the Year, is fighting for the world title in his second pro bout.
Arum said tickets will be priced "reasonably" and the Alamodome will be configured to hold 25,000.
- Sports & Recreation
- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr