The Chavez Jr. Weight Game
It wasn’t that long ago that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had stated he had rededicated himself to the sport and that you were going to see a fiercer Chavez Jr. Fast forward to today and Chavez Jr. has already postponed his fight with Bryan Vera 3 weeks because of a cut that happened in sparring. Now if you ask many people in the industry, the gash was very minimal and probably shouldn’t have caused the fight to be postponed. Many feel the real reason was that Chavez Jr. was having issues with his weight as many saw him on a telecast in Mexico supporting his brother who was fighting that night a few months ago.
The picture of a ballooned Chavez Jr. hit the internet and everyone ran telling fat jokes about Chavez Jr. When Bryan Vera was on Tha Boxing Voice air, he had stated that the cut was a hoax. “Everyone knows he was having weight issues, I think the cut is just something to help give him more time to lost the weight,” stated Vera.
The fight was initially supposed to be at the middleweight limit of 160, then it was moved up to 168, and the news hit yesterday that the fight might be taking place at a contracted weight of 173. So picture that, in a span of about 2 months a middleweight fight is close to being fought at the light heavyweight limit.
Well Chavez has been called the son of a legend and has been fed with a silver spoon as many would say and not much has changed as a boxer. Yes, he had no amateur background whatsoever but his rise to a title show against Sebastian Zbik after Martinez was stripped of the WBC Middleweight title, continue the spoon feeding.
Then when he faced Martinez, he was schooled for 11 rounds and had one big round to save face. Even leading up to that fight, his former trainer Freddie Roach didn’t know if he was coming in to train. For this fight he said he trained with his father, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., but still says he still is open to training with Freddie Roach or Robert Garcia. But will either guy have enough confidence in him to take boxing seriously. In the scenes of 24/7 leading up to his fight with Martinez, most of this training was done in the comforts of his residence in his living room and how could we all forget the picture of him in his pink underwear eating cereal.
Then he tested positive for pot. Yes the fine of $900,000 was pretty steep (it was reduced to 100,000), but it was a banned substance. Now comparing weed to performance enhancing drugs that other boxers have tested positive for and got a slap on the wrist for is something in itself. But rules are rules, and Chavez didn’t care to adhere to that one and his promoter Bob Arum didn’t seem to mind then and doesn’t now.
On a conference call with the media, Arum again stated, “I see nothing wrong with pot outside of competition, it can be beneficial.” Whether he’s right or wrong, the spoon feeding continues for Chavez.
So now we play the wait game or the weight game. Where is this fight with Vera taken place? It’s still up in the air. Arum told the media he will meet with Vera’s promoter Artie Pellulo to discuss it in the morning. Arum on Pellulo, “He’s a professional promoter and good to work with, we’ll decide what weight this fight will take place at.”
Chavez on the call stated the reason he moved up to 168 for health reasons. Maybe he’s right but then again he reiterated, I’ll only go down to fight Sergio Martinez at 160 but that’s it.” I’m sure the Martinez rematch is big money and a fight he may be able to win because Martinez seems to be on the downside in his career, but what if this happens again? Who’s going to provide the spoon-feed in that scenario?
The guy sh*t out of luck is Bryan Vera, a tough nose pro who’s been waiting for shot at a main even on HBO. He had to deal with a delay, a move up in weight, and still doesn’t know what weight his fight will be contracted at 3 days before the fight. Chavez at his media workout when asked about the weight stated, “The fight is at a contracted 168 lbs.”
So you can count on this fight continuing because the cliche goes, “boxing is a business.” Chavez Jr. is big business when it comes to ratings and that’s what the network he’s fighting on HBO cares about. So don’t expect them to step in the weight debacle, especially after their tripleheader this week was turned into a doubleheader when David Haye had to pull out of a much anticipated heavyweight showdown with Tyson Fury after he suffered a cut in sparring. I joked on twitter that Chavez-Vera is going to end up being that heavyweight showdown that Haye-Fury was supposed to be because of the weight issue.
Bob Arum knows Chavez is big business, so he’s going to go to meet with Artie Pellulo and pretty much ask how much does he and Vera want in case Chavez weighs in today and feels he needs the extra 5 lbs. But the rumors are that people are tired of the Chavez game, so how long will this enabling last? In the pictures seen at the media workout Chavez looks to be in good shape, so is he just too big for middleweight and will the fight stay at 168? Like Bryan Vera, we are all not sure and are playing the Chavez weight game.