Boxing Legend Julio Cesar Chavez was known for his intense training sessions and unbelievable work ethic which he credits as one of the main reasons he is considered one of the greatest fighters of all time and a hero in his native Mexico. Sadly, for boxing fans, it appears that work ethic is not hereditary.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (49-2-1, 32KO) inherited many of his famous fathers traits including his toughness, strength, and heart inside the ring but his lack of discipline while outside the ring has proved to be his biggest vice.
Once considered to be one of boxing’s fastest rising fighters and a future can’t miss PPV star, Chavez Jr. allowed his lack of focus to control his career resulting is several failures to make weight and a disappointing knockout loss to Andrzej Fonfara last April.
Chavez Jr.’s lack of control when training has set back his one time promising career so much that even his own father took to criticizing him when speaking with ESPN Deportes March 1st.
“I’m going to come right out and say it because I can’t keep covering up,” Chavez said. “if this young man, who is my son, keeps with this lack of discipline ..this irresponsibility that he has, I just recommend that he retire and doesn’t fight anymore – with all due respect, the truth is I’m worried because this kid wants to do things his own way, train when he wants, do what he wants, and that’s not how it works. I can’t deal with this kid anymore, I’m disappointed with his apathy and his lack of discipline and honestly, I don’t know what to do.”
Following a string of fights that saw Chavez Jr. have 4 different trainers man his corner, the fallen icon sought out celebrated boxing coach, Robert Garcia, to help provide stability and show that he is more than just a spoiled offspring of boxing royalty.
In his first fight with Garcia last July, Chavez Jr. won a unanimous decision against Marcos Reyes but failed to impress as well as failing to make weight further implying that Jr’s dedication to the sport remains absent.
The duo of Chavez Jr. and Garcia got back together in February and began training for an anticipated title shot against WBC super-middleweight champion Badou Jack which was said to be in the process of being finalized.
Last month Chavez Jr. told ESPN Deportes: “They are still negotiating; it seems things are going well. Perhaps in the next few days they will confirm the fight.
“They tell me they are missing a few details but it seems they are close, but there is nothing official so far and I do not want to look too far ahead.” said the 30 year old Chavez Jr.
Jack (20-1-1, 12KO), who successfully defended his title against George Groves last September, is considered on of the top super middleweights in the world and is not an opponent Jr. Can afford to take lightly.
Garcia vows that Chavez Jr. can reclaim his former glory and refocus himself enough to not only make the 168 pound limit but also be a force among the division.
Unfortunately for Chavez Jr., his road to redemption has to be put on hold for 3 weeks as he suffered what Garcia claims is a “hairline fracture” on his heel.
Despite the setback, Garcia is confident that the fight with Jack will still take place. “Chavez does want to fight Jack and hopefully it still happens but the fight has to be postponed a few weeks” said Garcia when speaking with ESNEWS. “Maybe to May. That’s what I was told.”
Garcia stressed that when Chavez Jr. heals from the injury in the next couple weeks they will get right back to work for Jack.
“He does train.” explained Garcia. “People like to think he doesn’t like to train…we do have to wake him up, we do have to get him up to go train, to go run, but when we do, he runs for at least an hour…and when he trains, he trains for at least 2 hours.”
When questioned about the WBC’s desire to have Jack fight sooner then Jr. might be able to make, Garcia responded: “Maybe get a fight before, Chavez can get a fight before, and then fight him towards the end of the year.”
It’s not an impossible notion for Chavez Jr. to become a champion at the 168 pound division. He has all the physical tools and has shown plenty of talent in spurts throughout his career, it’s just that it’s hard to envision Jr. staying disciplined enough to fight world class fighters in a division he has failed to make weight in since early 2014.
The reality is that Jr. is a super-middleweight that recently has been unable to make the weight. He doesn’t have the natural size to be a serious contender at light heavyweight, so if his attempt at a title at 168 fails, it just might be his final opportunity to live up to his hype and name. Legacy and skills can only take one so far if there is no motivation to push ones self.
Unfortunately, work ethic has never been Jr.’s best attribute and probably never will be despite his famous bloodline.