It’s always a treat to hear people’e reactions when the name Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is mentioned. Often it’s the controversial fighters that draw the most eyes in the sport of boxing. Adrien Broner, Amir Khan, and Floyd Mayweather himself are examples of that. And while those extremes don’t necessarily reflect the ways of Chavez Jr. the mention of his name still draws some negative reactions from the boxing fans.
This Saturday night all the focus will be on Chavez Jr. as he once again faces Brian Vera at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. It was a controversial ending in their first fight that has lead to this rematch. Chavez Jr. found himself on the winning side of a unanimous decision that many people felt he had lost. Fighnights had scored the fight 116-112 for Vera. The outcome outraged fans, and for a guy who was already getting bashed for failing to make weight, along with testing positive to marijuana after the Martinez fight, the controversial win was icing on the cake for the fans who have found a not so positive place in their hearts for Chavez Jr.
Chavez Jr. doesn’t do it on purpose nor does he try to get the fans to dislike him. Khan is often hated on for his remarks, Broner for everything, and Mayweather because he’s Mayweather. Unlike the three above Chavez Jr does nothing on purpose to get the fans to dislike him. The portrayal of him that has been painted by the fans is that he’s a spoiled kid that doesn’t take boxing seriously and that his father is the reason why he has gotten to where he is right now. While that portrait may be true, and it’s hard to argue considering his past that includes smoking weed, changing the weight of a fight three days before the weigh-in, and not showing up to scheduled training sessions with his trainers, Chavez Jr. is looking to change that.
2014 is a good year to start fresh for Chavez Jr as long as he can get buy his past demons. There are tons of top notch fighters that are waiting to get their hands on the young Mexican star. Because regardless of what people say about him, and how much they claim to dislike him, his HBO views of 1.4 million against Vera were among the highest on HBO in 2013. Chavez Jr can get the fans to watch which has peaked the interest of guys such as Andre Ward and Carl Froch. Both of these fights are PPV caliber fights that would not only generate tons of money for Chavez Jr, but also gain him the respect of boxing fans around the world if he were able to beat both of them or even one of them.
The one thing about having a big name in any sport is that second chances turn into fifth chances. Despite a big loss to Martinez, a positive drug test, pushing back a fight twice, and failing to make weight, Chavez Jr still finds himself as an HBO Main Event fighter. He is also the most sought out opponent in the super middleweight division despite not having one fight there to date. Even Andre Ward, who is widely recognized as the second pound for pound best fighter in the world, and champion of the super middleweight division, is licking his lips to get a shot a Chavez Jr.
The roads are endless for the son of a legend. Chavez Jr. just needs to show that fans that he’s for real and that his past mistakes are behind him. It’s hard to do for someone that has brought upon so much negative publicity. But you know what they say, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” No matter what Chavez Jr. seems to do the fans remain interested in his career. That’s not to say that people’s interest in him can change. A loss to Vera would be a huge setback for Chavez Jr, and one that promoter Bob Arum doesn’t want on his hands. He seems focused for this fight. 2014 should be a restart to the career of Chavez Jr. One that takes training seriously, and that keeps the marijuana out of his training camps. Saturday night we’ll find out just how serious he really is.