Breaking Down The Chavez-Jr Contract Issues

It seems that one of the more exciting fights that fans were awaiting to see has died in negotiations, mainly at the fault of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr or Bob Arum, depending on who you want to believe. The proposed bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Gennady Golovkin is all but dead in the water at this point leaving the fans the dissappointed and both Chavez Jr and Golovkin pondering their next moves.

Gennady Golovkin signed his part, a two million dollar deal with PPV incentives to add to his purse depending on how well it sold. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr did not sign his part, a $7 million deal, including $10 million if he won and a guaranteed $5 million regardless of the outcome for his next fight. The deal included a contract extension with Top Rank. His current contract ends in 2015. Chavez Jr stated that he didn't want to sign the contract extension, and that he would just take the fight without it. That wasn't going to fly with Top Rank. Bob Arum pushed back, saying that if he didn't want the extension that was fine, but that he would get a significant amount less than what he was being offered had he signed the extension. The second proposed contract had Chavez Jr getting the same thing as Golokvin, a $2 million dollar guaranteed with PPV incentives, and no obligation to sign an extension with Top Rank. Chavez Jr wanted no part of that contract either stating that they money wasn't enough. Arum said there was no way he was getting more money without an extension, which included another one or two fights. And after all that, the fight is dead.

This can be torn apart both ways. One, you can blame Arum saying he should have offered Chavez Jr his original number, $5-10 million with no extension. Or two, you can blame Chavez for turning down such a lucrative deal because he didn't want to work with Top Rank.  

The offer for $7 million guaranteed seemed very high for someone like Chavez Jr at this point in his career, who mind you has given Top Rank their fair share of problems to fix over that last few years that include, postponing fights, failing to make weight, failing drug tests, and not showing up to training schedules. In fact, you can say that Chavez Jr has been nothing but a nightmare for Top Rank in the last two years. Also keep in mind Chavez Jr has done one PPV fight in his career, a fight where he was only part of the seller. His fight against Sergio Martinez had 475k PPV buys. Martinez was a big name in the sport as well, and no one knows if a fight against Golovkin would do that much. There is a big chance it does lower especially since it would be following the Canelo-Lara fight, and five months of PPV events that began in March. One could say that with all these factors, Chavez Jr should have jumped on that offer. 

There is a good reason Bob Arum still wants Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in his stable still, and maybe a good reason why Chavez Jr wants to leave. And that reason is one in the same. Chavez Jr still sells. Despite a lackluster crowd of 5k for his fight against Bryan Vera in March, the1.5 million viewers that tuned in brought the highest ratings in 2014 for both HBO and Showtime to date. Last year his first fight against Vera was the second highest all year on both networks as well, falling only to the huge selling superstar Miguel Cotto. The undeniable truth is that people watch Chavez Jr fight regardless of how much they like him. And that's why Arum made a huge offer with the contract extension as part of it, and that's why Chavez Jr said no. Chavez Jr knows his worth so it's not crazy for him to think that he can sell on his own, maybe even under no promoter at all. 

Rumors have been swirling that legendary manager Al Haymon has been in the ears of the Chavez Jr camp. If that were true then Chavez Jr may be waiting to get out of his contract in 2015 to sign with Haymon and leave Arum. However that's still a long time away, and to be quite honest, Haymon may not be able to get Chavez Jr the type of money that Arum is offering him. Most of Haymon's fighter's average less than $2 million per fight. In fact, the highest paid boxers in the sport today are not with Al Haymon. Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Wladimir Klitchsko, Timothy Bradley, and Saul Canelo Alvarez are the six highest paid athletes in the sport of boxing behind Floyd Mayweather. Exlcuding Mayweather, not one of them is with Al Haymon. So if the end goal for Chavez Jr is to sign with Al Haymon because he thinks he will get the most money for each fight with him, his concept seems off. 

No one truly knows what Chavez Jr is thinking. Maybe his camp is just misguided, maybe he has received something better that no one knows about.  One thing is certain. Chavez Jr seems to be more of a headache for Top Rank than anything. It may be better in the long run for Top Rank to just let him go once his contract has expired. The other thing that should worry Top Rank is that against the likes of guys like Golovkin, Froch, Kovalev, Ward, and Stevenson, Chavez would be a pretty sizeable underdog. Losing just two of those fights could cause Chavez Jr's stock to fall. By the the end of 2015, he may not even be a big seller anymore. It'll be interesting to see how Top Rank and Chavez Jr deals with this moving forward. They still have him for the next year and a half. This situation has no doubt caused some tension on both sides of the table. 

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