By Dan Ambrose: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. says he’s now fully focused on boxing at age 33, and he wants to use his next fight against Evert Bravo (25-10-1, 19 KOs) to move forward to win a a second world title. Chavez Jr. looks to be in the best shape he’s been since his win over John Duddy in 2010. That’s the good news. The bad news is that was nearly 10 years ago, and Chavez Jr is not a young kid anymore.
Chavez Jr. (50-3-1, 32 KOs) will be returning to the ring from a two-year absence next month to battle the 34-year-old Colombian Bravo on August 10 in a scheduled 10 round fight at the Salon Diamante Premier, San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico.
Chavez Jr. hasn’t fought since his wide 12 round unanimous decision loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2017. Golden Boy Promotions had billed that fight as match that would be an action-packed war between two Mexican brawlers. It didn’t turn out that. Chavez Jr. looked too weak to throw more than a small handful of punches each round. The fight brought in a lot of buys on HBO pay-per-view, but many of the paying boxing fans were furious at the lack of action.
Chavez Jr: I’m not finished
“I know that I have not given my best,” said Chavez Jr. to ESPN Deportes. “But, I think and I am convinced that I can give more and that I still have to see the best of Julio César Chávez Jr. I am not a rookie, I am 33 years old, but I am not finished and I know that I have four or five more years left to prove what I know, what I am and what I have because now I am going to focus totally on boxing and win a second world championship,” said Chavez Jr.
It’s going to be difficult for Chavez Jr. to accomplish his dream of winning a second world title, because he’s fighting at 168 now. The only thing set set Chavez Jr. apart during his best years of his career was his size advantage over his opponents at middleweight. When Chavez Jr. could make the 160 pound limit, he crushed a lot of his lighter opponents to win. Ever since Chavez Jr. was dethroned as the WBC middleweight champion by Sergio Martinez in 2012, he’s looked poor in almost every fight. Chavez Jr. was stopped by Andrzej Fonfara in the ninth round in 2015, and he looked mediocre in his wins over Brian Vera, Dominik Britsch and Marcos Reyes.
Chavez Jr. will have problems beating super middleweight champions
The lack of hand speed for Chavez Jr. is going to give him problems when he steps it up against the top super middleweights like Callum Smith, Caleb Plant, Billy Joe Saunders, Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez. It’s likely that Chavez Jr. will be positioned against an a world champion that gives him his best chance of winning a title. That would arguably be Plant. He’s probably the weakest of the champions at super middleweight. WBC champion Dirrell is fighting Benavidez next, and he’s almost surely going to loe his belt to him. The 22-year-old Benavidez would be bad news for Chavez Jr. That would be a similar outcome as Chavez Jr’s fight against Fonfara.
Chavez Jr. says he can’t afford to lose now
“This fight is very important for me. If I want to be champion again, I can’t afford to lose or give a poor show,” said Chavez Jr. via Fight News. “We are going to give a great fight. The fans in San Juan de los Lagos and those following on Azteca 7 will see the best version of me. We’re coming prepared and psyched up!”