By Kirk Jackson
It was all good just a year ago.
A handful of championship title defenses, including an exhilarating comeback attempt, which resulted in a victory via TKO. Headlining fight cards on HBO, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach heading the corner, there plenty of momentum leading towards the fight against Lineal Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez back in September of 2012.
A lot has happened for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. ever since he suffered defeated against Martinez.
In a fight to prove his legitimately as an elite championship fighter, a worthy bearer of the legendary Chavez name inside the squared battleground we call the boxing ring, Chavez came up just a bit short, despite putting on a gallant effort in the last round.
In the wake of his performance against Martinez, started a series of events that may have unraveled the carefully managed career of Chavez.
On February 28th, 2013, Chavez Jr. was suspended for nine months and fined $900,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana following his loss to Martinez.
It was the second failed test for Chavez Jr., who in 2009 tested positive for a banned diuretic following his bout with Troy Rowland.
There’s been a falling out of sorts with his trainer Freddie Roach. Which isn’t surprising if you checked out the HBO 24/7 episodes leading up the fight with Martinez.
Vladimir Baldenebro will serve as his head trainer, although Alex Ariza will remain as part of the team as strength and conditioning coach.
Most recently it’s being reported Chavez is walking around well above 200 pounds. The problem with that is he fights at middleweight.
It’s been suggested by some critics that Chavez may be best suited to move up in weight, being as he usually walks in the ring against middleweight opponents, weighing as much as a cruiserweight (180 pounds).
The problem that lies with fighting in the heavier weight divisions is the competition is much greater compared to middleweight and Chavez has a fighting style that leaves him vulnerable to many punches.
His brand of fighting will not be beneficial against bigger, stronger, more skillful fighters. There may be cause for concern.
There are some other urine tests avoided in fights in the past. There has always been an issue with cutting weight. Some fighters balloon up in weight and are successful. It’s not a secret in the boxing world, former two division champion Ricky Hatton used to balloon up all the way up to over 180 pounds before cutting weight to make the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds.
Maybe Chavez is depressed.
Maybe he is upset that his once thought of Mexican rival Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, is slated to be in one of the biggest fights in recent years against arguably the greatest fighter of the past 25 years in Floyd Mayweather.
A couple years ago, Chavez and Alvarez were pitted to go up against one another in a battle to determine who will lead Mexican boxing into a new age of prosperity once Juan Manuel Marquez and a few other guys bowed out from the sport.
It seems now Alvarez is in sole possession of grasping the torch and Chavez is merely an afterthought.
The only thing Chavez can do is fight. It’s been almost a year since Chavez last stepped in a ring. Who is Chavez going to fight?
There have been talks about Chavez potentially having a rematch with Martinez or possibly fighting reigning super middleweight king Andre Ward. But at which weight class would they meet at?
What are his chances against either fighter and more importantly can he continue to have a successful career amidst these multiple setbacks?
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