How Julio Caesar Chavez Jr Found Himself Back In Fans’ Good Graces
By: Sean Crose
It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of boxing fans seemed to be down, way down, on the son of the great Julio Caesar Chavez. Sure, Julio Caesar Chavez Jr still had a fan base, but it had become a slim one over the years. And who could blame people for leaving Team Junior? He was undisciplined, got preferential treatment and came across as something of a brat. While there were some of us (cough, cough) who openly wished the young man well, provided he mature a bit, the fight world as a whole looked to be well done with the guy.
Again, though, who could blame the detractors?
How quickly situations change. Take a stroll through “Boxing Twitter” and you’ll get the distinct feeling that it’s Junior, not the popular Canelo Alvarez, who fans want to emerge victorious when the two men meet in a huge pay per view bout this Saturday in Vegas. Oh, Canelo undoubtedly has legions in his corner. But those who love boxing more than any one particular fighter seem to be hoping Junior, who is clearly the underdog here, gets the upset victory. Why is this? What has Junior done to earn such good will? Well, he’s clearly gotten disciplined, by training hard and openly taking Canelo seriously.
It goes further than that, however. Much of the positive nods in Junior’s direction come courtesy of Canelo himself. The widely held belief that Canelo blatantly avoided a fight with feared middleweight honcho Gennady Golovkin is serving to make Canelo appear more businessman than boxer. And, if last weekend’s Joshua-Klitschko superbout proved anything, it’s that fans want boxers who challenge themselves more than they do businessmen who box part time via lucrative contract negotiations. And so Junior, the child of privlege, looks like the gritty underdog here while Canelo, a true product of the mean streets of Mexico, looks like a low risk, low ambition “A side” fighter.
Is that an unfair judgement of the red haired slugger? This author thinks so. Canelo, however, has been doing himself no favors in the PR Department. There’s still more to the story, though. For, in truth, people love a comeback. As much as the public loves seeing the mighty fall, it also loves seeing the mighty rise back up, provided it be against great odds. And Junior looks to be truly attempting to rise up against great odds this Saturday. He and Canelo may not like each other – but Junior owes Canelo a lot now that he finds himself back in the fight world’s good graces.