Chavez Junior Looking Ahead: Says It Could Be Manfredo Next; Eyeing Future Fights With Rubio, Cotto, Martinez, Alvarez

By James Slater: Julio Cesar Chavez Junior is rightfully proud of the way he became a world champion recently. And though the unbeaten Mexican star has to know he is not the real middleweight champion - Sergio Martinez holds that distinction - he is feeling good and looking ahead to defending his WBC belt and then, hopefully, getting it on with Martinez for all the marbles.

Chavez Junior spoke with members of the media after he was presented with his the green belt in Mexico City recently, and along with explaining how proud he is to have carried on the famous Chavez name by bagging a major belt, he spoke of his plans for the future.

“It looks like [Peter] Manfredo is next and then [Marco Antonio]Rubio,” he said. “ But next year I hope to face Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez. Canelo Alvarez is a good fighter and I would like to fight him as well. But Top Rank is my promoter and they will decide when these fights are to be made.”

Chavez, 43-0-1(30) has been given permission to engage in one voluntary defence, before he faces mandatory challenger and fellow Mexican Rubio; who earned his shot at the WBC belt with his upset TKO of the red-hot David Lemieux. And the word is it will be former “Contender” star Manfredo who will get first crack at Junior’s new title. San Antonio is being mentioned as a probable venue for Chavez-Manfredo, and September is the month that is being bandied around.

Chavez Jr has those big plans, as he’s made clear, but in no way should he look past “The Pride of Providence.” And as exciting and as big as fights between Chavez and the likes of Cotto, Martinez and Alvarez could be, Manfredo against the 25-year-old could be a very tasty fight in its own right.

Winner of his last six after deciding that super-middleweight was just too high a weight for him, 30-year-old Manfredo has been working his way towards a title shot. Now promoted by Lou DiBella, the 37-6(20) warrior finds himself being very close to achieving his goal. But can Manfredo beat Chavez Junior? The man who became champ by decisioning Sebastian Zbik will be a considerable betting favourite over Manfredo, and it will be the challenger who will have to take the fight right to the defending champ. But that just might suit Manfredo’s style perfectly; not to mention his mental fortitude. Hungry, perhaps hungrier than Chavez, Manfredo will know that this chance will not come again and that he will have to make the most of it. This should result in a very good action fight.

Only naturally bigger men Sakio Bika and the great Joe Calzaghe have stopped Manfredo, and Chavez Jr. is no killer puncher. This prospective fight has the look of a grueling distance fight - one that could well see plenty of inside, toe-to-toe action. It just might prove to be one helluva tough first defence for Chavez.

Making big plans is a great thing for any young champion fighter, but Chavez really cannot afford to underestimate “The Pride of Providence.” Did I mention that Manfredo is a hungry fighter? After suffering the bad financial luck he has, and after having had to go back and get a day job to go along with his boxing career so as to make ends meet, Manfredo is starving! If this fight does happen, can Chavez possibly get himself as “up” for the clash as his challenger will be?

Article posted on 24.06.2011

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