Does Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Have A Future In Boxing?

21.02.05 - By Eliezer Mansilla: On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. narrowly defeated Carlos Molina over six rounds, winning by majority decision to gain a small amount of revenge for having fought to a previous draw on December 16, 2005. Yet, as far as I could see, he clearly lost the fight by at least two rounds and looked horrible throughout, catching monstrous shots to the head.

Clearly, he needs to work a lot on his defense, since he was seeminly wide open for every punch Molina threw. No matter what Molina thew, they would find their way to Chavez's head. Strangely enough, I donít know what fight the judges were watching, because the one I saw had Chavez being dominated in rounds # 1, 2, 3, & 6. The crowd obviously agreed with me, judging from their loud boos when Chavez Jr. was announced as the winner. Calling the fight a draw would still be a huge stretch, as far as Iím concerned due to the utter domination by Molina, who put on a boxing clinic on how to fight on the inside.

First off, I donít want to be too hard on Chavez, since heís only 20 years old and still is relatively experienced, having fought only 25 times in his career (24-0-1, 18 KO's). Nevertheless, from watching his last two fights against Molina, I canít see Chavez ever being a real threat to anyone other than the lower bottom feeders of the Welterweight division.

If he wasnít so tall (5í11Ē), I would recommend him losing weight and moving down to the Super Light weight division (140), only that he would probably be too thin and weak in that division to compete, not that heís doing well at this weight. At Welterweight, he still looks razor thin, almost like a tall stork. However, instead of using his height as an asset, he tries to fight on the inside, perhaps trying to emulate his father, Chavez Sr, who at 5í7,Ē didnít have much choice but to fight on the inside if he wanted to land his punches.

All the same, what works for a shorter fighter like Chavez Sr, clearly doesnít work well for his son, who looks out of place trying to fight inside against shorter fighter like Molina. To be fair, Chavez Jr. was able to land his hook on occasion while fighting on the inside, and itís a beautiful punch, looking much like his father's great left hook. Despite that, he mostly seems to smother his power by trying to slug inside, as his arms are extremely long and he doesnít get the leverage that he needs to be effective. He drastically needs to learn how to fight on the outside and use his superior reach, for he will always be at a disadvantage fighting shorter fighters, who due their limited reach, are naturally better inside fighters.

If anything, Chavez Jr. needs to develop more weapons, and learn how to throw an uppercut and to use his right hand more often. As it is now, heís essentially a one-armed fighter, using exclusively his left hook, which he telegraphs openly while setting it up, much like Donovan "Razor Ruddock" formerly did when loading up for his deadly smash left hook.

I guess, I expected a lot, perhaps too much from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., considering that he is the son of the great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., but you would think that the son of such an extraordinary talent would bring fire and determination into his bout, if anything. Well, thatís another thing missing from Chavez Jr., the non-stop agression his father had, considering Chavez Jr. seems to fight in a pedestrian, almost leisurely way, as if he were shopping for his weekly groceries at the local Safeway. Itís one thing to possess the power of a fighter, such as Julian Jackson, and to fight slowly, waiting for the right opening to drop his bombs, but with someone like Chavez Jr., who wins by accumulation of punches, he needs to be unloading non-stop artillery in order to be effective.

At 20, thereís still a huge amount of time for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to learn how to box and turn it around. However, he needs a lot of work from what I see of him for him ever to be competitive as a Welterweight or at any weight class, for that matter. Nonetheless, Iím afraid that by the time he learns it, he may not have all his mental faculties intact, based on all the head shots Iíve seen him take in the last two fights. I personally think, nothing short of a miracle, will turn him into a good boxer, one that will some day be a contender.

Article posted on 21.02.2006

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