Chavez, Paez, and Cuevas jr. Collectively Take the Next Step

16.08.06 - By John Way: Next Saturday night at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso Texas, the sons of three Mexican ring legends-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jorge Paez, and Pipino Cuevas-will face their toughest challenges to date respectively. The elder Cuevas is already in the Hall of Fame, and Chavez, one of the greatest fighters of all time, is a certain bet to join him in five years. Paez, though erratically brilliant, has only an outside chance of being enshrined in Canastota one day. At this point itís hard to discern which son is the closest to emulating his father, though it would seem that Chavez, at 26-0-1, has accomplished the most, while Paez is the most talented of the bunch.

With precious little amateur experience, Pipino Cuevas jr. can be excused for fighting a steady diet of Tomato cans en route to an 8-0 (6) record. Those eight opponents had a combined win total of (drum roll please) two! Thatís right, two wins spread out between eight fighters. This guy makes Marty Jakubowski look like Tony Canzoneri in terms of quality of opposition. Still, like I said, Cuevas had no amateur career to speak of, and as long as he improves consistently, his padded record is excusable, especially since heís slated to meet fellow prospect, 10-2 Aaron Drake. Granted, Drake isnít exactly Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, or Harold Volbrecht, but at this point heíll provide a solid foundation for Pipino jr. to build a career on.

Unlike his rodeo clown father, Jorge Paez jr. is a finely tuned, serious professional with a down to earth sensibility thatís hard not to like. The only member of this group who has been brought along with a consistent game plan, his 9-0 (7) career has been precisely managed, with a meticulous timetable, presumably ending with a title shot in mid-to-late 2008. Saturday he steps into the ring with 13-1 Armand Horn. An impressive performance here could be instrumental in garnering a money
spinning fight with someone like Oscar Hall or Kid Diamond. Itís almost hard to believe the two Chavezí are related, so different is son from father. Looking anemic at 5í11", 147lbs, Julio jr. is also humble, soft spoken, and mild mannered, a world away from his standoffish father, whose hard drinking, fast lane lifestyle was legendary. Similar to Cuevas, he has done all his learning on the job after turning professional at only 17years of age, building his early record against ham and eggers like Jason Smith, Eugene Johnson, and the truly awful Guadelupe Arce. After two controversial nip and tuck fights with Carlos Molina, he has looked terrific against reasonably talented men like Travis Hartman, Ruben Galvan, and, interestingly, Aaron Drake. Now he faces the toughest test of his budding career versus 14-1-0 (7) Jermaine White, whose only loss was a third round retirement against Anthony Peterson.

Massive props must be given to these three young men for opting to step forward with their careers by taking a chance against live adversaries. Additionally, best of luck to Jermaine White, Aaron Drake, and Armand Horn in upsetting the three unbeaten stars of the evening. Comments and questions are welcome below.

Article posted on 16.08.2006

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