‘Son of the legend’ – as ring nicknames go it’s perhaps not the catchiest moniker in boxing, but for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, treading in the footsteps of his father was never going to be easy.
Let us not forget the fighting pedigree Jr is following – Julio Cesar Chavez is a living legend – a god amongst men in his native Mexico, a force of nature and quite possible one of the greatest fighters in history.
So Julio Cesar Chavez Jr had some intense level of expectation on his shoulders when he emerged as a pro boxer. With a career carefully managed and promoted by Top Rank he quickly racked up a seemingly amazing record of 40 straight wins and 1 draw, becoming the mainstay of their Latin Fury boxing cards. Things are never that simple in boxing though and the level of his opposition was more often than not made up of journeymen and has-beens.
He was regarded by the wider boxing fraternity as a sideshow, a celebrity boxer perhaps. His work ethic was widely reported to be less than perfect and there were no big name challenges or a true fight that hinted at real talent beyond going through the motions.
That has all started to change of late though…starting with a move to famed trainer Freddie Roach and his first ‘live’ opponent last weekend in Ireland’s John Duddy. Chavez seemed to come of age in this fight and glimpses of a real talent shone through. With Roach’s tutelage and conditioning, Top Rank’s mentorship of his career, and Chavez Snr on hand to give out a lifetimes hard learnt lessons in the ring, the future is suddenly looking more than rosy big name fights await him. At 24-year-old he has the world at his feet – as long as he keeps winning!