JC Chavez

Papa JC Chavez Doesn't Like Son's Next Choice

By David A. Avila

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. happens to be the son of one of Mexico’s greatest prizefighters and with it come comparisons that are openly discussed by the boxing media, fans and even his more famous father.

Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 28 Kos) handpicked next opponent Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 Kos) and they’ll be meeting at the StubHub Center in Carson on Saturday April 18. Papa Chavez thinks it’s a mistake.

“I didn't want this fight. I know that, for my son, I know it's a hard fight. It's a difficult fight. And I didn't want it. Fonfara is very strong,” said Chavez Sr. who works as an analyst for Azteca TV. “But my son wanted this fight.”

Just like many father and son relationships, it’s a back and forth struggle of ideologies and establishing one’s own identity. The younger Chavez has been compared to his father ever since he donned boxing gloves in 2003.

Though born in Culiacan, Mexico, back in 2001, Chavez Jr. was living in Riverside with his mother and brother Omar Chavez. He was attending Ramona High School and got the itch to try out boxing. Both Chavez brothers spent a lot of time in Mira Loma working out in Willy Silva’s gym.

“He was 15 years old when I started working with him and he did one fight with me as an amateur. It was the only fight he had. He stayed for a year and a half. Then Julio (the father) took him to Culiacan,” said Silva, who stills trains fighters in Riverside. “I see a lot of talent, but he mimicked his dad too much.”

Chavez turned professional at age 17 and despite only one amateur fight, the tall teen learned his craft on the job fighting in places like Tijuana, Culiacan, and Chiapas. He also fought in various American venues such as Houston, San Diego and Las Vegas where the Chavez name attracted curious crowds.

“He’s got good ability. But for some reason he doesn’t go full throttle and takes a lot of unnecessary punches. If he makes up his mind to go after the guy he would be way better,” said Silva, who also trained Riverside’s Mauricio Herrera.

After 12 years of pro fighting including professional bouts, Chavez has captured and lost the WBC middleweight title and now is a full-fledged 168-pound super middleweight. But not for this fight which will be held at 172 pounds.

“After this fight, I'm going down to 168 and staying in this weight class. One or two years ago I moved to 175 but that was too much for my body,” said Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. now 29.

Fonfara normally fights as a 175-pound light heavyweight and doesn’t mind dropping down a few pounds to face Chavez Jr.

“I'm ready to meet Chavez in the ring April 18 and show him I'm the better boxer,” said Fonfara.

Papa Chavez doesn’t like the match up for his son.

“Fonfara is very strong. But my son wanted this fight,” said Chavez Sr. with a hint of I-told-you-so regret. “He wanted a hard fight.”

Does father know best?