On Saturday night, April 18, 2015, at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, the 29 year-old Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in the ninth round of his 51st professional fight, a WBC light heavyweight title fight, was knocked off his feet for the first time by Andrzej Fonfara. Between rounds, the dreaded decision was made to throw in the towel, also a first.
Not a close fight as the scores up to that point will attest. Judge Alan Krebs had Fonfara ahead 89-80, while judges Steve Morrow and Alejandro Rochin had it the same 88-81 in favor of Fonfara. After the taller Fonfara found his range, used his short power punches to Chavez’s head and threw more combinations, he virtually had Chavez broken down.
Speaking objectively, Chavez can no longer lose the necessary weight to compete as a light middleweight, the weight class where he has been winning handily by beating up smaller men. Now that he’s moved up in weight to the heavier weight classes, he becomes average and no longer has the punching power to win. Whether Chavez goes up against a top ranked super middleweight or a top ranked light heavyweight, it won’t matter – he doesn’t have the speed of hands or punching power to win.
Chavez’s opponent on Saturday, the 27 year-old, 6’2½” light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara, had a record of 3-1 against former or current light heavyweight world title holders, the wins coming against Byron Mitchell, Glen Johnson, Gabriel Campillo and the one loss to the current World Champion Adonis Stevenson. What was Chavez thinking? Why would his management team allow him to move up to the higher weight division and be exposed?
The 29 year-old, 6’1” Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-2-1, 32 KOs) of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico had a record of 3-1-1 against former world title holders. However, those wins were over light middleweights Carlos Molina, Sebastian Zbik and Andy Lee while he lost to Sergio Martinez, also a light middleweight, and had a draw against Carlos Molina, a light middleweight. In the Zbik fight, Chavez and his nutritionist worked out a plan to have him out-weigh his opponent by 15 pounds. Those 15 pounds made a huge difference in the force behind each blow.
On February 28, 2013, Chavez Jr. was suspended for nine months and fined $900,000 (30 percent of his purse) by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for marijuana following his loss to Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas. It was the second failed test for Chavez Jr., who in 2009 tested positive for a banned diuretic following his bout with Troy Rowland. For that irregularity he was fined 10 percent of his purse and suspended for seven months. And to think he had the audacity, during a Sergio Martinez Pre-fight Press conference, to mention he had the misfortune of dealing with his father’s 15 year drug addiction.
Is it possible that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s involvement with drugs might last an even longer period?