By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Former WBC middleweight champion and son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs), of Culiacán, Sinaloa México, is days away from his return to the ring as he will take on Texan Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KOs) this Saturday live on HBO World Championship Boxing from the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Chavez Jr. held a media workout Tuesday afternoon at the Azteca Boxing Gym in Bell, California. “The camp is very good. I feel one hundred percent for this fight. I’m ready,” Chavez Jr. told Fightnews.com in English.
“Vera is underestimated. He’s a fighter that comes to fight. We’ve got him at his best. There’s a reason he’s ranked number one by the WBO, but I feel I am a better fighter. Everything is on the line for this fight. These are dangerous fights where there is not so much at risk but you can lose it all. Everyone is certain that I will win and that I have to roll over this guy, I have everything to lose and nothing to win.”
Accompanied by his legendary father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Junior shadowboxed as “El Gran Campeon Mexicano” looked on. Fans from the surrounding community crowded the gym to watch the two.
“We will go in to the fight ready. This is a difficult fight but Julio has the talent to come out on top,” the Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez told Fightnews.com
Located southeast of Los Angeles in a working class neighborhood, the Azteca Gym was the Mexican legend’s favorite LA gym to train in. Chavez Sr. recounted his moments here at the Azteca. “I have great memories here. I trained a lot of times in this gym for many of my world title fights. It feels good to be back here.”
Commenting on his work habits, Chavez Jr. stated, “We’ve trained hard and strong for this fight. I’m not training late at night like last time. I know I was criticized. I have maintained good discipline. I was criticized because I lost. No one criticizes Mayweather when he trains late at night because he wins, but when you lose everything is wrong,” (laughing).
The 27-year-old Chavez Jr. will be guided by his longtime assistant Vladamir Baldenebro taking over as his chief trainer, resuming the duties of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and Junior will also have his father in his corner.
Vladamir Baldenebro told Fightnews.com, “I learned a lot from Freddie. He is a respected trainer. He gave me my space, allowed me to speak, we worked well togethe. Everything is well. We’ve worked together for years, we’re ready. We’re here with a winning mentality. Most importantly we’re ready physically and mentally.”
Chavez Sr. added, “This will be a tough fight for my son but he has the capacity to be come out victorious.”
Junior commented, “I am happy with him in my corner. It can solidify our relationship as father and trainer. There should be no emotions between us during the fight. He will do his job in the corner and I will do my job in the ring. We’ll work together.”
Originally scheduled to fight September 7, Chavez Jr. was forced to postpone the bout with Vera after suffering a cut above his left eye.
“My cut has healed. I stopped boxing for a week but continued to train. It was a small cut but we took the necessary time off,” Chavez Jr. said. “When I was cut there was ten days left for the fight so I would have been going into the fight with a cut and what would happen? The same thing that happened to my father. To lose a fight due to a cut. My father wouldn’t permit that,” Chavez Jr. added.
His father once suffered a cut during camp in preparation for Oscar de la Hoya and the result was perhaps one of De la Hoya’s biggest accomplishments after the legend could not continue due to a huge cut opened up over his eye. All wounds have healed now as Chavez Jr. talked about his cut and advise his father gave him going into this fight.
It is also speculated that the former world champion is having issues with his weight in the last few days and possibly fighting Vera at a 173 pound catch weight.
“Well this is not a world title fight so why not fight at 168 or 173? If there is no title at stake then why fight at the weight limit?” Chavez said.
Chavez Jr. vs. Vera will be a twelve round bout from what has become one of the hottest venues for boxing the StubHub Center, formerly known as the Home Depot Center, which showcased the 2012 Fight of the Year in Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado, and most recently Timothy Bradley’s war with Ruslan Provodnikov in March. Now Julio Jr. looks to continue the action as he will have the tough Texan Vera in his path.
“This will be a great fight. Both of our styles will complement, this will be good,” Chavez Jr. concluded.
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla