By Christian Schmidt
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
The Chavez last name is definitely no stranger to the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. It is there where Julio Cesar Chavez fought Pernell Whitaker to a controversial twelve round draw in front of more than 63,000 fight fans. To this day, that fight is one of the top five most attended boxing events in US history. One June 26th the Chavez name returns to the Alamodome. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (40-0-1) will take on what many consider to be his toughest opponent to date in John Duddy (28-1) from Ireland. At last Thursday’s press conference in the Alamodome, Fightnews got the chance to sit down with the son of whom many consider Mexico’s greatest pound for pound fighter to gather his thoughts on his opponent, what it is like working with new trainer Freddie Roach, and who he would like to call out of retirement and why?
What is your opinion of your opponent John Duddy?
He is a very strong, very good fighter. I think I’m going to win. I believe that he’s the type of fighter that has already reached his peak. He’s not going to get better.
How does Duddy rank compared to your past opponents? Is he the toughest?
Well on paper he is the toughest. Come June 26th, we’ll see if he’s the toughest.
What are you planning to focus on in particular? Anything different?
I’ve been working harder than before. With the focus on my conditioning. We’re looking at his weaknesses.
What is it like working with Freddie Roach?
He’s a good trainer. Right now, he’s my best friend in the world. We have a bet going on as to if I can be able to speak English faster than he can learn to speak Spanish. Right now I am ahead three to one. (Laughing)
What makes Roach such a great trainer?
It’s his dedication to his fighters. Boxing is his life.
Does Roach have you working on anything different?
We’re working on conditioning and strength. Freddie wants to prepare me for all twelve rounds.
Who are your sparring partners for this upcoming fight?
Vanes Martirosyan and some Russian fighters.
What type of a role is your father playing if any in your career right now?
He’ll accompany me to the ring that night. He’s basically letting me work with Roach. I’m training in LA. He’s in Mexico. We talk on the phone everyday. That’s about it.
Were you disappointed in the fact Oscar De La Hoya retired? Was there any truth to you wanting to fight him?
I wanted to fight because the people wanted it, but my career is not about Oscar De La Hoya. I have my own plans.
Do you ever think you could convince him to come out of retirement to seek revenge for your father?
I would like that to happen. It would be revenge for the Mexican people. Not for me.
Do you have any memories of when your father fought Pernell Whitaker in the Alamodome back in 1993?
I was here but I was only seven years old, so I don’t remember a lot. I just remember it was very full. (Points to the bleachers).
In closing, what would you like to say to your fans?
You are going to get a great surprise from me.