After a year long wait to see him again in the ring, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1, 32KO) will be trying to prove himself once again to hard core boxing fans against the tough Andrzej Fonfara (25-3, 15KOs) this Saturday April 18, 2015 when they battle for the vacant WBC International Light Heavyweight Title at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California and televised live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. Fonfara, having the distinction of having fought well despite garnering a decision loss against white-hot Adonis Stevenson (26-1, 21KOs) in May of last year, has concerned at least one Chavez on the eve of tomorrow’s battle. Julio Caesar Chavez Sr. has made no bones about finding Fonfara to be a fighter durable enough that the risk versus reward to Chavez Jr. might be too dangerous to be warranted. “Julio [Chavez Jr.] wants credibility in this sport and that's why he made the decision to take this fight, even though it's a dangerous decision, “ stated the legendary Chavez Sr.,in reference to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s decision to fight tomorrow. “He must be very prepared for this fight”, noted Chavez Sr. despite unwavering deference to his son’s wishes, choosing to “support and be with my son,” versus trying to dictate his career.
As for Fonfara, he clearly believes that his credibility was gained versus Stevenson and now with Chavez he is looking to continue that momentum along with the larger viewer ship and fan base that a win versus team Chavez both Sr. and Jr. could bring. ‘I'm not worried about what his father said about not fighting me,” said an undeterred and focused Andrzej, adding that “Chavez Jr. wants to fight and I will show him that his father was right,” stated Fonfara with a gleam in his eye in anticipation of an even bigger fish “It doesn't matter how I win, I want to win this fight and get my rematch with Adonis Stevenson… Chavez Jr. is a great fighter…. I want to show the whole world how good I am when I win this fight on Saturday,” stated Fonfara eagerly.
While Chavez Jr. has had his share of rather public issues with coaches – namely Hall of Fame Freddie Roach not being a lasting fit, it would appear that his current teaming up with trainer Joe Goossen is proving fruitful as smooth preparation for what his team expects to be a tough and hopefully image enhancing fight. In the past Chavez has had a reputation of being a hot and cold fighter in training camp, i.e. at given times being extremely dedicated to training and conditioning and then almost without warning switching to the exact opposite with the worst infraction involving recreational marijuana use. However in this training camp it would seem that those sullied days are well behind him with the bonus of the distraction free location of Lake Tahoe. “When I was training with Freddie Roach, it was very different, “ stated Chavez jr. reflectively. “I think Freddie is a great trainer, but Joe also has a lot of experience and we have made a connection together,” said Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., continuing, "I really liked training in Lake Tahoe. The altitude, the ring, everything I needed was there. I felt very comfortable up there and I would like to come back there to train for a fight again, ” concluded Chavez Jr.
As for Goossen with regard to the relatively new working relationship, Chavez Jr. has always been a top ten bucket list client for him – way before Chavez ever darkened the doors of his gym for the tough Fonfara battle ahead.
"I've always really admired his (Chavez Jr.’s) style, “ revealed Goossen. “I had known him as a kid, his father is a legend. It had always seemed like a dream job for me, and out of nowhere I got it,” said Goossen brimming with enthusiasm.
While Goossen agreed with Chavez Jr. that the isolation of Lake Tahoe was highly beneficial to Julio’s focus and preparation for battle, Goossen also took pains to give credit where credit was due with regard to Chavez Jr.’s newfound settled abilities to self regulate and mature in going into one of the most difficult fights Chavez has had to date, stating, “I matured over my years, once I had a kid and a family and I think the same has happened with Julio. Life becomes clearer when you put away the immaturity. You realize that you have a future and if you really want to access what's available to you, then you are going to have to work hard and dedicate yourself to it,” said Goossen.
While Goossen was predictably confident in discussing Julio’s ability to fight and win against Fonfara, one couldn’t ignore the slight whiff of worry akin to those expressed and then suppressed by Chavez Sr.
“I believe Julio is ready to fight Fonfara,” Goossen stated evenly. “The fight was made before I even came on board, but that's the challenge that I am presented with. You must figure out a good game plan and figure out what you're up against…. Just because Julio has been out a year doesn't mean that it's going to be a cakewalk for Fonfara. We went up to Lake Tahoe with one thing in mind, and that's winning this fight and that's exactly what we're going to do," concluded Goossen definitively.
Given the high stakes on both sides should be interesting to see which man’s plans come crashing in and whose resolves and strategies hold firm come Saturday Night at the Stub Hub.
Chavez Jr. and Fonfara
Feel The Burden of Proof
Written by Kylie Krabbe
Photo by Ester Lin / Showtime
April 17th 2015