Julio Cesar Chavez Jr: Super Middleweight Bound?Written by Lee Cleveland
According to BoxingScene, former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32KOs) may bolt to the super middleweight division next year if an immediate rematch with Sergio Martinez cannot be made.
Much has changed for the 26 year old Mexican recently.
His unbeaten streak came to an end as he simultaneously lost his WBC Middleweight title compliments of a one-sided drubbing by Sergio Martinez last month.
Following the loss to Martinez, he then tested positive for marijuana and, as a result, has been indefinitely suspended by the WBC and likely has a 6-12 month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission pending.
There's even been talk of a possible split with trainer Freddie Roach.
For Julio Cesar Chavez Jr fans, perhaps the best news out of the Chavez camp is his likely move to super middleweight sometime soon.
"I would like the rematch, I think would be a good fight. If not, I'll go up to 168, and there I'll develop to my full potential and I will be physically complete," Chavez stated.
Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO) vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr anyone?
Like it or not, despite his wide unanimous decision loss to Martinez, Chavez Jr is still a marketable commodity in boxing - especially given the fact he salvaged his performance last month by mounting a dramatic near-comeback in the final round against Sergio Martinez, seemingly almost knocking out the RING Middleweight Champion after losing 10 or 11 of the bout's first 11 rounds.
From a revenue standpoint, Ward vs Chavez Jr "may" be biggest fight in the Super Middleweight division provided Sergio Martinez opts to stay at middleweight; something he's expected to do.
Even if a bout with Andre Ward, the lineal super middleweight champion and WBC/WBA belt-holder, doesn't happen next year Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has a number of high-profile options in a stacked super middleweight division.
- Carl Froch, IBF Champion
29-2, 21 KO
Box Rec Rank: 2
FightSaga Pound-for-Pound: 13
- Lucian Bute, Former World Champion
30-1, 24 KO
Box Rec Rank: 3
- Arthur Abraham, WBO Champion
35-3, 27 KO
Box Rec Rank: 4
- Mikkel Kessler, Former Champion
45-2, 34 KO
Box Rec Rank: 5
- Kelly Pavlik, Former Lineal Middleweight Champion
40-2, 34 KO
Box Rec Rank: 9
- Edwin Rodriguez, Upstart Contender
22-0, 15 KO
Box Rec Rank: 13
Chavez Jr's struggles to make the 160lb middleweight limit have been well-documented as he often rehydrates to a blistering 180bs prior to stepping into the ring.
And while he's often enjoyed a size advantage over his opponents, gaining 20 lbs overnight - even if its just water weight - cannot be beneficial healthwise.
Was Chavez's lackluster performance last month the result of being weight-drained and fatigued?
Will he be far stronger and better prepared at super middleweight?
Perhaps we'll know more in 2013.
Main photo by Adrian Hernandez, MyUniversalSports.com
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.