Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. a Superstar? Believe It When You See It
The more boxing you watch, the more desensitized you become to hearing ridiculous spin come out of the mouths of the game's big promoters.
Last Saturday, however, those of us that shelled out 40 bucks for Top Rank's Latin Fury pay per view, heard one of the best bits of "promoter speak" in recent memory.
After beating a seriously game, but unfortunately deficient, John Duddy, (29-2-0, 18 KO) Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was declared by promoter Bob Arum a "superstar" in the world of boxing. He was also referred to as a "world champion" by the Top Rank cronies announcing the fight, in reference to the ridiculous "silver belt" that he earned with his performance, I assume.
Now, before I pile on a kid who just won the biggest fight of his career, let me give credit where it is due.
Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KO) did look much improved from his last outing, an embarrassing no-contest last fall where he won a lackluster match, but then failed the post-fight drug test.
The few weeks he put in with Freddie Roach obviously did him well, his jab was sharp and his defense was better than I had expected.
Arum also deserves a lot of credit for the event. Before it started, I had my reservations about even ordering it. Typically, I find these low-grade PPV cards to be a bit of a slap in the face to a boxing fan.
Top Rank did however put together an entertaining show. The main event was a great action fight, and it was also fun to see the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera (66-7-0, 43 KO) back in the ring and looking sharp.
Arum also stated that he would like Duddy's next fight to be in New York City against Yuri Foreman (28-1-0, 8 KO) that would also make for a decent match up, and is an idea I could get into.
My problems with the event didn't start until the end.
Post-fight Arum started raving about how Chavez was a superstar, a champion, would fight anyone anywhere, blah blah blah. I get that he wants to make his guy look good, but come on.
Beating Duddy, a fringe contender only if you have a very loose definition of the fringe, does absolutely nothing towards making a fighter a "superstar."
The WBC silver trinket he now holds is one of the most meaningless belts the sea of silly titles that is modern professional boxing.
The actual WBC champion and legit middleweight champion of the world is Sergio Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KO), yet I heard no mention of his name come out of Arum's mouth. Perhaps the fact that Martinez is a fighter that gained his star status by, you know, actually fighting, has something to do with that.
While Martinez can't buy an opponent, Junior figures to be given more easy assignments based on his father's legacy. If Arum can get him a "real" world title without having to go through a buzz saw like Martinez, he will likely do so.
Some will say that at only 24 years old, Chavez simply needs more time before he steps in with a legit P4P contender like "Maravilla."
However I personally think the problem is not his age, but simply his ability. He is a good fighter, but I don't see him ever being a great fighter, much less a superstar. It is very possible that he will simply be trolled around the weight class, taking on fringe contenders until one of them upsets him, and then he will go away.
Arum has known for awhile that he has a golden paycheck in the son of a Mexican legend, but does he actually have a legit champion?
I'll believe it when I see it.
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