Saturday, November 19, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will defend his WBC middleweight title for the first time at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas, in front of Peter Manfredo Jr. And he certainly is the big favorite, due to a series of fortunate events from which his opponent did and does not benefit.
First of all, there’s his name. Being the son of a boxing legend is no easy job if you make the same career option as your father, but it can bring you the sympathy of thousands of fans and many other advantages other boxers do not share. There’s also his fighting record. Whether it’s related to the name or not, 43 wins, one draw and 30 knockouts are really impressive, especially for a 25 year old. We could also mention another thing that Peter Manfredo Jr. does not have and we should have convinced you why he isn’t the favorite: Freddie Roach. Having one of boxing’s best coaches at your side doesn’t guarantee your victory, but it definitely gives you an edge in the ring, especially when the aforementioned trainer does not train losers.
Nevertheless, the fortunate events that we’ve mentioned also resulted in a lot of criticism. The most obvious is that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is nothing like his father. It is also said that he is slow, has no power and hasn’t faced any serious competition. If you take a closer look at his record, you can confirm yourselves some of these criticisms, but let’s not forget that he is only 25 and he has all the time in the world to beat his competition and improve in the sweet science.
Manfredo (37-6, 20 KOs) is no world champion, but he is a solid fighter. He lost to Sakio Bika and Sergio Mora but also beat some tough boxers, which means he will give a hard fight to Chavez Jr. but doesn’t probably have everything it takes for an upset, especially since he is a full-time worker and, in order to take care of his family he cannot spend as much time training as his opponent, a full-time-money-making fighter.
But everything can happen in the ring, and the victory is paramount for both fighters. For Manfredo Jr., already in his thirties, this might be the last chance to glory he’ll ever get, but in order for him to win he must destroy his opponent’s pretty face and with it his unblemished fight record. One good punch is all he needs. If he doesn’t get it, he might hang up the gloves.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., on the other hand, needs not only to remain undefeated but also to dominate Manfredo and get a clear win. Hopefully, a knockout that will allow him to confront another top 10 middleweight and then, only then, one of his main opponents, such as Saul Alvarez.