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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chavez Jr. to face Cotto next rather than Sergio Martinez or Rubio


Instead of putting newly crowned WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

(43-0-1, 30 KO’s) in with Sergio Martinez or Marco Antonio Rubio in fights that Chavez Jr. would almost surely lose and lose badly, his promoter Bob Arum is reportedly going to match Chavez Jr. up with WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto in October. It’s unclear whether this will be a catchweight fight where Chavez Jr. meets Cotto halfway between 154 and 160 of at the full weight.

It’s hard to imagine that Cotto, who is only 5’7″, would be eager to fight Chavez Jr. at the full 160 lbs for the fight. That would put Cotto at a big disadvantage, especially if Chavez Jr. rehydrates up to 180 lbs like he did before his fight last weekend against WBC middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik. Chavez Jr. won that fight by a 12 round majority decision by the scores 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112. But Chavez Jr. looked utterly hittable all night long.

The fight came down to Chavez using his huge size advantage over the much smaller 165 pound Zbik to work him over on the inside. Zbik didn’t have the presence of mind to keep the fight on the outside where he was doing surprisingly well. By letting Chavez Jr. walk him down and work on the inside with body shots, Zbik gave away most of the last six rounds of the fight and lost his title in the process. But it wasn’t a good sign to see Chavez Jr. barely beating the weakest of the four middleweight champions. That’s not a good sign if you’re a fan and you were hoping that this fight would be the beginning of a long title run for Chavez. Oh, I can see Chavez Jr. holding onto his WBC title for a while, but only if they stay far, far away from Sergio Martinez and Marco Antonio Rubio.

If Chavez Jr. can be steered around those two fighters, the rest of the contenders that the WBC has ranked in the top 15 are mediocre enough so that Chavez Jr. can take his 180 pound rehydration size and basically beat them on size alone – if he can continue make the 160 pound middleweight limit for much longer. It’s very rare that a middleweight rehydrates that high after the weigh-in, and when they do it tells you that they’re not long for this weight. Chavez Jr. may have to move up to super middleweight before long unless he can lose some muscle. He wasn’t fat for the Zbik fight, meaning that if Chavez Jr. wants to stay at middleweight, he may have to lose muscle because he’s going to start getting weak from dehydrating to make weight.

I think Cotto will easily beat Chavez Jr. It’s probably not going to be competitive because Cotto is much bigger puncher than Zbik and Chavez Jr. will be there to be hit all night long. It’s going to be one of those fighters where one fighter gets badly exposed. We’d likely see Chavez Jr. exposed even worse if he fought Sergio Martinez, but that won’t happen because Arum would be crazy to put Chavez in with that beast of a puncher and see Chavez Jr. can dismantled.


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