Online Exclusive: champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on technique, training, and opponent Sergio Martinez

We talk to the Mexican middleweight in anticipation for his blockbuster fight against southpaw Sergio Martinez on 15 September

03 September 2012    |    0 Comments

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Image courtesy of: Edward Diller / EDPImages.com

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr – son of retired boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, a six-time, three-division world champion with a record of 107-6-2 – faces the biggest test of his career in Sergio Martinez on 15 September in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the line will be the 26-year-old Mexican’s WBC middleweight belt. ‘El Hijo De La Leyenda’, literally meaning ‘The Son of the Legend’, comes into this bout with an undefeated record of 46-0-1-1 (32), and his Argentine challenger with a record of 49-2-2 (28). With both men determined to emerge the victor, this is a clash not to be missed.

We spoke to the champion about his infamous father and trainer, making weight, technique, and, of course, his 37-year-old adversary…

On his father…
I think you can see our boxing is very similar even though our shapes, our body types, they’re different. Actually, I take a lot from him. My style is like him – the body shots and everything – because that’s what I learned, that’s my school: the way he fought.
We were in the gym with him, he always taught us how to defend ourselves, how to throw punches. Even if we were in the gym and there were some kids around who wanted to get in the ring with me, he’d put me in the ring with the kid and made sure that I threw the punches right.

On making middleweight…
I feel good at 160, I can make the weight and the next day I know I can recuperate real quick. Just drinking can add 10-15lbs right off the bat. I feel good about making weight and coming in strong the next day. I don’t know how long I can do it for but I think I can do it for a while. It is an advantage but it can also be a disadvantage – there has to be a balance. I don’t want to go in so heavy that I can’t go. Right now my body does it naturally, it brings back what I need to bring back and I feel good in the ring.

His famous Mexican left hook to the liver…
I worked on throwing that hook for nine years. The first couple of fights if you see them I didn’t know what I was doing but my father would get me to one side and say, ‘Do this, do this’, he’d spend two hours telling me, ‘Throw this way, throw that way’ until I was able to perfect it, and I’m able to do it now like second nature. Martinez moves so much it’s difficult to land that shot on him but if I’m able to land it, like every fighter, he’ll feel it and he’ll go down; that’s the key, to get in there as often as I can.

On areas to improve…
I think I need to improve on my jab. I know how to use it but I need to be able to use it more in the ring sometimes; I forget. It’s something new to me but that I want to do. And I have to be a better defensive fighter than I am now.

Advice to young fighters…
Work hard, be disciplined. You can’t let yourself down mentally. If you want to achieve something in life you have to work hard for it, you can’t be negative about anything, you have to be positive that you’re going to do it. In the ring you don’t want to be knocked down and it’s the same in your career, you want to just blow it away. Work hard and you’ll get what you want. I always wanted to be a world champion and to achieve everything but I didn’t know how to do it, how to get there. Maybe at 20 I saw myself here but I didn’t know how I was going to get here, but I saw myself as a world champion and I learned how to work towards that.

On his father’s shadow…
I learned how to live with it. It’s good because maybe my career developed a lot quicker than a lot of people, than other fighters and it was bad because I was able to skip so many steps and people said it wasn’t right and said, ‘That’s how it’s always going to be.’ People are always going to criticise me for it. To me it’s just doing the best I can, living up to the name as best I can and if not that’s up to them. I feel good that people are finally recognising what I’m able to do and I think this fight will do that a lot for me. A lot of the critics will look at this fight, that first, I’m willing to fight a guy everyone says is one of the best in the world – that’s very important to me – then that I’m able to do well and beat him. Then people will see me in a different light.

On Martinez…
I love that people think that he’s going to beat me. It means I can prove them wrong. That’s what motivates me more than anything, knowing that a lot of people think this guy is going to beat me rather easily.

To read our extensive and exclusive feature on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, click here to get yourself a copy of issue 35 of Fighting Fit. To buy this edition via our app, please click here.

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