I’m not a fan of cancellation culture— that new mode of response that says if any human does anything of low character (or even just makes a bad decision), they must be cut loose, sent out into the wild never to return. I don’t think any of us want our lives reduced to the worst or dumbest thing we ever did. But what about someone who pulls the same bullshit over and over?
What to do with them?
Enter Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. A man bound and determined to make his legendary father invest in a time machine so he can go back to February 16,1986 and change his child’s name to something – literally anything – else.
Yes, Junior has become so embarrassing that his father….
..actually throws up his hands while watching him fight. The great shame of all is that it doesn’t have to be like this. Junior is talented, and he has a great right hand. While he may fall short of his father’s skill set, so does almost every other boxer. Where Junior comes up woefully short is in the “will” category.
Junior has never been the hardest worker, and maybe being the son of an all-time great, growing up in a state of luxury made him comparably soft. Hell, that’s understandable. What’s infuriating is how much he continues to trade on his name while continually desecrating it, and consequently, his father’s too.
What happened in Phoenix Friday night was just the latest exercise in pugilistic futility from a guy who seems to have no interest in being a real fighter past collecting the oversized paychecks. Let’s unpack what happened leading up to Friday night.
First, Junior “missed” his drug test. A bit of foolishness that required the fight to move to a different state. Then, at weigh-in he came in almost five pounds over the limit, forcing him to give his opponent a third of his purse. And that’s before the fiasco that took place in the ring.
Despite hulking over Daniel Jacobs so much that it looked like Wilt Chamberlain playing in a 6 feet and under league, Junior quit on his stool after the fifth round of what was up until then a competitive fight.
Claiming a broken hand that has yet to be verified by a physician – and don’t hold your breath for that – Junior said, “no mas,” or something akin to it. As my compadre at NY Fights, Kelsey McCarson, hilariously tweeted on fight night: “Jacobs hit Chavez Jr so hard on the nose that it broke Junior’s hand. Amazing.”
As I said, this was a pretty good fight up until that point. Over the first two rounds, Junior (with his superior girth) moved Jacobs all around the ring. The third round was close, and even though Jacobs clearly won rounds four and five, it was still a fairly even contest. So, why did Junior quit?
My guess is when Jacobs started finding the mark in round four and gave Junior a stare down that screamed, “I got your number son,” Junior remembered who he is. Or, rather, who he isn’t – his dad. His father walked through the pure hell of Meldrick Taylor to keep his belt when all seemed lost. Junior couldn’t handle a bloody nose.
Once Junior made the decision to stop being punched in the face by a man he looked to outweigh by a full Rottweiler, the boos rained down upon him, followed soon by the garbage. Ever the unprofessional, Junior also skipped out on the post-fight interview. I guess he’s as afraid of questions as he is of Daniel Jacobs’ right hand.
Junior has now lost four of his last nine fights, the first against the great Sergio Martinez in 2012, who Junior almost managed to knock out in the twelfth round after being given a boxing lesson for the first eleven. He quit in 2015 against Andrezj Fonfara, and he might as well have not even shown up against Saul Alvarez in 2017, considering the desultory performance he gave in that fight. Then came Friday night’s self-immolation against Jacobs.
You have to wonder at this point, does he have no shame? Does he not want to be better than this? Because for all his many faults as a professional fighter, he was once promising. Those days are long gone now, not because of a lack of ability, but due to a dearth of character.
The saddest part of this story is that we probably aren’t done with this circus. Someone will ask Junior to fight again, and likely for big money. Because he’s marketable. Why? Because of his father’s name. A name he does not deserve to carry into the ring.