Chavez Junior vs. Rubio: Legendary Legacy’s Lengthy Shadow

Chavez Jnr. vs Rubio

As British fight fans might say “There’s only oneJulio Cesar Chavez – & there could only ever be one. The best fighter of his generation & one of the greatest fighters of all-time was that rarity in modern sports – as much symbol as athlete; as powerful a pop culture icon in his home country as a power puncher – was impervious to the mortal imposition of replication in any meaningful sense.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is both blessed & cursed. The blessings are plentiful – none more so than his very real genetic endowment – the burdens cumbersome & unceasing. The widespread critical response by boxing aficionados is invariably one of undernourishment at the fare on offer in terms of game opponents faced with accusations of padding never more than a breathe or two away. The reality, as it often enough finds itself located, is nearer a shade of grey – with her complexity another one of the sport of boxing’s inconvenient truths.

At 25 the son of the great Julio Cesar Chavez has already accumulated wins over the likes of John Duddy, Carlos Molina, Matt Vanda & Peter Manfredo Junior. Nothing other worldly about that to be sure – but with emphasis more on his tender age & less on his rather bulky sounding 46 fight career – is his not a career that has been prudently guided more than stage managed?

Mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio offers another sensible step up in class & perceived durability. Chavez is perhaps an unduly heavy 4-1 favorite against a 12 year professional with a very impressive 53-5 (46 KO) record. A win here makes other higher profile promotions do-able with several interesting potential match ups emerging – not least of which is the simmering rivalry with countryman Canelo Alvarez.

Chavez’s offense is heavily dominated by power punching and his accuracy is superb with 45.8 percent of all shots finding their mark. Questions over the quality of opponents linger – though again at 25 & now with a world title to defend one can assume the quality of future opponents will only soar as boxing embraces a highly marketable commodity in Chavez Junior.

Chavez enjoyed his most impressive outing statistically against a name-brand opponent in the John Duddy match-up: 66.8 percent overall connects on 378 punches landed (289 of which were power shots). Rubio offers a more refined, seasoned & streetwise challenge than that of Duddy or any of the Mexican legend’s son’s previous opponents & an impressive win on Saturday can not help but convert a sizable portion of his naysayers into admirers – if only qualified ones for the time being. Anything less will doubtless result in a plethora of “I told you so’s” from this well versed portion of the still unconvinced segment of the boxing community.

Such are the mixed blessing of walking in the footsteps of Mexico’s most revered ring warrior of them all.

Matt Hamilton, for ESNewsReporting!