Bitter Gripes


I have to say I think it’s dandy that Chavez Sr. is disappointed in his son for his performance against Saul Alvarez on May 6th.  This is exactly what senior set himself up for the moment he made his son’s career more about himself than about junior.  Anyone who’s paid attention is aware that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. possessed some impressive talent at one time, but was gifted much of his professional advancement.  He made his early career on soft competition by any standards, and took championships from mediocre champions.  He demonstrated a lack of dedication several times in his career when failing to make weight, but that’s just an indicator of the overall deficit in his training, his technique and his mentality.

While he looked impressive against guys like Peter Manfredo, Bryan Vera and John Duddy, their styles are exceedingly one-dimensional and their pacing conducive to a Chavez victory.  Those fights were really his peak, anyway, despite what advocates might claim.  Before those fights, his greatest challenges took the form of Andy Lee and Matt Vanda, who, while formidable in their own right, are nowhere near being considered for elite-level fights.  He wasn’t even ready for Matt Vanda until his 38th professional fight.  To put that in perspective, Floyd Mayweather Jr., in his 38th fight, took the WBC welterweight title from Oscar de la Hoya.

Chavez Jr.’s obsession with being worthy of his name was the entirety of his ambition.  That’s why he didn’t care about boxing as a sport.  For him, boxing was just the vehicle for his assumption of his father’s throne.  At the very least, he thought he was destined for greatness.  It’s like you could see it on his face every time he came to the ring, “thanks everybody, yeah, I look like my dad, right?”

Maybe that’s what all the rivalry hype was about in the lead-up to Alvarez-Chavez.  Maybe Alvarez wanted to prove that he was the one who would achieve greatness, not because of his lineage or because he looked like or even fought like the Mexican warrior archetype.  Alvarez showed he would achieve greatness, least of all because he was destined for it, but instead because he earned it through decades of hard work.  If Chavez Sr. is disappointed in his son, he should be disappointed in himself for projecting the idea of boxing as a commodity.  It’s more than that, especially for those less naturally gifted.  Unfortunately, senior pushed his son too far, one time too many.  It’s clear where junior falls in the line of greats, and the successor to this throne won’t be a Chavez.

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