WBC middleweight beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is preparing to defend his crown opposite RING champion Sergio Martinez in an HBO Pay Per View-televised bout that will happen on Sept. 15 at The Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Chavez, 26, is unbeaten at 46-0-1, with 32 stoppages and is coming off a seventh-round knockout victory over challenger Andy Lee (28-1, 20 KOs) in June.
Martinez, 37, has a record of 49-2-2 that includes 28 knockouts, and is in pursuit of his sixth straight win, and his fifth consecutive knockout during that run.
The following is the second edition of Chavez’s training camp notes, taken from a press release distributed by HBO in association with fight promoters Top Rank, which handles Chavez, and Lou DiBella Entertainment, which has Martinez.
Wednesday, August 29: Chavez – Julio, you became a professional fighter at a relatively late age and without any amateur experience. What factors helped mold that decision? Was your father in favor of you becoming a professional fighter? And how has your father helped you since making your professional debut? Has your relationship with your father changed since becoming a professional fighter?
“I was not sure I wanted to be boxer at first, and started working out during late 2002 and early 2003. I lived in the United States in Riverside, Calif., and when I went back home to Culiacan, I went to my father’s gym and told my uncles I wanted to be a boxer.
“We did not have an amateur program, so I just jumped into the professional ranks. If I had to do it all over again, I would have started in the amateurs, to learn more. It was hard being a professional without any experience, and it really was difficult to learn to fight in the professional ranks.
“It is a lot tougher than I expected. My father did not want me to fight, and my mother did not want me to fight. My father made a deal with my grandmother, and she said she would let me have 10 professional fights, and if I lost one, that would be the end of it.
“I made the same deal with my father, so when I went undefeated after those 10 fights he had no choice but to let me continue fighting, and from then on, he has supported my boxing career. Having my father with me in training is like having a master at your side. He will correct me and will give me advice, but he lets my trainers do their work.
“He just wants me to do the things right and is always talking the importance of good preparation. He is always saying that fights are won in training, and that if are your well-prepared, the fights will be easy. We have become more like friends. I know that he is my father, and I do respect him.
“But when we talk boxing now, it is as equals, and that has made our relationship much better. He has also cleaned up his act, and that makes him more enjoyable to be around and keeps me more focused on my career. He deserves a lot of credit for the victory I will claim over Mart├¡nez on September 15.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]