Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Bryan Vera, Andre Ward, fighting at heavyweight



A lot is riding on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s performance in his 168-pound rematch with Bryan Vera on March 1, and the son of the legendary champion is more aware of that than anyone.

Chavez's fiance, Frida Munoz, gave birth to their daughter, Julia, just before the start of training camp, he turned 28 on Feb. 16, and there is an emphasis on his making the contracted weight limit or else be fined $250,000 — all of which the fighter asserts has him more focused than ever.

"All that I think about when I'm running is my daughter," said Chavez, who will meet Vera at The Alamodome in San Antonio in Vera's home state of Texas. "All that I think about when I'm training is her, and I can't wait to get back home to see her. I am just so focused for this fight, like never before, because I want to end it early so that I can go home and see my daughter."

Chavez (47-1-1, 32 knockouts) won the first meeting by controversial 10-round unanimous decision victory over Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) in a September bout that took place in California at a 173-pound catchweight because Chavez was not able to make the originally contracted limit.

In a poll of 59 media members, 53 scored the bout in favor of Vera, with the remaining six calling it a draw.  In its round-by-round, scored the fight for Vera, 97-93.

Click here for’s Chavez-Vera round-by-round.

Chavez, however, promises to be nothing like the man who scarcely escaped Vera. Instead, Chavez vows to resemble the man whose majority decision over Sebastian Zbik earned the to WBC's middleweight title in June 2011, who knocked out Peter Manfredo Jr. and Andy Lee in the fifth and seventh rounds, and who dropped and nearly stopped RING 160-pound champion Sergio Martinez in the 12th round of a unanimous decision loss in September 2012.

In victory, Chavez hopes to set up lucrative matchups with RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward, or his IBF 168-pound counterpart Carl Froch — each of whom has mentioned Chavez as a potential rival.

Chavez also discussed his dream of one day competing as a 175-pounder or even a heavyweight, and also offered his thoughts on a March 8 clash of Mexican junior middleweights between Canelo Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo in this Q&A:

Translated by Top Rank's Ricardo Jiminez I bet that it was hard to leave your daughter for your first training camp as a father, wasn't it?

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.: It's true. All that I think about when I'm running is my daughter. All that I think about when I'm training is her, and I can't wait to get back home to see her.

I am just so focused for this fight, like never before, because I want to end it early so that I can go home and see my daughter. What will be the difference between this fight with Vera and the last one?

JC: I had a lot of inactivity before the first fight with Bryan Vera. I had gone a long time without fighting and I think that it all caught up with me on that night. But now, I've been training for four months, and I've not stopped training since the last fight. That's because I do want to do so well, and I want to watch my weight and everything and I want to keep that in check.

I think that you're going to see the same kind of fighter that you saw when I beat (Sebastian) Zbik, (Andy) Lee, and that same guy you saw when I beat (Peter) Manfredo.

You're going to see me in the same way that I was in the 12th round when I almost knocked out Martinez. That's what you're going to see on that night. Is part of that because you want to make up for your last performance and validate yourself for bigger fights such as one against another 168-pounder or potentially even a light heavyweight?

JC: You know I just want to give the fans a great fight. I think that I owe them a great fight. I think that I need to show the fans a great fight and a good performance.

That's what I do in this fight coming up, and then all of the other fighters and all of the other champions can take note. Would Ward be among those you're referring to, since he has mentioned you as a potential opponent?

JC: I think that with Andre Ward, I consider him to be the best fighter in the world. I just think that he hasn't had the marketing that other fighters have and that he's not necessarily considered or thought of as the best fighter in the world because he hasn't been backed that way.

But I think that Floyd Mayweather has been better marketed and I think that he's been able to build up a name for himself. Ward is just a younger guy who can do some of the same things that Mayweather can do.

So to me, the important thing is that I want to fight the best fighters in the world, and Andre Ward is one of the best fighters in the world, so of course I would be interested in fighting him. Would you also like to fight Carl Froch, who has also mentioned you?

JC: Froch is also a great champion and I think that would open up a new market for me in Europe by fighting him. I also look at him as being one of the better champions.

He didn't look too good in his last fight but I think that if he can win his next fight and if he can win it convincingly, then he could make a fight with me a reality. How is the weight right now, and how long do you believe that you can stay at 168 pounds?

JC: I think that 168 still is a very good weight for me. I think that I can still make that weight and that I can still have some good fights in that division.

I would definitely consider going up to 175 if there is a good fight or a good challenge for me up at that weight, so I wouldn't mind going up to 175. I don't mind even going back down to 160 if the fight that I want is there.

I think that once I make 168 for this fight, I'll be able to tell if I can lose those eight more pounds also and to make it back down to 160. I think that will tell me a lot. But of course, my favorite weight is heavyweight [laughs.] Seriously, how long before you compete as a heavyweight, and is that your dream, to top out as a heavyweight?

JC: Of course. I would look forward to fighting as a heavyweight. Roy Jones did it, and I say, why not? Why not me? Who wins between Alvarez and Angulo?

JC: I would put it that there's a 70 percent chance that Alvarez will win, and that there is a 30 percent chance that Angulo will win.