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Andrzej Fonfara: I’ll show Chavez Jr. how light heavyweights punch

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will be making his return to the ring April 18 as he will face light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara, confirmed Monday.

The terms of location, the television network nor the weight of the fight were not disclosed, but Fonfara and his promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing said the fight is a go.

“I want to show him how fighters in the light heavyweight division punch,” Fonfara said. “I want to show him I’m Andrzej Fonfara and I can beat him. I’m excited about it. I’m excited that he wants to fight me.”

Late Monday night, Chavez tweeted out “Done dealÔǪ I’m fighting Andrzej Fonfara April 18ÔǪ”

The news came hours after Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn and Carl Froch sent out a press release stating that Froch suffered an elbow injury in training, and that Froch’s return would be pushed back to the summer. Hearn was in negotiations with Chavez’s adviser Al Haymon about a potential March 28 fight in Las Vegas, per multiple reports.

Margules confirmed that the fight was agreed Monday afternoon. The two fighters are both Haymon clients, which made the clash a natural option.

“This fight was talked about for a while, but when Froch got injured, that’s when the fight became doable,” Margules said. “I think this is a competitive fight and it’s a great chance for (Fonfara) to win.

“I don’t think (the deal) was relatively that difficult because I think both guys wanted it,” Margules said.

One potential snag in the deal, however, is the contract status between Chavez and Top Rank Promotions. Chavez signed with Haymon in November, but per media reports, Top Rank claims they still have a one fight option left on Chavez’s deal.

Asked if Bob Arum was involved in the deal, Margules said, “not that I know of.”

“I don’t know if Top Rank was involved on the Chavez side, but he wasn’t involved on our side,” Margules said. “I don’t know if Arum has the authority to pull the plug or not, but I assume not. I assume they wouldn’t be making fights and announcements if he had the authority to pull the plug.”

To complicate matters further, Arum told BoxingScene’s Steve Kim, “We’ll see them in court.”

If the deal holds, which Margules indicated that the fight was agreed to, this will be Chavez’s first fight since his win over Brian Vera of last March.

Fonfara is coming off a November win over Doudou Ngumbu in a 10-round unanimous decision on Showtime. The Chavez fight will be perhaps the biggest fight of Fonfara’s career, although Fonfara fought, and lost to, THE RING/WBC champion Adonis Stveenson last May.

Fonfara said the two should create for an explosive fight in the ring.

“I think I must use the jab, but I don’t think this will be a very technical fight,” Fonfara said. “This will be a war, ya know? He has his Mexican style and I have my Polish style. I don’t think this fight will end in a decision.”

As for the location of the fight, a Margules said the fight will not be in Fonfara’s adopted hometown of Chicago. Fonfara has fought all but three of his 30 fights in Illinois, becoming a sizable draw in the process. One source indicated that the fight is likely to take place on the west coast, where Chavez is also a considerable draw.

Margules said that the three potential venues in Chicago ÔÇö the United Center, Allstate Arena or the UIC Pavilion ÔÇöall had dates booked on April 18. The United Center has the date reserved for potential playoff games for the Chicago Blackhawks or the Chicago Bulls while the Allstate Arena had the date deserved for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. The UIC Pavilion was also unavailable.

Regarding television, the fight will most likely be on Showtime, NBC Sports Network or even NBC. NBC announced Friday that it will air 20 televised cards under Haymon in a series entitled “Premier Boxing Champions” ÔÇö also known as ‘PBC on NBC.”

Margules said that the network that televises the fight would be finalized in seven to 10 days.