Chavez Jr., Gonzalez, Arreola prepare for July 18
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr. and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola participated in a media workout on Wednesday at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside, California, prior to their upcoming split-channel fight card on July 18 in El Paso, Texas.
The boxing will begin on Premier Boxing Champions on CBS Sports (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) with the U.S. debut of Ireland’s Carl Frampton (20-0, 14 knockouts), who will defend his IBF junior featherweight title against Mexican challenger Gonzalez (25-1-2, 15 KOs). In the 10-round co-feature, heavyweight contender Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs) will take on Frederic Kassi (18-3, 10 KOs) of Cameroon.
The action will then switch to Showtime Championship Boxing (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), where Chavez (48-2-1, 32 KOs) will meet fellow Mexican Marcos Reyes (33-2, 24 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout. The 12-round co-main event will feature bantamweights McJoe Arroyo (16-0, 8 KOs) and Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 14 KOs) fighting for the IBF title.
Chavez was last seen on the canvas while attempting to fight light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara, who eventually scored a ninth-round TKO in April.
The son of Mexican icon Julio Cesar Chavez was talkative at the media workout, expressing his thoughts on the Fonfara loss as well as future plans:
“I learned a lot in my fight against Fonfara,” Junior was quoted in a press release. “I really felt his punches, I became very tired. He taught me that I needed to spend more time in the gym and on my strategy. But I don’t think it was the wrong decision to fight him. … I am currently training not just for my fight with Reyes, but also for a potential rematch with Fonfara.”
Chavez will be fighting for the first time under the guidance of trainer Robert Garcia against Reyes.
“Junior has his own style, and I’m not going to change that,” said Garcia. “I’m just correcting little things; making sure he doesn’t have his head in front of his opponent and letting them hit him like they did his last couple of fights. I want him to use the jab a little more and move side to side.”
Chavez agrees the switch from Joe Goossen has been positive, and sees it as a crucial step toward future prospects.
“I think Robert Garcia was the best option for me after my last fight. He speaks Spanish and knows the Mexican style. He has trained a lot of champions and I have a good connection with him,” said Chavez. “I missed the basics of boxing training for the last fight … I must win this fight and then everyone will see that I am capable of fighting the big names like (Gennady) Golovkin and (Carl) Froch. … For this fight I will be at 168, but I am not sure what I will weigh for my fights in the future. I’m ready for less than 168 to face opponents like Canelo (Alvarez).”
Gonzalez, whose sole loss was a ninth-round technical decision against Juan Alberto Rosas four fights ago, had this to say about facing THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight:
“It’s Frampton’s first time coming to the United States and he wants to be a superstar. But, in order to become a superstar he must first get by me. … I know that he’s a great fighter with a lot of experience and a hard-hitting punch, but nothing that I can’t handle. … He’s looking at me as the fighter who lost to Rosas, but I’m a different fighter now.”
The always-talkative Arreola, like Chavez, spoke with a sense of urgency to prove himself, perhaps still stinging from letting the WBC title slip through his fingers against Bermane Stiverne in May 2014.
“I’ve got to make a statement and I have to give myself a shot for a world title fight. Title shots don’t come around every day so when they do you got to take them,” said Arreola. “I will never quit in a fight. Broken nose, broken ribs, broken whatever. You would have to kill me in the ring before I ever quit.”
The heavyweight from Riverside then turned to the ever-present question about his weight, and having made many unfulfilled vows about slimming down in the past, he was more at peace with reality.
“I expect to step in the ring in the high 240s,” Arreola said. “That’s about where I need to be. Just staying in shape and making sure I don’t balloon up like I have. My last fight when I weighed 263 I could easily cut weight to 255, but what for? I’m a big heavyweight. I messed up by overeating and it’s my fault. No one else to blame but me. I’m not going to cut any vanity weight. Why would I? I’m a heavyweight.”