By: Sean Crose
Give this much to Julio Caesar Chavez Jr – he knows how to stay in the spotlight. The eccentric son of the legendary Julio Caesar Chavez hasn’t truly impressed since he dropped Sergio Martinez late in a fight he eventually lost, but years later’ still manages to find name opponents. Only now he’s gone outside the ring and into the octagon to grab one. For UFC great Anderson Silva has been pitted as Chavez Jr’s next opponent. The two will meet on a June 19th pay per view card that will feature the senior Chavez facing off against Hector Camacho Jr (whose legendary namesake father lost to Chavez Sr in a 1992 megafight). That bout will be an exhibition – Chavez Jr-Silva, however, won’t be.
Indeed, Chavez Jr-Silva will be a scheduled full 10 rounder at a catchweight of 180. Silva is widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever engage in the UFC. In a hard boiled sport, the Brazilian appeared at his best to be half fighter, half acrobat. It’s also worth noting that Silva tried his hand at professional boxing for a while, earning a record of 1-1 before attaining iconic status in mixed martial arts. Silva has long wanted to step back in the ring, though. Years ago, a potential match between he and all time great ring maestro Roy Jones was much spoken of.
“When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain,” the 45 year old Silva stated. “I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I train continuously, always striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath.”
Although Chavez Jr hasn’t impressed in the ring the way Silva has in the octagon, it’s he who will essentially be on his home turf when he faces Silva in the prize ring. A record of 1-1 isn’t particularly extensive, after all. Plus, there’s the age factor. It’s also worth remembering that former middleweight titlist Chavez Jr has been more of a disappointing fighter than a bad one. He isn’t his father, but it’s a lack of discipline and drive that bothers fans, not a limited skill set. Still, the now 35 year old Chavez Jr claims things are going to change. “I have rededicated myself to the sport that I love,” he said, “and I will be ready to face anyone in the light heavyweight division starting with Silva…I will be prepared to be victorious on June 19.”