Sunday, 07 May 2017 17:15

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Retiring? The pros and cons of hangin' em up

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Last night former middleweight belt holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was schooled by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, dropping a wide decision to his sharper, more skilled foe.

It was a complete domination from start to finish as all three judges scored the fight 120-108.

Aside from showing an ability to absorb punishment, Chavez Jr (50-3-1, 32 KOs) failed to impress in any area. He never looked powerful nor fast, his inside game was reduced to tiny spirts, he wasn't effectively aggressive and failed to show any defensive wizardry.

But the 31-year-old Chavez, who failed to revitalize his career last night showed an awful lot of courage, and that shouldn't be overlooked.

So what's next for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, the son of a fight legend and national hero?

Should he retire?

Let's evaluate the pros and cons.

The case for retirement

  • Julio has earned a lot of money and might be set for life, depending on his spending habits.

  • His stock, which has already taken a beating since 2012, sunk even lower last night.

    As a result, and despite his popular name, he'll be fighting for a fraction of the purses he's accustomed to if or until his stock rises.

  • He's cashed out. Having lost 3 of his last 7 fights, fans now see Chavez Jr as an overhyped fighter whose excellent drawing power was attached more to his father's name than his ring prowess.

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has outgrown the middleweight (and perhaps super middleweight) division. And, as evidenced in his 2015 knockout loss to Andrzej Fonfara, may not be able to compete with top 10 light heavyweights so there's nowhere left to go. Even trying to make 168 would be a struggle.

The case for continuing

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was weight-drained last night and the 164.5 catchweight mightily stacked the odds against him. His frame is too large for him to fight at his full potential at that weight. A 175 lb Chavez would be much stronger and, if disciplined, could be a force at light heavyweight.

  • A disciplined Chavez, working with Memo Heredia, could campaign at super middleweight and attempt to lift a title from one of the weaker belt-holders after becoming a contender.

  • At 31, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is still young by today's standards AND is quite durable.He could aim to dominate 3 or 4 mid-level opponents next year and put himself in super fight contention in a higher weight class again in 2018.

  • Win or lose, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is still the son of a legend and will always make headlines as a result. His stock has dropped but a fight against the likes of light heavyweight belt-holder Joe Smith, the recent conqueror of Bernard Hopkins, might generate "some" interest (although nowhere near the buzz or purse sums of Canelo vs Chavez Jr). He'd the obvious B-side and underdog but a fight with Smith would given Julio a chance to revive his career.

  • A mainstream athlete with a gritty beard, Julio could take a page out of the Hector Camacho Sr career playbook and fight sporadically once every 12 or 16 months against fighters popular enough to help generate the amount of revenue to make it worthwhile. 

    Maybe he doesn't fight for a title again but, in a year or so, starts staging one-off return bouts against guys like Jean Pascal, Kelly Pavlik or Carl Froch. Chavez Jr vs Froch or Pavlik would be intriguing because stars' comeback fights are always big.

    In fact, a  2018 cruiserweight showdown 'Down Under' with 40-something Australian national hero Danny Green might generate Aussie interest.

Should Julio Cesar Chavez Jr hang 'em up after last night?

Given he's the son of a legend, there are pros and cons for an immediate retirement.

Lee Cleveland

Lee is Managing Editor of, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.