Julio Cesar Chavez Junior-John Duddy On June 26th – Can Freddie Roach Bring Out The Best In Chavez?

by James Slater – The intriguing middleweight bout between exciting warriors Julio Cesar Chavez Junior and John Duddy is fast approaching. Set to go on June 26th, in San Antonio, Texas, the scheduled 12-rounder (the bout will, for some reason, contest the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title!) could well be one to watch. Chavez Junior, the younger man at age 24, as well as being the unbeaten fighter of the two at 41-0-1(30) is a slight favourite to win at present, and one of the major factors for his being so may well be his new trainer..

As fans may know, Chavez arrived at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in Los Angeles a day or two ago, and began working with the ace trainer of champions. Already a good fighter, Chavez can only improve under the guidance of Roach.

The Mexican son of a legend has been guilty of looking non too impressive in some of his fights, it must be said, and against the tough, proud Duddy, he will need to put forth a much greater showing than he did against Troy Rowland, who he faced last time out in his 160-pound debut. Roach may be the man to bring out the best in his latest charge.

Things do look like being tough for crowd-pleaser Duddy. Older than his opponent by six years, as well as being the shorter man at 5’11” to 6’0,” the Irishman who is 29-1(18) is also going in with the biggest name of his pro career; and arguably the best overall fighter of his seven-year pro career. Indeed, this fight is very much the big test for both guys. For the last few years both men have been on the fringes of being genuinely world class, and June 26th’s winner will be right up there in the eyes of some (although we can forget about the Silver title that is on the line).

Duddy, like Chavez, has a good team around him – even if he has no star trainer such as Roach in his corner – has had his share of wars before now, and some fans seem to think he has peaked already. If he has, and if he cannot raise his game against Chavez, he could be in trouble. But if Duddy CAN raise his game, if he can put on the best showing of his career, it could be he who brings out the best in Chavez; not Roach.

Duddy will be competitive, and the fight has a good chance of going the full 12-rounds, yet I can only see one winner. Duddy will come right at Chavez, looking to drag him into a war; but the more versatile fighter, the younger and fresher fighter, will figure him out and use his still-improving skills to dominate in the second half of the bout. It could be exciting in spots, but I feel Chavez Junior is the classier fighter and he will win on points.

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