It began with ducked drug tests and a missed weight, continued on to snow cone-colored hair and ended in a quit job that spurred the delusional crowd in Phoenix to rain beer cans down on the ring Saturday night. In other words, a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout was a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout.
That Daniel Jacobs walked away with the win gets second billing here, obviously. Pick your fable/parable/folk saying. Scorpion and the frog, maybe. Fool me once, shame on you. There’s a really wide assortment available for situations like this. We humans never learn.
Chavez, after blowing the 168-pound limit, looked like his usual level-boss-vs-video-game-protagonist self in size against Jacobs, who comically tried to sell the idea in the pre-fight interview that he took the bout anyway for the fans. Surely the share of the $1 million fine did nothing to persuade him, especially since he surely knew Chavez was a circus sideshow of a boxing freak rather than some kind of legitimately talented performer.
If tribal tattoos are the post-loss ritual of choice in boxing, then let’s call Chavez’s dirty blueberry snow cone of a dye job the pre-fight ritual of knowing you’re going into a bout with no real intention of winning.
That said: Chavez started all right. He was bouncing around, attacking, not landing much but making Jacobs cautious about opening up. Jacobs, in his 168-pound debut and in his first contest with a new trainer, didn’t look his usual mobile self, although perhaps the fact that he was being chased around the ring by a player-character who had the party wizard cast Enlarge on him erased the distance. You could even say Chavez won the 1st.
From there, aside from the occasional right hand or body shot, Chavez got the crowd fired up just by throwing and getting his punches caught on Jacobs’ gloves.
Jacobs, meanwhile, began to counter, stop getting caught on the ropes and back Chavez up on occasion.
It’s not clear at the time of this writing what made Chavez quit after the 5th. Jacobs landed a couple doozies, one of which cut his eye and one of which bloodied his nose. Somebody at DAZN thought they heard Chavez say he broke his hand. A broken nose sounds more likely, and it’s the kind of thing you can see Chavez noping out of. [Mid-writing update: Chavez said his nose was broken, blaming it on elbows and head butts from Jacobs. Oh, the fudge brownie richness of it all, Chavez complaining about someone else breaking the rules!]
The best part, at least for those who appreciate the absurdity of this sport, is that anyone in Phoenix was upset enough to throw anything at Chavez in response. If you didn’t know what you were buying when you snapped up a ticket with Chavez Jr.’s name on it, that’s on you, homie (and there were 10,000 of you, somehow). Dude fought one round since 2017. He’d quit before. He is in constant danger of cancellation, too, with various drugs and being fat or what have you. It’s stupid to throw stuff in the ring under any circumstances. It’s twice as dumb because it was your self-own that did it. High comedy, that.
The worst part, at least for those who appreciate the nobility of Mexican boxing and its passionate fans, is that JCC Jr. and his enablers keeps snookering them, somehow. Yeah, Senior was special. But Junior is the precise opposite of the values commonly associated with Mexican boxing: Toughness, hard work, fighting one’s way up, offensive boxing technique mixed with aggression. Take your level of fandom from the dad, you guys.
And another element of tragedy is, if Mexican guys named “Julio Cesar Something” is your fetish, Julio Cesar Martinez exemplified everything you could’ve wanted on the undercard! Credit where credit is due for offering the appropriate enthusiasm for that one. Granted, it was easy for the crowd to get on board with a performance like Martinez delivered. It would be easy for anyone who likes the sport.
Martinez took on a very tough Cristofer Rosales in the flyweight warm-up. It was a real match-up, unlike the main event, and if Junior wasn’t such a spectacle even for THIS sport, it rightly would’ve led off this report. It began as a war, the kind that was shaping up as a Fight of the Year candidate, before the ultra-crafty and tough Martinez turned it into a special performance, a one-sided beatdown that the ref eventually and rightly saved Rosales from enduring any longer.
Jacobs probably wanted a name on his resume to give him momentum as an attraction for a Canelo Alvarez rematch or some sort. He got a debacle instead. He, too, should’ve seen this coming. We probably ought to expect another Junior revival attempt before long, too. As that famous circus freak show purveyor P.T. Barnum once said…
(Photo:Senior left, Junior right, via)