|Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.|
|Born||Feb. 16, 1986
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. is a popular Mexican boxer and a former WBC Middleweight champion. He is the son of retired boxer Julio Cesar Chavez and a brother to welterweight boxer Omar Chavez.
Julio Jr. was born on February 16, 1986, in Culiacan, Mexico. During the time of birth, his father was the WBC World Champion in the super featherweight division. As a young boy, Julio’s father used to take him and his brother, Omar, into the ring before his fights and their faces became known to many boxing fans.
As a teenager, Julio Jr. went through some difficult moments. There was once a highly publicized romance between his dad and a famous actress – Salma Hayek, which was followed shortly after by his parents getting a divorce. Julio Jr. lived in a bit of obscurity until he made an announcement that he would follow in the footsteps of his dad and become a boxer himself.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.’s early career consisted of just two fights against Jorge Paez, Jr., the former world champion’s oldest son. The two fights were shown on Mexican television.
After his two amateur fights, Julio Jr. started his boxing career as a professional at the age of 17. On September 26, 2003, Julio Jr. won his professional debut in the super featherweight division by defeating Jonathan Hernandez in nearly seven rounds in Sinaloa. After that major win, he signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, which is one of the more prominent Nevada-based boxing promotions.
In 2004, Julio fought 11 times and in July 2008, he won by a split decision over Matt Vanda. In June 2010, in San Antonio, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. won against John Duddy; this was regarded by many as his first serious fight.
In the Middleweight Division
Julio currently boxes in the middleweight division, but he has fought in several other divisions throughout his career. These divisions include light middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and light welterweight. He stands at 6 feet tall, making him taller than his famous dad who stands 5 feet 7 inches.
On June 4, 2011, Julio defeated Sebastian Zbik, the WBC middleweight at the time. By beating Sebastian, he won his first world title in Los Angeles, California. This was a major step forward in establishing his legacy while his own dad looked on. During the fight, Zbik was the quicker fighter and landed more punches early. However, Chavez kept coming forward and countering with very hard body shots.
In November of 2011, Julio Jr. defended his middleweight title with a fifth round knockout to Peter Manfred, Jr. while in Houston. On February 4, 2012, while in San Antonio, Texas, Julio faced Marco Antonio Rubio in a 12-round middleweight championship bout. Julio retained his title after beating Rubio by a unanimous decision. Two weeks before this fight, Julio was arrested on charges of drunk driving while in Los Angeles.
On June 16, 2012, in Texas, Julio recovered from a slow start that he blamed on leg cramps. He stopped Andy Lee in the seventh round and retained his WBC middleweight title. One right uppercut snapped Lee’s head upwards and sideways and Julio connected on punches before the referee intervened and ended the fight. With this victory, Julio put himself in a position for a title-unification fight with the renowned world middleweight champion – Sergio Martinez.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. faced Sergio Martinez on September 15, 2012, in Las Vegas. Sergio outworked Julio throughout the first 11 rounds. He fought Julio and used his fast movements to avoid and neutralize any offensive attack. After the 11 rounds, Julio hurt Martinez in the 12th round. However, Martinez won the fight via a unanimous decision. Later on, Martinez revealed that he fought with a broken hand since the fourth round.
Suspension from Boxing
After his fight with Martinez, Julio Jr. tested positive for cannabis. On February 28, 2013, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for nine months. Julio was fined $900,000 in addition to the $200,000 that he was already fined. He was also suspended indefinitely by the World Boxing Council.
Chavez vs. Vera
After his suspension was over, Julio Jr. faced Brian Vera on September 28, 2013, in California. Julio struggled with his weight before the fight and he did not even reach 172 pounds for the fight in which he was supposed to weigh 168 pounds. Just like his previous fight, Julio threw very few power punches while his opponent dominated the match. In the last rounds, Julio’s face was swollen and his nose was hurt while Vera seemed fine. However, Julio won this fight by a controversial unanimous decision.