Boxers Andrzej Fonfara and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are scheduled to face each other in Carson, Calif. (Showtime)
Boxing is back Saturday, April 18th at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., where a number of significant bouts have taken place in the past few years.
Headlining the card is one of the best known fighters in the world in Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.—a former middleweight titleholder and son of living legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr.—who will fight Andrzej Fonfara, a light heavyweight from Poland who is fighting out of Chicago.
The fight will end a 13-month layoff for the 29-year-old Chavez (48-1-1), whose last fight was a unanimous decision over Brian Vera at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Fonfara, 27, is 26-3 and had a bounce back win in November after a May defeat to Adonis Stevenson.
Because of the difference in weight divisions between the two pugilists, the bout will take place at a catch weight of 172 pounds, something Chavez Jr. understands is a challenge, but a challenge he very much welcomes.
“I feel good. I know it’s difficult when you’re off,” Chavez Jr. said during a telephone press conference. “It’s difficult to regain your timing. But I’ve been training, working at my skills. And I think, you know, I’m very confident because I have spent all my life in boxing. I’m in the 13th year of my professional career. So I don’t think this is a problem because this fight is at 172 pounds.”
The elder Chavez said fighting Fonfara would be no easy task, and that a victory for his son over the former IBO light heavyweight champion would give him more credibility.
“I didn’t want this fight,” said Chavez, Sr. “I know that, for my son, I know it’s a hard fight. It’s a difficult fight and I didn’t want it. Fonfara is very strong but my son wanted this fight. He wanted fighters that have a high category. He wanted a hard fight…and that’s why he chose Fonfara.”
Fonfara talked about fighting at 172 for the first time and whether that was something he could get accustomed to.
“I’m a light heavyweight fighter,” said Fonfara. “I usually fight at 175, at least for maybe two years. It’s not impossible for me to go, like, two, three pounds down because, you know, when I fought Stevenson last year in May, I was 173 then. And I felt good then. Two pounds down is no problem for me.”
Chavez, Jr., who will be moving up in weight for this fight, said there are also difficulties in moving up a weight class.
“These guys [at 172 lbs.] are very strong,” he said. “But I think, after this fight, I’m going down to 168 and stay in this weight class. One or two years ago I moved to 175 but that was too much for my body. Now, I’m 168.”
The fight will be Chavez, Jr.’s first with Showtime and first with renowned trainer Joe Goossen, who is known as a no-nonsense trainer with the ability to get the best out of boxers. Chavez, Jr., who has been accused of having a lack of commitment in training, was excited to have Goossen in his corner for this fight.
“I’ve known Joe Goossen for a long time,” he said. “He’s a great trainer. He’s a great person. He’s somebody that motivates fighters and we have a true connection. I like that he’s a hard worker, just like me.”
Tickets for the event, which is co-promoted by Goossen Promotions and Chavez Promotions, are priced at $261, $210, $105, $53 and $27, plus applicable taxes, fees and service charges. They are are available for purchase on AXS.com.
Chavez Jr. vs. Fonfara is a 12-round match that will air on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). The telecast
will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).