It’s time for one member of the Chavez family to consider hanging up the gloves.
And it isn’t the 58-year-old Mexican legend.
After watching his father engage in a thrilling four-round exhibition with Jorge Arce, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. delivered a listless performance and dropped a technical decision to Mario Cazares after a cut over Chavez Jr.’s eye caused the light heavyweight fight to be halted after six rounds of a scheduled 10.
Prior to the stoppage, Chavez Jr. (51-5-1) was being outworked by Cazares and appeared to look for a way out of the fight. Rather than fight with his fists, he routinely complained about borderline low blows and head-butts. It was clear that the 34-year-old didn’t want to be in the ring and lacked the fire of his father’s performance earlier in the evening.
Chavez Jr. was fighting for the first time since retiring on the stool after five rounds because of a nose issue against Daniel Jacobs. He was serving a suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission after refusing to take a drug test ahead of his fight with Jacobs but was able to face the undefeated Cazares in the main event from the Grand Hotel in Tijuana, Mexico.
He probably should have reconsidered that decision: He lost to the unheralded Cazares and was shown up by his father.
Unlike his father, Chavez Jr. allowed Cazares (13-0) to bring the fight to him from the opening bell and did nothing to turn back his opponent. Cazares regularly popped the jab and scraped Chavez Jr. with right hands while not having to worry about anything coming back in the first two rounds.
Chavez Jr.'s biggest blow was causing Cazares to lose a point for an intentional head-butt in the second round as things between the fighters became heated. Chavez Jr. decided to go to the body to slow down his opponent down but was unable to find a rhythm. Cazares found his target before the younger Chavez was able to fire a punch.
Seemingly defeated, Chavez Jr. managed to land a solid combination at the end of the third round that appeared to signal there was some fight left in him. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any; Cazares continued to outwork Chavez Jr. and pelted him with combinations in the fifth.
By the time the sixth round began, it was clear Chavez Jr. was looking for a way out. He got it when an accidental head-butt opened the cut that caused the doctor’s stoppage.
Somehow, the scorecards reflected a fight that was much closer than it had any business being. Cazares took the unanimous decision with scores of 59-54, 57-56 and 57-56.
Prior to the main event, Julio Cesar Chavez proved he could still pack a punch with a wildly entertaining four-round exhibition brawl with Arce.
Unlike his son, the elder Chavez came to fight from the opening bell. He and Arce exchanged leather at a frantic pace. The Mexican legend showcased the scintillating body work and powerful left hook that helped him rack up 107 victories over the course of his professional career.
The 41-year-old Arce — a four-division champion in his own right — wouldn’t allow Chavez to dominate the fight and pressed forward. Chavez briefly stunned Arce with a left hook and made a commitment to the body to slow an opponent who was 17 years his junior.
But Arce absorbed the body shots and continued to plow ahead as the two closed each round throwing punches after the bell. It was an incredibly entertaining showcase of two Mexican champions who still have something left in the tank.
Although no winner was declared, boxing fans were certainly pleased with the effort from both fighters.