Once considered the future of boxing, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s career has gone through a roller coaster of a journey. A fight against novice boxer and YouTube star Jake Paul could potentially turn it all around.
This could end up being the right fight to make for both fighters at this stage in their careers.
The Paul effect
Jake Paul made his professional boxing debut in January 2020, beating fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib via TKO. Confident and cocky, Paul has shaken up the combat sports world, bringing attention to boxing many have not seen before.
After AnEsonGib, Paul fought former NBA player Nate Robinson and former MMA champion Ben Askren, knocking them both out in mismatches. He then faced former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley, who ended his run with the UFC on a four-fight losing streak. The first fight Paul and Woodley had was close. Paul was almost knocked out, but a potential Woodley injury negated that. Paul would win via split decision.
A fight with Tommy Fury was nixed following an injury by the latter, and Woodley stepped in on two weeks notice to rematch Paul. On December 18, Paul knocked out Woodley in the sixth round, boosting his confidence even further.
Paul has been heavily criticized for not fighting legitimate boxers or someone who has more value to their name compared to the people he has faced. He is ready to take a break and return to boxing in the latter half of 2022.
My boxing bucket list:— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) December 23, 2021
1) Canelo Alvarez
2) Floyd Mayweather
3) Mike Tyson
4) Tyson Furry
5) Dana White
Chavez Jr. (53-6-1, 1 NC) made his professional debut in 2003. A former WBC Continental America and WBC Latino Super-Welterweight Champion, “El hijo de la leyenda” beat Sebastian Zbik for the WBC Middleweight Title in 2011. Defending it three times, Chavez Jr. lost the title against Sergio Martinez in 2012.
Chavez Jr’.s loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2017 changed his momentum. Injuries and delays in fights affected his status in the world. Against Daniel Jacobs, Chavez. Jr. missed weight and stopped the fight for himself in the fifth round, which was considered controversial. He later was suspended for failing to provide a drug test for that fight.
Against Silva, Chavez Jr. missed weight again and could not form any offense against the former UFC Middleweight Champion. It was a big blow for the boxing community and his family. His last fight was a win against David Zegarra, ending the year with some momentum.
Chavez Jr.’s father has stated that if he does not have the same passion for the sport anymore, maybe it is time to retire. Chavez may have taken that to heart.
Risking it all
Chavez Jr. revealed to Fight News that Paul’s team offered him $1 million-$3 million to fight. That did not include PPV incentives. Considering the weight difference and how big of a fight it could be, Chavez Jr. wants a 50-50 split of the profits. That would be just to consider the fight.
When it comes to the actual fight, Chavez Jr. revealed to TV Boxeo how confident he is in facing Paul and what he would be risking to do if a loss took place.
“I can only talk about myself, not about other people, I am not here to criticize anyone. I talk by analyzing boxing. I hope I can get a few million [for a fight with] with Jake Paul. If he beats me, I’ll retire, I don’t get paid. I don’t want money if I don’t beat him. Retirement [if I lose], [and I’m] not interested in his money if I do not win,” said Chavez Jr. via Boxing Scene.
The right fight
As of now, no formal announcement has been made about a fight taking place between the two. Another potential bout on the table for Paul includes Silva, who beat Chavez Jr. in that brutal fight back in June. There is also Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz, who are currently under contract with the UFC.
Paul could also go back to the Fury (7-0) fight if there is still interest in that matchup. The fight against Chavez Jr., however, creates the perfect blend of chaos and legitimacy. The status of Chavez Jr. and Paul, especially in today’s age of social media where Chavez Sr. being disappointed in his son’s recent fight is a GIF, could result in some interesting scenarios.
Chavez Jr. has 34 wins via knockout and a name to carry the fight. The way he is speaking, Chavez Jr. has more to lose compared to Paul, who is taking over boxing one small step at a time. This matchup may be the one that helps both fighters, regardless of the outcome.