Tonight at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas Julio Cesar Chavez Jr defends his WBC Middleweight title against Peter Manfredo Jr. Chavez Jr. brings a record of 43-0-1 to the match, while Manfredo has tallied a record of 37-6. As the action at the sportsbooks gets ready to close, Chavez is the huge favorite, with the lines hovering around minus 750 ( -750) for this bout. Despite the lack of blemishes on his record, I’m not sold on Chavez Jr. yet, and this might be a good underdog to put a little bit of money into.
Now, Manfredo is generally considered a notch below the elite in the weight class, and Chavez Jr. is getting the usual criticisms for his opposition quality. But Manfredo is going to be game, and the odds are staggering. Manfredo’s comeback is averaging a plus 550 (+550) at many of the sportsbooks.
People who criticize Chavez Jr accuse him of riding the coattails of his legendary father, who is considered the greatest Mexican fighter of all time by a vast majority of fans. The entire ‘The Legend Continues’ Nickname and marketing is really in poor taste, and kind of shameless. It has gotten to be so much, that it’s causing some people not to like Chavez Jr.
Chavez Jr. has been exposed to boxing his entire life, and with his father’s earnings at his peak, you can be sure that Chavez Jr never wanted for anything as he prepared for a boxing career. As his career progressed, he started training under Freddie Roach, which has seen him raise his level.
Bottom line is that I think Chavez Jr is a decent boxer who carries a lot of pressure with him into the ring. He is not his father however, that and his tacky ‘Legend Continues’ may be his two biggest faults. Maybe it’s worth kissing the old man’s ass at every turn, but they have alienated as many fans as they have made.
Manfredo Jr. is such a big dog for a reason. He has been around a long time, and he has faced some top flight competition, but he has never broken through and won against that next level.
Joe Calzaghe took him out quick, but Calzaghe is a legend and that was in the next weight class. Sakio Bika took him out early, but also in the weight class up. He went the distance with Jeff Lacy, and twice with Sergio Mora.
So Manfredo won’t be at a disadvantage in terms of experience – which is good because he is going to have to pressure Chavez in this fight if he is going to pull off the victory, and despite 20 KO’s in his career, this match is likely to go the distance. The books have the over under on rounds as the 9th round, but Manfredo is going to have to come with his ‘A’ game the whole fight.
Chavez is facing a mandatory defense against Sergio Martinez should he get by this fight with Manfredo Jr. Martinez is generally considered to be one of the top 3 pound for pound fighters in the world, and would far and away be the toughest competition Chavez Jr. has ever faced.
But I’m going to watch tonite, and I’m rooting for Manfredo!