Five-time Trainer of The Year Freddie Roach said that he recently informed former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. that he will work his next fight, likely against England’s once-beaten Martin Murray on Aug. 3 in Mexico City, but only if the 27-year-old displays dedication.
In March, Chavez (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) was fined $900,000 and suspended for nine months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after his post-Martinez-fight drug test revealed marijuana metabolites. The fine represented 30 percent of Chavez’s $3 million purse, and ranked as the second-biggest ever in NSAC history behind Mike Tyson’s $3 million for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear.
The proprietor of The Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Calif., Roach said he received a telephone call from Chavez “about six days ago.”
“He [Chavez] called me up and I told him, ‘You know where I am.’ He said that he was going to be fighting in Mexico City,’” said Roach of Chavez, whose potential clash with Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) was confirmed by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum on Wednesday.
“I said, ‘I’ll train you for four weeks in my gym, and then the last two weeks, we’ll go to Mexico City, but the thing is, that the first day that you miss, Julio, I can’t tolerate that. I’m going to send you home or something.’ So he said that he would see me in a week. So I’m still waiting to hear back from him. But, he did call me up when I was up in Sudbury, Canada. We had a very nice discussion.”
Murray is coming off last month’s unanimous decision loss to RING and WBC 160-pound champion Sergio Martinez, whom Murray dropped in the eighth round of an HBO-televised bout in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Similarly, Chavez Jr. is coming off September’s unanimous decision loss to Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), whom Chavez Jr. floored in the 12th round of an HBO Pay Per View-televised bout in Las Vegas.
In addition, the NSAC’s move outraged Arum, who vowed that Chavez’s next fight would not take place in Las Vegas.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org