The last time we saw the son of Chavez, he reminded us of someone still very much a "Jr." in so many ways.
When we think of Floyd Mayweather Jr. (for example) we don't necessarily recall the vast greatness of his father. In fact, it can be said in fairness, that Floyd Sr. is decidedly in his son's shadow.
That said, no one is asking Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to even remotely try to eclipse the legend of his father. He can't - his father is the greatest fighter in the history of Mexico.
But what Jr. can do is grow up - or more succinctly; show up, and emerge from his own shadow with a signature win to justify the scorecards 3 blind judges signed after his first encounter with Brian Vera.
I thought Chavez was out-worked and "out-everything'd" against Vera, and only got the nod because of who he was as to opposed to [who he wasn't] the first time around.
And that is, the better fighter.
He's long entered the realm of a big boy playing field in the sport, but has thus far proven to be a bad boy on his own playground.
Coming off an unforgettable 12th round with Sergio Martinez that almost saw him smoke out the WBC middleweight champ, instead, all we remembered after is what could've been.
His subsequent fine and suspension for smoking what I'm guessing was the most irresistable bag of weed ever produced (when you walk around in Speedo's 2 sizes too small and with the biggest bowl of Fruit Loops ever seen in life - we must reach this conclusion), was going to be easy to forget after he reduced Brian Vera to empty rolling paper.
Did he make us do this? No.
On the clock for a potential money blockbuster and glamorous affair with super middleweight boss Andre Ward, good ole Jr. either forget to clock in the first time against Vera, or just faces a style match-up problem that Vera will once again exploit.
SALIDO VS. LOMACHENKO
What a weird set of circumstances surrounding Salido. He's a perennial badass with a pedestrian record that's coming off of a peculiar year.
We know he just about literally "shot" Juan Manual Lopez, and was out-gunned and dismantled by sharp-shooter Mikey Garcia. Were it not for a dubious weigh-in situation which doomed Mikey, Salido would've never won back a belt he has no business with in the first place.
Compounding things, he won via 7th rd TKO of Orlando Cruz, the "famously" gay fighter who should have never gotten a title shot to begin. All he did was earn the nod to push an agenda that somehow seems to "require" us to accept.
But here's the real thing as it relates to Lomachenko for Salido. Salido has roughly 400 rounds of pro experience to the highly touted Olympian juggernauts' 4.
And he's gonna get his ass beat too.
Lomachenko, the latest star to emerge from Ukraine, is a rare talent who will simply overwhelm Salido with an array of speed, skills, and power. Salido has always been crude, but it almost seems cruel that he's about to be embarrassed by someone about to engage in just his 2nd pro fight.
Yet that's just what's about to happen.
CHAVEZ VS. VERA II
I think of Chavez Jr. and I think of Andre Ward wanting to essentially break his contract with Dan Goossen just to get what we all know would be an easy - if not entertaining - win over him. He's a crowd pleaser and immensely popular, but let's be honest, he's not an "A" list talent.
What he's shown is a reasonable facsimile of his father's legendary style, but is devoid of it nuance and subtlety. What his father had going for him as arguably the greatest 140lb. champion of all-time, was his ultimate power at that weight class.
I think Jr. is a merely average puncher at 168lbs., and will never have the discipline of Brian Vera, who will once again showcase a work ethic we've yet to see from the son of Chavez.
If Julio has grown up a little more, if he's matured, then he should be able to out-work and maybe even stop Vera late this time.
Their intangibles are about even, but Chavez Jr.'s pedigree should allow him to gradually break down and halt a very proud Brian Vera somewhere around 8 or 9 rounds. But if it again goes to judges and he gets another close decision, thereby limiting his appeal even more, he'll have no one to blame but himself.
And big boys don't cry.