Despite all the bravado Julio Cesar Chavez Jr showed in the Face Off preview with Sergio Martinez that leaked yesterday, it’s natural that today we find the young title-holder reflecting heavily on his career less than a month before the biggest fight of his life on September 15. Through Martinez, Chavez Jr. will discover if he’s truly a fighter with the capabilities of building his own legacy outside of his father’s shadow. When asked of his career highs and lows thus far, the WBC middleweight titlist had this to say.
My best memory as a fighter is winning the World Middleweight Championship. It was my dream to become a world champion. That’s why I decided to become a professional fighter. Beating Sebastian Zbik in Los Angeles to become the middleweight champion is something that I will never forget and for so many reasons. Not many people believed that I could do it and that inspired me. The select few who did believe in me encouraged me and sacrificed for me. And to win the title only a few blocks from the old Olympic where my father won his first world title, well, that made it even more special for me. My father and I will always be linked together because we won our first world championship belts in the same city.
My worst memory was in July 2008 in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. I had a very difficult time in the ring. It was very hot all week and I started getting sick the day before the weigh-in and never fully recuperated after the weigh-in. I had a fever the night before the fight but I went through with the fight and the last two rounds where the most difficult time I had in the ring. I could barely walk and was just standing up because of my pride and my heart. I threw up in the ring after the fight and had a fever.
My most memorable victory was against Zbik and winning the middleweight championship of the world. It was a very difficult fight early but I was able to come back in the second half of the fight and win it. It is a feeling that will stay with me forever. To hear the ring announcer say, ‘The winner and new…’ That is something I will never forget. That is something I never want to forget. Of course I now like hearing the ring announcer say, ‘ The winner, and still…’ and that’s exactly what he will say in the ring on September 15 after my fight Sergio Martinez ends.
Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez takes place Sat., Sept. 15 live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT.