What If - Oscar de la Hoya vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. this Cinco de Mayo; Pavlik May Kiss The Canvas But He Will Still KO Hopkins

By Jack Presscot: Apollo Creed, in the very first, Oscar winning Rocky movie was in his office, looking up opponents with his trainer and his promoter. They were going over a list of potential opponents, but none of them seemed to faze Apollo, who seemed bored with the names, until he found the perfect match. "This guy, heres our guy!" To which the promoter says "Balboa? His record's poor", and Apollo disagreed. "The name....The Italian Stallion"...and after pondering it a minute, thinks aloud...."Apollo Creed vs. the Eye-Tallion Stallion....sounds like a damned Monster Movie."

Bernard HopkinsIt is basically the same concept with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. His record is not poor, but he really has beaten nobody special. He is not a current or former World Champion. But what a hell of a name, and an opponent for Oscar de la Hoya's final fight. In 1996, Oscar de la Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez fought in a fight deemed "Ultimate Glory" and had the attention of the entire boxing world, as the beloved Golden Boy of Boxing took on the Patron Saint of Mexico for the WBC World Title at jr. welterweight.

The fight did not live up to all the hype, as Julio was cut in the first round by an Oscar stinging jab, and the cut led to the stoppage a few rounds later, as Julio looked like a murder scene victim. (Was it Julio Jr. who bonked heads with his daddy earlier in the week?) The Chavez camp stated that the cut was due to an accident involving one of Julio's sons, and this tainted the victory for Oscar de la Hoya. 2 years later, the fight deemed "Ultimate Revenge" happened in September, Oscar and Julio put on an interesting toe to toe war for several rounds, until a de la Hoya uppercut caused the inside of Chavez' mouth to bleed uncontrollably, and led to a stoppage.

Julio finally gave Oscar congratulations for defeating him. Oscar had indeed defeated the Patron Saint of Mexico, but this caused him to be generally hated by the Mexican fans he had hoped to get on his side. So hated, that in his autobiography, "American Son" he speaks of being Grand Marshall of a Parade in LA and getting jeered and pelted with rotten fruit, all because he had defeated Chavez.

10 years later, and the son of Julio is now 38-0, and needs a big name after the Vanda rematch. Oscar de la Hoya finds himself without a final opponent for his career, as Manny Pac has told him that the 70-30 offer was unacceptable. Oscar is now calling out Sergio Mora, but nobody outside of LA knows who Mora is. If this fight is held in the Staples Center, on HBO WCB, perhaps it will be successful, but it is certainly not worthy of PPV status.

But a de la Hoya-Chavez Jr. fight would be huge, and a shot at final redemption for the Chavez family. If Julio Jr. takes 6 months to prepare and comes in at a ripped 152, for this jr. middleweight bout, and spends many countless hours running in high altitude mountains, and learning how to block, dodge and parry punches from a defensive specialist, he stands as good a chance as anyone against an Oscar de la Hoya who is pushing 36 years old, and had already began to show his age against Pretty Boy's sparring partner, little Stevie Forbes. And in this fight, Julio Jr. cannot be stubborn like Manny Pac was holding out for huge dollars. As green as Chavez still is, he would probably agree to fight Oscar for free, just for a shot at revenge for his father.

Pavlik May Kiss The Canvas But He Will KO Hopkins

By Jim Amato: Ever since it was announced that Kelly Pavlik was going to meet Bernard Hopkins, I've felt that this would be a tough fight for Kelly. I still do. I've really thought about this fight. I've tried to break it down to its likely conclusion. Here goes...

Pavlik depends on pressure. He applies it from the opening bell until the end. Bernard is famous for his stalling tactics but he will find Kelly a hard man to discourage. In a nut shell, Pavlik will not dance to Bernard's tune. Kelly will set and dictate the pace of this fight. This is not good news for Bernard's aging legs and often weary arms. To Hopkins credit he is a crafty old coot. He will have a plan B.

One of Bernard's best assets is his counter punching ability. He is a very cunning fighter. Kelly likes to work behind his jab and then throw long, lethal rights to the head and body. He likes to get full extension on that right to generate maximum power. When Kelly wings the right he is not in the best position to defend himself. Hopkins has a great counter left hook and Pavlik may be opening the door for Hopkins to land it. To me this is Bernard's best chance to win the fight. Possibly the only chance.

It will not surprise me if Hopkins puts Pavlik down somewhere in the first five or six rounds. It also won't surprise me when Kelly gets back up. What will surprise Hopkins is the great tenacity of the young man he is fighting. I feel Kelly will have a slight lead over the first half of the fight because of his work rate. I do expect Bernard to have his moments though.

As we get into the second half of the fight the momentum will change at an accelerated rate. You have all heard the adage "a fighter can grow old overnight." By this point of the battle Bernard will begin to feel the effects of the pressure. Pavlik is not shy about going to the body and it will be around this time that those thunderous body blows in the earlier rounds sap the spring in Bernard's time worn legs. His arms will no longer obey his command to throw combinations. A one punch at a time output is a bad recipe when facing a youthful gunslinger like Pavlik. Hopkins will begin to take inhuman punishment. His great pride will not allow him to fall. Either pride will finally be overpowered or a merciful referee will step in. Succumb he will to the young lion before him. On this night, one legend will end and another will begin.

Article posted on 14.08.2008

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