If Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fights in L.A., will the people come?
Despite being one of the most recognized Mexican fighters today, the son of the great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. remains an anomaly. Fans don’t seem to flock to his fights unless the other guy in the ring has a big name.
Will Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 Kos) be a big enough attraction against Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 Kos) when they fight on April 18, at the StubHub Center in Carson? It will be interesting to see if more than 4,000 show up this time around.
According to unofficial sources, ticket sales are going slowly.
Southern California has an extremely large Latino population that is usually eager to flock to any fight card. It’s the reason the state of California has more pro boxing cards than any other state in the U.S.
But the last time Chavez fought at the same venue against Bryan Vera, the crowd filled only half of the arena that fits 8,000 fans on September 2013. Three months earlier in the same venue Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez sold out the StubHub and set a record for ticket sales while fighting Marcos Maidana. Ironically Chavez and Lopez both attended high schools in the Riverside, Calif. area. The StubHub Center ticket sale record was recently broken by Gennady “GGG” Golovkin last year.
Why can’t Chavez sell tickets?
“He doesn’t always get in shape,” said fan Guillermo Salas. “Fans don’t take him seriously. He’s always heavy.”
Another fan said he follows Chavez’s fights but thinks he needs to fight the best now.
“He’s already close to 30. His father was already a world champion and fought everybody by that age,” said Henry Rodriguez, who attended Chavez last fight in California. “He should fight Triple G. That would bring fans.”
Fonfara doesn’t stir up interest from the casual fan but one man realizes the danger of fighting a solid pro with no name status.
“It’s a difficult fight. And I didn’t want it,” said Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who fought a similar quality fighter like Fonfara years ago, in Frankie Randall, and nearly lost. “But my son wanted this fight. He wanted fighters that have a high category.”
Fans really don’t know Fonfara and it will be interesting to see if they show up.
Other fight chatter
In Montebello, Gaku Takahashi (13-5-1) of Japan meets John Hayes (4-1-4) in the main event at the Quiet Cannon restaurant on Friday March 27. The Japanese junior middleweight has a two fight winning streak. For tickets and information call (323) 781-4871.
Former world champion Nonito Donaire (33-3, 21 Kos) returns to the ring after losing the title to Nicolas Walters by knockout. Donaire faces William Prado (22-4-1, 15 Kos) for the vacant NABF super bantamweight title on Saturday March 28. The match takes place in Manila, Philippines.
IBF welterweight titlist Kell Brook (33-0, 22 Kos) of England defends against Ionut Dan Ion (34-2, 18 Kos) of Canada. The world title bout takes place on Saturday March 28 in Sheffield, England. This is Brook’s first world title defense after taking the title from Shawn Porter last August in Southern California.
WBC featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8, 48 Kos) of Mexico fights Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 Kos) in defense of the world title on Saturday March 28. The match takes place at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Russell is a former US Olympian.
Roy Jones Jr. (60-8, 43 Kos), now 46, returns to the ring and faces Paul Vasquez (10-6-1) in a cruiserweight match set for 12 rounds. It’s the second fight Jones will be fighting in March. Two weeks ago he knocked out Willie Williams in two rounds.
WBA light heavyweight world titlist Juergen Braehmer (46-2, 34 Kos) stopped Robin Krasniqi (43-4, 16 Kos) at the end of the ninth round to win by technical knockout and retain the world title. The match took place on Saturday in Rostock, Germany.
WBC female featherweight titlist Jelena Mrdjenovich (34-9-1, 18 Kos) defends against Panama’s Francia Bravo (19-4-2, 9 Kos) on Friday March 27. The world title match takes place in Panama City, Panama. Mrdjenovich hails from Canada.
Undefeated Logan McGuinness (20-0-1, 9 Kos) fights Luis Juarez (19-8-2) in a featherweight scrap set for 10 rounds on Saturday. The fight takes place in Ontario, Canada. Also, former heavyweight world title challenger Razor Ruddock, 51, is set to return to the ring after a 14-year absence. He fought Mike Tyson twice back in 1991.
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