A fight that has been rumored half to death will be going forward. BoxingScene.com reports that an agreement has been reached to match Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and John Duddy at the Alamodome in San Antonio on June 26, the headlining bout of the Latin Fury 15 pay-per-view.
Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KO) last fought in November against Michigan club fighter Troy Rowland, the supposed main support bout on the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard. The fight offered no entertainment whatsoever and drew putrid reviews from home viewers as well as the audience in Las Vegas, and Chavez won a routine decision. He then failed his post-fight drug test, testing positive for a diuretic that often serves as a masking agent, though he firmly denies using it for anything other than its intended purpose. The WBC then put on a great big weeping show of offering to get Chavez to a specialist who could offer his thoughts on Chavez's optimal fighting weight.
Duddy (29-1, 18 KO) was also last seen on a Pacquiao card, on March 13. He faced the very raw Michael Medina, winning a ten-round split decision that I felt Duddy did clearly win.
Both fighters are cash cows, at least in theory. Chavez has his father's name and good backing from the Mexican audience, and Duddy is of course Irish, which gives him a leg up with boxing fans who think Boondock Saints is the best movie ever. Neither have proven to be anything special in the ring, though, and Top Rank may well believe it's time to cash one of them out, essentially, by pairing them together. Both will still have their fanbases no matter what happens, and a win propels the victor onto a bigger fight, perhaps, and with some momentum.
The main support fighter will supposedly be Eric Morel taking on Jorge Arce, which will definitely help sell tickets. Arce is still incredibly popular, and it will renew the Mexico-Puerto Rico boxing war.
It's definitely Chavez's toughest fight as a pro, though I can't say the same for Duddy. I see no potential legitimate stardom in either, to be honest, but on paper I favor Duddy, and pretty heavily. The fight could also very easily be a bloody war, as both have had some great fights in the past, and we all know that when you get a couple of limited but determined fighters together, some great things can happen. I will say I can see it just as easily being a real snoozer, but hope springs eternal and all that.