Julio Cesar Chavez Jr returns on September 17 against Ronald Hearns. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Despite Bob Arum of Top Rank saying publicly that he would advise against it and not be involved, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will indeed be fighting in September, facing Ronald Hearns in a marketing match that the WBC will hilariously sanction as a "world title fight."
The fight will come on September 17 and be televised in Mexico by TV Azteca, but will draw almost no attention in the United States as it comes the same night as the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Victor Ortiz fight on HBO pay-per-view.
Obviously, the fight is being booked because the fathers of the two fighters are Hall of Fame names and were great fighters, but to say that the sons don't exactly live up to the name would be kind. Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KO) beat Sebastian Zbik on June 4 to win the WBC's bogus vacant middleweight belt. Now his first defense will come against Hearns (26-2, 20 KO), the 32-year-old non-contender who will receive his second undeserved title shot this year. In Hearns' last fight, he traveled to Germany and was completely dominated by Felix Sturm.
To date, Hearns has never beaten anyone of substance, and his record frankly makes Chavez's look incredible. To call this a substandard title fight, even in an era of watered-down so-called champions, would be an incredible understatement. But it's exactly the sort of thing that Chavez's career has been based on, and Hearns has been exposed as a non-factor, and this is about as notable a fight is he's going to get.
Arum noted previously that trainer Freddie Roach, given the timing, may not be able to spend much time with Chavez for the fight, so we'll see if that has any impact on his performance. Chavez is also scheduled to return to HBO on November 19, when he faces Peter Manfredo Jr the weekend after Pacquiao vs Marquez.