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Chavez to return in January?

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Top Rank and Bob Arum are considering putting Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., back into the ring on January 26, headlining another Top Rank pay-per-view with a fight against rugged veteran and former welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir.

After scoring an exciting sixth round knockout over Ray Sanchez last Saturday night, Chavez is starting to make firm believers out of many. True, Sanchez was his best and most dangerous opponent thus far, but I still have my doubts about JC Junior.

Facing the 36-year old Baldomir wouldn't be a big step up on Sanchez, at least in my view. Some might argue that Baldomir is Chavez's most "legit" opponent, and maybe that would be true. But Baldomir has not looked good in a year and a half. Mayweather dominated him, and there was no shame in that. But he was also outclassed badly by Vernon Forrest in July, followed by a far-too-difficult victory over Luciano Perez.

In all candor, Baldomir -- as much as I like him -- is probably going to be done sooner than later. I think the younger, much stronger Chavez would just blow Baldomir out of the water. It was a nice little run for "Tata," but it's over now.

Past that, HBO has set aside April 26 for Chavez to face Alfonso Gomez. You probably recall that Gomez retired Arturo Gatti in July, in a fight that Gatti was hoping to use to springboard to a November PPV fight with JC Junior. I'd also currently favor Chavez heavily over Gomez, another great guy whose star has gotten bigger than his skills.

I still don't know exactly what I think of Chavez, but I do know that I can't help but favor his youth and power over the grittiness of Gomez or Baldomir.