After being given a seven-month suspension that expires in June by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is looking forward to returning to the ring this summer. BoxingScene.com reports that co-promoter Fernando Beltran is talking about a fight with John Duddy.
This fight has been bandied about many times before, but never came off. Part of me expects that it didn't because both are minor cash cows. Chavez has been a frequent headliner of the Latin Fury PPV series for Top Rank, and can sell a house in Mexico and in Mexican-heavy U.S. cities. Duddy isn't the same level of draw, but he does well in the northeast and in Ireland, and like Chavez, has the ethnic connection to become a bigger star than his talent probably deserves.
No matter how you feel about either of them as potential stars (and I don't think either of them have the goods in terms of ability), the potential for a cracking fight really is there. Chavez sorely disappointed in November on the Pacquiao-Cotto undercard, with his fight against Troy Rowland being booed by the Vegas audience. But he's also put on some very entertaining fights in the past, notably against Matt Vanda and Ray Sanchez.
Duddy, of course, has been in plenty of good scraps. Though Top Rank has said nothing, they do promote both men and would likely be able to make this fight without much trouble. Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KO) is 24 now, has fought 42 times as a pro, and the patience for opponents like Rowland and Jason LeHoullier is becoming increasingly thin. Duddy (28-1, 18 KO) lost his first fight last year, shocked in a split decision by Billy Lyell. He's had some very close calls before, and the excitement over his future has waned quite a bit.
It might be the perfect fight for both, and for Top Rank, they could look at these two guys and realize that whoever loses probably wasn't going to get any closer to true stardom.
Right now, Duddy is set to face Michael "Murder Man" Medina (23-1-2, 18 KO) on the Pacquiao-Clottey undercard on March 13.