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Freddie Roach on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr: "I'm So Happy With His Performance, I'm Just Overwhelmed" (Video)

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Here's a post-fight interview with trainer Freddie Roach and Top Rank's Crystina Poncher, discussing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's performance on Saturday night, when he stopped Peter Manfredo Jr in the fifth round:


On Chavez's improvements in the fight:

"In this fight, the defense was great. The thing is, once we learn to use the defense and offense together, and counter a little bit quicker and so forth, he'll be more a complete fighter. But I was really happy with his work. In the Zbik fight, he got hit too much, and he knew it. He was embarrassed about that. So the thing is, for three months, he just worked on defense. Just moving his head. So that's why he dropped his hands. That was by design. Someone told me he was getting tired. I said no, he dropped them to work on his head movement and defense. He made Manfredo miss. We didn't make him miss every punch, but we made him miss quite a few. The defense is good. And then once he turned it up on offense, and he hurt him, the killer instinct. It was great to see. A great finish. I'm so happy with his performance tonight, I'm just overwhelmed."

On using Chavez's height to his advantage:

"The thing is, his left hook to the body is his favorite punch. We're getting away from that right now, because he's not a stocky, short fighter, like his father was. He wanted to be like his dad for so long. Really, he has other qualities that will pay off a lot more. And he's actually seeing that at this point. He knows that his reach and his height advantage, he's using it for what it is. ... I'm really happy about that. We worked on the overhand right over Manfredo's jab, that was part of the game plan and it worked really well."

On what's next:

"I love challenges. Give me the biggest and best guy out there. I don't care. I have a world champion, and the thing is, world champions -- it's world champion, so you fight anybody and prove you're the best. I'm the trainer. Give me an opponent and I'll get him ready for it."

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