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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr to campaign at super middleweight, targets WBC title and Sakio Bika

No more middleweight for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, who has whatever'd his way out of the weight class. The Mexican star will now try to win a title at 168 pounds.

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

Former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's fortuitous career will move forward at super middleweight from this point on, according to the WBC in a report at, and he's looking to quickly move into position for a title shot at that weight class, which might actually prove more difficult than he's used to, or it could just result in more WBC maneuvering.

Chavez, 27, last fought on September 28 in California, where he won a heavily debated decision over Bryan Vera in a fight where Chavez couldn't make middleweight or the next handful of agreed-upon catchweights, and eventually got to fight a natural middleweight in Vera at a 173-pound catchweight limit. Chavez (47-1-1, 32 KO) was enormously bigger than Vera in the ring, but still struggled throughout the 10-round scrap.

The Mexican superstar hadn't fought since September 2012, when he was embarrassed for 11 rounds by the superior Sergio Martinez before a 12th round rally that nearly stole the fight, a thrilling but without question frustrating display. After that fight, he failed a drug test in Nevada, testing positive for marijuana, and was suspended for nine months and fined.

The WBC super middleweight title is currently held by Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 KO), a rough and tumble, fearless sort of fighter who gave Andre Ward what was probably Ward's toughest night as a pro (not that Ward's had many tough nights, relatively speaking), and while hardly a superstar fighter or elite talent, Bika is a tough out for anyone. There's no reason to expect that Chavez would bowl over him, and really every reason to suspect that Bika may be able to clearly deserve a win and then not get it once the scores are read.

Here's the hang-up: Chavez, of course, is a Top Rank fighter, thus he fights on HBO. Bika is with Al Haymon, thus he fights on Showtime. We have seen HBO bend their own stated rules a bit to allow for Ward to face Haymon fighter Edwin Rodriguez coming up on November 16, and that was a case where an HBO cornerstone fighter badly needed an opponent, and few were on hand. You might think the same applies here, but it doesn't. Haymon doesn't work with Top Rank at all. Ward, promoted by Dan Goossen, had a bit more room to maneuver there.

So can the WBC get their title on Chavez? Sure. They can strip the Bika-Dirrell winner eventually and put the belt up between Chavez and, I dunno, Marco Antonio Rubio or whatever, under the idea that Bika/Dirrell wouldn't take their mandatory fight. It would all be as transparent and obvious as it was when the WBC wrangled the middleweight belt from Sergio Martinez with a helping hand from HBO, allowing Chavez to beat Sebastian Zbik for the vacant title, even though HBO had turned down a Martinez-Zbik fight because it wasn't marketable.

Long story short, Chavez is going to compete at super middleweight. Keep in mind this is a weight he absolutely could not have made for his last fight, so despite the fact that it's a move up, it's really still a question of whether or not he's actually going to put in the work, or if we're talking about a guy who's going to completely throw away his prime years not being able to keep himself in shape. That's the real key here. Before anyone even worries about how a title fight might happen, we'll have to see if Julio can actually dedicate himself to making 168 pounds. Hey, if not, there's always light heavyweight, and then cruiserweight, and then eventually his crack at the WBC heavyweight title down the line. I mean, can't you imagine the WBC hoopla? The son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez as world heavyweight champion?

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