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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr: I can beat anyone at 168

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The Mexican veteran could be making his last stand on Friday.

Lewis Ward/Matchroom Boxing USA

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr hasn’t really been in the race for some time, but the 33-year-old Mexican star returns on Friday to face Daniel Jacobs in a DAZN main event from Phoenix, and while there have been plenty of problems just getting this fight done, he says he’s focused and ready to go.

Chavez (51-3-1, 33 KO) will be the underdog here for sure, but believes Jacobs (35-3, 29 KO) is the right opponent for him to get back in the mix, this time at 168 pounds.

“This is the right fight to get me back to the top,” said Chavez Jr. “It’s a big risk because of the activity he’s had, but I am not a stepping stone for him, I am ready and I need to win the fight and I know I have the skills and the heart to win.”

Chavez, who held the WBC middleweight title from 2011-12, is confident he can beat anyone at 168 pounds, where the current titleholders are Callum Smith (WBA), Billy Joe Saunders (WBO), David Benavidez (WBC), and Caleb Plant (IBF). Benavidez and Plant are with PBC, and Smith and Saunders are with Matchroom, who are promoting Friday’s event. Chavez, who doesn’t have affiliation with either side, is in theory open to fight anyone if he wins.

“There are a lot of good fighters out there at 168 pounds; not big names but strong guys,” he said. “I feel I can beat them all and with the right decisions I will get there, and that starts with a win over a great fighter like Jacobs. I am a fighter and I take the risks, now I am doing things right.”

Chavez, however, is by no means overlooking or meaning to disrespect Jacobs, he’s just confident of his chances.

“I think this is my time, and now I need to take the next big step. It’s going to be a good fight for the fans and after that I’ll be ready to win another world title. This feels like a world title fight as Danny is a true champion and so am I.”