If Camacho stops running long enough to be macho, Chavez will be surprised

Phil Jackman

September 09, 1992|By Phil Jackman

News from the Cauliflower Patch:

Julio Cesar Chavez thinks ahead to his pay-per-view title defense in Las Vegas Saturday night and he's hoping the party of the second part lives up to his name. "Macho," he says, referring to opponent Hector Camacho, "that is only in his imagination.

"Macho," he continued through an interpreter, "means you are in the ring to fight, to attack. But what does he do all the time? Run.

"The one thing all that running has done over the years is make him fast. And he is an intelligent fighter. But he will not be able to stand the pressure I will put on him. I will block his moves as he tries to get away. He has to realize he has to fight me if he wants to take the championship away."

After all the screaming Camacho has submitted mankind to over the years, the guess is that he will indeed fight. He won't stand there and trade bombs with the harder-hitting Chavez, understand, but he will pick his spots to hold his ground and unload.

The toughest fight Chavez has had in his unbeaten 80-fight career was against Meldrick Taylor. The 1984 Olympic gold medalist had him beaten until the last minute of the fight when Chavez came on like Desert Storm and gained victory when the bout was stopped just two seconds before the final bell.

"Completely different styles," said Chavez, when asked to compare Taylor and Camacho. "Taylor is stronger physically and has faster hands. Camacho is more alert, a sneakier type fighter, and he has faster feet."

Assuming he gets by Camacho, Julio says he intends to defend his WBC junior welterweight crown two more times before going after the 147-pound title. "No matter who has the belt then," he said, "I want him."

Topping the undercard on the Don King show playing UNLV's gym are a King staple, ponderous heavyweights Greg Page and Francesco Damiani, and a WBA super middleweight title go pitting champ Victor Cordova and Michael Nunn.

Nunn, you'll recall, was a middleweight champ for a few years, but he dropped from the picture very quickly when beaten (by James Toney) because of the unbelievably boring style he brings to the ring.

"When you lose the championship, things aren't fun any more," Nunn said. "I checked the records and found that Joe Louis lost. So did Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran. I'll come back just like they did."

Perhaps. But what figures to turn on the fans?

"Sure, the fight game is show biz and you have to give the audience what they want," he said, not once even hinting that he plans on getting away from his tedious, safety-first style. The Mirage Hotel once signed Nunn to, in effect, be its house fighter, but failed to exercise an option after a pair of sleepy title bouts.

* Riddick Bowe makes his final public appearance before beginning training for his heavyweight title fight against Evander Holyfield Nov. 13 at a pep rally at Douglass Junior High School in Washington next Monday. What the advantage is of hauling kids out of class at 10 a.m. to go down the gym and holler isn't readily apparent.

Once again veteran trainer Eddie Futch is going around saying Bowe is the best heavyweight he has ever trained, which is saying something, considering Futch worked with Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Michael Spinks.

Bowe predicted back in mid-June he will starch Holyfield within five rounds.

* It seems hard to believe, but Roberto Duran was reportedly 43 percent fat when he returned to the gym to begin his 51st comeback a little more than five months ago. He has a bout scheduled in Buffalo at the end of the month, his first since March of 1991, and already has hit his fighting weight of 168.

* The wacky one, Jorge Paez, added a neat touch to a recent ring appearance in Los Angeles, according to USA Today. The former circus acrobat playfully tossed condoms to the audience.

* The Caesars Palace answer to the Chavez-Camacho PPV show this weekend is a Terry Norris-Simon Brown meeting for the WBC super middleweight crown Sept. 26. . . . Hidden fact: Both the WBC and WBA have strawweight champions, Hideyuki Ohashi of Japan and Asawin Sordusit of Thailand, respectively. The straws pack about the same weight as jockeys, 105 pounds.

* The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., is looking for donations of books, magazines, programs and fight tickets to add to the display and research area. The address is Hall of Fame, 1 Hall of Fame Drive, Canastota, N.Y. 13032.

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