Chavez is quick, but waiting list quicker

January 26, 1994|By Phil Jackman

Fight Fodder:

Julio Cesar Chavez, a guy who fights about as often as most people fill up the gas tank, headlines another big pay-per-view show out of Las Vegas Saturday night. And if he and his fellow pugilists had their way, he would be back in the ring Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. At least.

While the unbeaten national hero of Mexico takes on Frankie Randall in a duel he's promising will provide "lots of action because Randall has a very rare style and he doesn't run away," seemingly half the boxers on the five-fight card are biding their time waiting for a shot at Chavez.

Which is just fine with Julio. "I'm only 31 years old," he says. "I can fight well for two more years. I would like to reach 100 fights [unbeaten] and I should be able to do that sometime in 1995."

The most intriguing matchup on the undercard figures to be young knockout artist and welterweight champion Felix Trinidad taking on Hector Camacho. Despite Trinidad's impressive credentials, Camacho acts as if he has already won and that Chavez owes him a rematch.

"If I was Camacho, I would keep quiet and beat Trinidad, which won't be easy. He's young, aggressive and hits very hard," counsels Chavez. "If Camacho does win with his experience, then maybe we sit down and talk."

By then, though, even if it's only a couple of days distant, the waiting line might be around the block. Also fighting is Mount Airy's Simon Brown, taking on Troy Waters, and the man who knocked out Terry Norris to gain the junior middleweight title in his last bout also has a bid in.

Brown has let it be known he'd be willing to slim down to welterweight proportions to take on the 140-pound Chavez, something the challenged man says Brown probably couldn't do "comfortably" since his walking-around weight exceeds 160 pounds.

Then there's Pernell Whitaker, the man many felt beat Chavez last year in a fight that ended up being judged a majority draw. Just a hint that Julio might have been the recipient of a kindly decision sends him reeling and willing to meet Whitaker again as soon as possible.

"I was not confident going in against Whitaker last time because he has a style no one likes [to oppose]. I was not 100 percent, either," says Chavez. "But he has only one style and, in a rematch, I'm confident I would win. I know my concentration will be much better."

The fighter says he was not "disappointed or disgusted with public reaction to the [draw] decision, because most people tell me I won. I look at the tape and I agree; I forced the fight all the way."

Another thing that grates is that Whitaker has been walking around for months playing the part of the aggrieved party. "That is ridiculous," says Chavez. "Whitaker cannot be and will not be the best because he has lost. His style is bad and he doesn't motivate people. Whitaker is nothing without me. He can't fill an arena or stadium.

"He's nobody. Who has he fought since he fought me? No one. I hope all this foolish talk stops and [the promoters] sit down and an agreement is reached."

Meanwhile, the only other guy to give Chavez a real go, Meldrick Taylor, is making noise about wanting another chance. "Oh yeah," remembers Julio, "I'm willing to give Taylor a rematch on May 7."

But that's months and perhaps two fights away, which might sound like a strain but isn't for Chavez. "I haven't stopped training since my fight six weeks ago," he said. "I sometimes get worn out by the training and going into the gym, but never by the fights."

* Camacho, who sees his assignment against Trinidad as a "must-win situation," has gone the way of all veteran fighters, insisting he's much more dedicated these days. "I've been training two hours at night and an hour in the morning," he boasts. "Years ago, I used to do about 45 minutes a day and that counted the time it took to drive into the city [New York] and back home.

"The reason I'm more dedicated now is I've got a good family, and there's no reason for me to go jumping around anymore."

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