Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Andrzej Fonfara sneak peek

April 18, 2015

Tonight at Carson's StubHub Center, two fighters hungry to prove their worth will clash in a bout with significant implications on the line, as Julio Cesar Chavez Junior will take on Andrzej Fonfara in a 12-round light heavyweight bout that will be fought at a catch weight.

Chavez Junior (48-1-1, 32 KOs) will be coming off a year-long layoff and is potentially looking for a new home in the light heavyweight division after having trouble making weight recently at 168 pounds.  This fight against Fonfara  (26-3, 15 KOs) will be his first true test against a legitimate light heavyweight contender.

“I feel comfortable at light heavyweight. Any time that you can add a couple pounds, you feel better," said Chavez Jr.  "Although I will be fighting at 175, I feel most comfortable at 168 as a boxer. Since I have had one year off, it was a better choice to fight at this weight so that I could see how my body feels."

Fonfara, meanwhile, is looking to get back into contention for the light heavyweight title following his competitive loss to southpaw star Adonis Stevenson.

“It doesn’t matter how I win, I want to win this fight and get my rematch with Adonis Stevenson," said Fonfara.

Both men have good chins and solid power, so fireworks will be expected throughout the evening.  At Friday's weigh-in both fighters came in at 171.5 pounds.

Here are what the fighters and their respective camps have had to say about the fight:

Julio Cesar Chavez Junior . . .

“I am very focused going into this fight. I have changed a lot mentally this past year."

“I am fighting [Andrzej] Fonfara now because I like big opponents. I like the challenge of fighting good, hungry fighters. Just because Fonfara doesn’t have the name recognition of other fighters, it doesn’t make him an easy fighter. He’s tough."

“Since I have added a few pounds, I have become a more physical and stronger boxer. The light heavyweight division has very big and physical contenders."

“Joe [Goossen] is a great trainer. He is a great motivator to his fighters and makes them better. I have worked very hard with him for the 35 days we spent together in Lake Tahoe."

“When I was training with Freddie Roach, it was very different. I think Freddie is a great trainer, but Joe also has a lot of experience and we have made a connection together."

“I really liked training in Lake Tahoe. The altitude, the ring, everything I needed was there. I felt very comfortable up there and I would like to come back there to train for a fight again."

“I have worked on my boxing during my one year off, and I am very excited and motivated to get back in the ring."

“I have worked so hard for this fight because I am fighting in a new weight class. I must punch harder, so I have focused on getting stronger during this training camp."

“I have a great chin, I know how to take punches and my conditioning is great. A lot of fighters can take a punch, but I can take multiple punches and not be hurt."

"Fonfara is disciplined in the ring, but he doesn’t vary his punches."

“I understand that my dad didn’t want me to take this fight. I had bigger names I could’ve fought, but I think that Fonfara is a great challenge for me and I like the challenge."

Andrzej Fonfara . . . 

“I’m prepared very well and I’m ready for this fight. It’s been a great camp like always. I train hard for each fight.  I’m a tough boxer who is feeling great. The weight is good and everything is perfect."

“I must look even better than I did against Stevenson. Everyone said I looked good, but I lost the fight. I didn’t want congratulations because I did not win the fight. But this time I will win the fight.  I’m ready for a decision or for a knockout."

“I’m ready with a couple of plans. I don’t want to run around the ring, I want to fight tough. I’m going to use my jab and my right hand, which is my best punch."

“I’m not worried about what his father said about not fighting me. Chavez Jr. wants to fight and I will show him that his father was right."

“Chavez Jr. is a great fighter. He uses a lot of combinations and has a powerful punch that I must be ready for. I want to show the whole world how good I am when I win this fight on Saturday."

“If I get the chance, I’m going to knock him out. It’s boxing so you never know what will happen. I want to box round-by-round and win this fight."

“I lost the fight with Stevenson but I showed that I was a good boxer. I’m a much smarter fighter now because of that experience. That was a fight at the top championship level."

“Fan’s can expect heavy punches, knockdowns and a great fight.”

Julio Cesar Chavez Senior . . . 

“I think Joe [Goossen] is doing a great job, we are on the same page. We are all focused on him [Chavez Jr.] getting to the fight well prepared. This fight requires great preparation because he is going into the fight at a weight that’s higher than his normal weight and he is facing a very tough opponent."

“I think there has been a 180 degree turn in his career. I see this as a positive because he can really develop his ability and looks very well prepared."

“I would’ve liked to have seen him take a tune up fight instead because of his long layoff; I particularly didn’t want this fight."

“Julio [Chavez Jr.] wants credibility in this sport and that’s why he made the decision to take this fight, even though it’s a dangerous decision. He must be very prepared for this fight.”

“Being in Los Angeles is like being in Mexico for me; I have had many great memories. I became the world champion for this first time here and my son also became the world champion for the first time here, too."

“Julio definitely has a very difficult fight ahead of him."

“If I was Julio’s manager, I wouldn’t have taken this fight. Fonfara is a difficult and tough fighter."

Joe Goossen, Chavez Jr.s’ Trainer . . .

“I’ve been asked over the years who the one fighter was that I would like to work and my answer was always Julio Cesar Chavez Jr."

“I’ve always really admired his style. I had known him as a kid, his father is a legend. It had always seemed like a dream job for me, and out of nowhere I got it."

“Lake Tahoe was tremendous for training camp. You are isolated and it’s not an easy thing. When you aren’t training you are sitting in a hotel room. You are deprived the comforts of home, but it really gives you that concentration and dedication factor and I think that will interpret into some positive results."

“I matured over my years, once I had a kid and a family and I think the same has happened with Julio. Life becomes clearer when you put away the immaturity. You realize that you have a future and if you really want to access what’s available to you, then you are going to have to work hard and dedicate yourself to it."

“Just because Julio has been out a year doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a cake walk for Fonfara. We went up to Lake Tahoe with one thing in mind, and that’s winning this fight and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

“I think he’s left the childish stuff behind, and we’re all guilty of being childish."

“I think that Julio has surprised his father with his determination heading into this fight.  He’s got a left hook to the liver that just sends a shock through your body."

“We’re up against a very well-schooled, blue collar, workmanlike  fighter in Fonfara.  He is an athletic, improvisational fighter, in that you don’t know where everything’s coming from."

“I’ve watched a lot of Fonfara tape, and he pretty much repeats what he does, but he repeats it well."

Sam Colonna, Fonfara’s Trainer . . .

“Fonfara could turn it up whenever. He could be down on the scorecards and one punch he throws could change someone’s world. He’s proven in the past that he has power in both hands."

“This camp that Andrzej had was the best we’ve ever had. He worked hard, he had time to train and there’s no excuses."

“We’re coming to fight a war. Don’t forget that wars are won by strategy."

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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