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Chavez Jr.:

Chavez Jr.: "I Saw in Freddie Roach the Person I Need to Straighten Me Out"

08/16/2010

Freddie Roach's L.A.-based Wild Card Gym is a notoriously competitive place. There, the Hall of Fame trainer molds and shapes fighters of all calibers, from star-in-the-making Vanes Martirosyan to pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. It's a well-oiled machine, and a tough place for newcomers, no matter their stature -- a fact not lost on Roach's newest pupil, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

The son and namesake of Mexico's greatest fighter, Chavez got a taste of what life under Roach is like during a recent trip to the Wild Card. "He came into the gym one day and watched me and Manny Pacquiao work out and he said we're crazy," said Roach. But, he added, "[Chavez] might have just went home and never came back, but he's come back. I like that. I said, 'He sees something he likes, and we're gonna give it all to him.'"

Chavez has acknowledged that in the past he hasn't given 100 percent -- which is why he tapped Roach. "More than anything, more than what I saw in training," Chavez said through a translator, "I saw in Freddie Roach the person I need to straighten me out and tell me what I need to do in my career. Because I needed a boss in the gym."

Chavez got what he asked for when he officially started training with his new boss May 25. Before Chavez's arrival, the Wild Card was abuzz with speculation about how long Chavez would last at the gym. "It's funny, because there's an over-under in the gym right now," said Roach jokingly. "And the money's on two weeks."

Does that mean Chavez will only last two weeks in the gym?

"Yup," Roach said.

What do you think?

"He's staying," Roach said.

Roach was right: Chavez hasn't gone anywhere.

The twenty-four-year-old fighter is facing his biggest challenge yet on June 26 when he faces Irish brawler John Duddy at San Antonio's Alomodome.

Check out the video below of Roach discussing the over-under on Chavez's time at the Wild Card:

 

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