Julio Jr. won the WBC title with a 12 round unanimous against previously undefeated defending champion Sebastian Zbik in his last fight on June 4.
A turning point in the career of Manny Pacquiao came when trainer Freddie Roach introduced him to the right hook. Roach introduced Julio to physical conditioning and proper preparation for a fight.
Freddie said, "This was my third fight working with Julio. Julio has total dedication in the gym. He's never said ‘No' to me. Whatever I tell him to do, he does. He's working great.
"The thing is, when you don't have the amateur experience, you've got to take the long road and you don't fight a good level of competion at first. He's still learning his trade as a pro. Most amateurs, it they have 150 or something amateur fights, they've learned their trade in the amateurs. You can move them up as a pro a lot quicker. So they moved him along in the correct manner. He's taken those small steps up."
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza said, "I've been very fortunate. I think I've worked with the best in the sport, from Manny Pacquiao to Vanes Martirosyan to Amir Khan, and now Julio. I was surprised, after hearing all the stories, that he was able to keep up with these guys speed-wise. Strength-wise, forget about it because he's probably the strongest kid I've ever had. It was just one of those things that I just had to figure out how to tap into it. Once I could get his confidence that he wasn't going to get tired, he wasn't holding back. He wasn't trying to reserve himself. Then, I knew he had it.
"If you watch the Duddy fight, from the ninth round till the 12th round is when he really just turned it on. That's when everybody came up to me and said they couldn't believe it. The funny thing is, I was in the bus with John Duddy on the way to the airport after the fight and he said, ‘I thought Chavez couldn't make it past six rounds but once I saw what was going on, I knew I was in trouble.' "
Julio said through an interpreter, "Back in the day, I trained myself. I didn't know anything about exercise or dieting or anything like that. My problem was always conditioning. If things had stayed the same, my career would have gone nowhere.
"Now, with Freddie and Alex, I follow the regimen and it's changed everything drastically. You never realize what you're capable of because without conditioning, you're just relying on instinct. Now that my conditioning is good and I know that I won't get tired, a lot more things, skill-wise, are starting to come out of me."
When Julio was born in February, 1986, his father was 23 years old and had a professional record of 49-0. He had won the WBC super featherweight world title 17 months earlier and made three successful title defenses. Julio Senior first won WBC super lightweight world title at the age of 22 in his 44th pro fight.
- Chavez Beats Vera Again, This Time Without Controversy
- A Contrast In Conquerors
- The Real Deal
- Martinez Dominates Until Chavez Nearly Repeats Father's History