Chavez Jr. flops in “No mas” against Jacobs
By Robert Ecksel on December 21, 2019
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is a star in Phoenix, Arizona. (Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing)
Friday night at the Talking Stick Resort Casino in Phoenix, Arizona, in a fight streamed live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (51-4-1, 33 KOs), the former WBC middleweight titleholder from Culiacan, Jalisco, Mexico, quit on his stool at the end of round five, pulling a “No mas” against former two-time middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs), the “Miracle Man” from Brooklyn, New York.
Fighting out of the red corner in blue and gold trunks with dyed platinum hair with blue streaks, Chavez looked like an aging post-punk rocker. He also looked like a cruiserweight. He wasn’t just in a different weight class than Jacobs. Chavez was on another planet where food was plentiful. He had just been socked with a one million dollar fine for failing to make weight; a third of his $3 million purse went to Jacobs. He had received a special dispensation which waved his prohibition against fighting, for having flunked a recent drug test, for just one night, so could fight Daniel Jacobs.
Chavez Jr. had fought one round in two and half years prior to fighting Friday. There was no obvious ring rust, but he lacked strategy and was prepped to underperform. Hordes of fight fans still love him. He’s a rock star in certain districts. In Phoenix for the fight, his fans cheered wildly when he appeared. They cheered when he landed. They cheered when he threw punches. They cheered when he missed.
Jacobs, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks with blue trim, is the consummate professional. He's was well prepared. He’s always in shape. He’s smart and carries a game plan in his head that's a roadmap to the stars. He came to Phoenix to fight, to hit and not get hit, and Chavez was his foil. Jacobs is faster than Chavez. He is more seasoned. He is more composed under duress. He doesn't need to extend himself. He is clever and steals rounds.
Chavez maneuvers well for a man his size. He moves his head. He has heavy hands. He has a magic name and his father’s bloodline. Like the original Julio Cesar Chavez might have done, Chavez Jr. fought like a bull in a china shop. Jacobs was the matador/proprietor of said shop. El Toro made a good first impression. He was trying to knock Jacobs down. Barreling forward, fists pumping, putting his superior size and strength to use, Chavez initially kept it interesting. Then the huffing and puffing began. In round three he was flagging. He was gassed by the fourth.
Jacobs broke Chavez’s nose in round five. You could almost hear it crack—and it was a gusher. Chavez stopped fighting. He was too busy bleeding to fight. A cameraman scanned over to Chavez Sr. sitting ringside. He was watching his son in the ring a moment ago. Now he buried his face in his hands. The referee asked Chavez Jr. if he wanted to continue. He said no...and it was “No mas” all over again. It took Roberto Duran 20 years to his rebuild his image after his “No mas” fiasco against Sugar Ray Leonard. Chavez’s “No mas” wasn’t that bad. Less was expected of Chavez Jr., and alas he delivered. The crowd turned on Chavez. So did the announcers. They denounced him, called him names on the air, raised Cain while raising the rabble, who reacted by throwing trash at the fighters. The announcers said Chavez might have broken his hand. Freddie Roach said, “He broke his nose and couldn’t breathe.”
Mexican warriors don’t quit. It distorts the natural order. The crowd felt robbed of something essential and wanted revenge. When Mickey Rourke appeared in Chavez’s corner, to rescue the fighter from his former fans, it felt like the circle is unbroken. Dressed in an elaborate bespoke tunic that was both old-school and futuristic, the award-winning actor has muscles on muscles, a plastic surgeon face, and appeared excited by the riot—in stark contrast from the crumpled heap of humankind known as Chavez Jr. A squadron of security guards surrounded the defeated fighter. They agreed to push him through the hostile crowd by forming a phalanx around Chavez to protect him. The guards used round cards to shield the fighter from incoming.
Chavez Jr. blamed Jacobs for the loss.
“It was a very good fight. I was getting close but got headbutted above the left eye. Then I had problems because of all the blood. I came over to the corner and couldn’t breathe. He elbowed me, and headbutted me. Very tough fight, I felt I couldn’t go ‘cause I couldn’t breathe properly. The ref wasn’t calling anything.”
True to form, the quitter said, “I’d love to have a rematch. I got headbutted, he fought a dirty fight, and didn’t even take a point away. He would have been able to continue doing the dirty work.”