Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Joe Goossen are Peaches & Herb
Yes, it’s true: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who may or may not be facing Alfredo Angulo in his return to the ring is – at least for the time being – reunited with trainer Joe Goossen.
“I’m back training Julio Cesar Chavez (Jr.),” Goossen said last week, while driving back from the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, after working the corner of junior lightweight Dardan Zenunaj.
OK, but will it be at a casino ballroom like when they were working together for the fight against light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara?
“No,” said Goossen, laughing at the mere thought, “it’s at my gym – thank God.”
Yeah, the camp for the Fonfara fight didn’t exactly provide the most spartan conditions for Chavez and the fight concluded with a disastrous conclusion, with Chavez quitting on his stool after the ninth round.
Goossen, a veteran trainer with a storied track record (which includes working with Michael Nunn, Rafael and Gabriel Ruelas, Joel Casamayor and Diego Corrales) is excited to be once again working with the often coddled son of the legendary “JC Superstar.”
And this time, it will be done so in a setting that is more to the liking of Goossen, who has never been a particularly big believer in going away for training camps.
“Look, I will tell you this: I voiced my opinion but, that being said, I wasn’t going to be a guy that came into that situation, at that particular time, that late in the game and was going to start making demands that seemed unreasonable at the time,” said Goossen, who is going as far as picking up Junior from his house to make sure he arrives in timely fashion to his gym.
One must wonder: Will anything really change, this time around, or will Chavez Jr. just end up training again in various rooms in his home?
Goossen states, “Given the circumstances and the things that took place afterwards and a few discussions, I think Julio believes, this time, that it’s best for him to stay in L.A. to train at my gym. After all, he lives five minutes from me in North Hollywood. He’s got a beautiful home, a beautiful family. I’m very close to him. I got to know him pretty well. I’ve known him since he was 12 years old, so it’s not like I can’t relate to him or discuss things with him. I’m very open with him.
“I think he knows that, this time around the track, he’s got to double down.”
It wasn’t all that long ago when Chavez Jr. – not Saul Alvarez – was the preeminent Mexican star but, as we head into 2018, Chavez Jr. is no longer a blue-chip stock but a penny one. Since losing to Fonfara, he looked less-than-impressive in defeating Marcos Reyes in July of 2015 and then, last December, defeated Dominik Britsch. His most recent outing came last May, when he was blanked by “Canelo” in a fight that was basically decided when Chavez and his reps agreed to a catchweight of 164.5 pounds that left him as feeble and hopeless as the Cleveland Browns.
So this, time around, does Goossen perhaps have more control or leverage in this relationship?
Goossen says diplomatically, “I really hate to look at it as I have the leverage, like, ‘I have something over you.’ I think my reputation speaks for itself and, if you come and join our camp, I don’t think I need any leverage because I think Julio reaching out to me speaks for itself – that he’s serious.
“So I don’t want leverage over him; I want a partner. I want someone who’s going to work with me, like, ‘Give me what I’m going to give you.’ That’s all.”
The Chavez bandwagon has emptied out, in recent years, but Goossen is still a believer, “I’ve seen the talent he does possess. When he puts 110 percent into it – and he’s done that before – look, he’s a big strong, talented guy. Now I know everyone has their low moments but I’m really looking for an extremely high moment with him here.
“I really see the best in this kid because, like I said, he made the move to say to me, ‘Lets train,’ and he’s not asking a guy that has a laissez-faire attitude about training.” (Although some will say that Chavez has engaged in plenty of lazy-fare throughout the years.)
“That’s not me and he knows it. He’s serious,” insisted Goossen.
Here’s the final episode of “The Next Round” for 2017, a full, two-hour edition with Gabriel Montoya and me.
A February 2 edition of “ShoBox” will take place from the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa (I’ve been there a few times!), and will have fights like Ronald Ellis-Junior Younan and will feature Devin Haney (who could be facing Harmonito Dela Torre)…So it looks like we might have dueling shows at the Madison Square Garden (at The Theater) and the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, on March 3…OK, is this new “Star Wars” movie good or bad?…Despite the record, I like the way the Lakers young core is developing…So the XFL might be coming back?!…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.