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MEXICO CITY -- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will have his father, legendary former three-division champ Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., in his corner when he takes on Brian Vera in Los Angels on Sept. 7.The younger Chavez said he sat down with his father last week to ask if they could define their ring relationship as a work situation rather than a family one.
"I had always asked my dad to be my corner, formally, but he couldn't for some time because he would get really desperate," Chavez Jr. said.
"I told him, 'If you want to help me, do it formally, because if not, sometimes it just confuses my trainer.' "
Previously, Chavez Jr. had worked with Freddie Roach, the five-time trainer of the year who had helped lead the fighter to a middleweight championship. But the partnership was a rocky one at times, mostly related to Chavez Jr.'s lax training habits. The turning point seemed to be last September's loss to Sergio Martinez and subsequent drug suspension.
Although Roach hasn't ruled out working with Junior again, it will be Chavez Sr. who will be in charge of his son's corner for the first time in his 49 professional fights when Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs) faces Vera in the main event at Staples Center on Sept. 7.
"I believe I can help much more than down [at ringside]," Chavez Sr. said of the official move into his son's corner. "He says I pressure [him] too much when I'm down there and he says he feels the pressure. He says it's better for him that I'm in his corner. That way I can contribute more with my experience."
So can the father -- even one with the credentials of an all-time great fighter -- find a way to focus his son when a decorated Hall of Fame trainer could not?
"He has to think, because fights are won outside the ring, with training, discipline," Chavez Sr. said. "That's the advice I have always given him. Sometimes he's listened, sometimes not. That's why he lost against Martinez. He didn't train well, didn't do what he had to do. I'll give him my experience of all the years I was in boxing. I think I have the maturity, the knowledge to help a lot."
With Chavez Sr. in the fold, Vladimir Baldenebro, who was taking care of Chavez Jr.'s training in Culiacan, Mexico, will be the corner's second in command. Alex Ariza will continue on as Chavez Jr.'s physical trainer.
Chavez Sr. has said he has no plans to become a full-time trainer, but he is open to the idea of a long-term position in his son's corner.
"Let's see how this one goes," he said. "If we pass and he feels good with me, why not?"