Former middleweight world titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., out of action since July 2015, is returning to the boxing ring, and he's eyeing Canelo Alvarez down the road.
Chavez's father, Mexican legend Julio Cesar Sr., was in attendance at a news conference Wednesday for the announcement of his son's 10-round fight with Germany's Dominik Britsch, which will take place on Dec. 10 (beIN Sports Espanol, 11 p.m. ET) at the Monterrey Arena in Monterrey, Mexico.
The bout is contracted at 170 pounds, two over the super middleweight limit.
"I am very excited to return to boxing," Chavez said. "In my return, I wanted a rival of the level of Britsch. Surely, it will be a great fight for the fans. My absence of the ring for (more than) one year was because of several factors. I fractured my hand (and had surgery) and then there were questions about promoters and television networks. But all that is behind me."
Chavez's troubles are no secret. He has had a DUI arrest, missed weight multiple times, showed up at fights in less-than-optimal condition and was in a protracted legal fight with co-promoter Top Rank over his contract. Chavez left Top Rank, signed with adviser Al Haymon and litigation ensued. Finally, Top Rank took a seven-figure buyout and the case was settled.
In his first fight after the case was settled, an out-of-shape Chavez faced Andrzej Fonfara in April 2015 and quit on his stool after the ninth round. Chavez returned in July 2015 and missed weight, but he won a 10-round decision over Marcos Reyes.
The 30-year-old Chavez (49-2-1, 32 KOs) has reunited with former longtime co-promoter Zanfer Promotions and will return to Mexican network Azteca for the fight with Britsch (32-2-1, 11 KOs), 29, who has won four in a row. Britsch was scheduled to challenge super middleweight world titleholder Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez on July 23 on the Terence Crawford-Viktor Postol undercard in Las Vegas, but the fight was canceled when Ramirez tore a tendon in his knuckle.
Although Britsch is in front of him, Chavez rekindled talk of a fight with countryman Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), Mexico's biggest star fighter. Chavez said he would be willing to go down in weight to meet Alvarez at a 164-pound catch weight. Chavez has not been below 167 pounds since he lost his middleweight belt to Sergio Martinez in a one-sided fight in September 2012.
Alvarez, a reigning junior middleweight titleholder and the former middleweight world champion, fought his middleweight bouts at a catch weight of 155 pounds and returned to 154 pounds in September. He knocked out Liam Smith in the ninth round to win another junior middleweight title. Alvarez intends to move up to 160 pounds for an eventual fight with unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, which is being discussed for September 2017.
But several years ago, there was a lot of discussion and fan interest in an Alvarez-Chavez showdown, when they were much closer in weight.
"It would be a fight for the people, for the Mexican public," Chavez said. "I imagine they want to see it. I do not know if there is a lot of interest, but I think it might be attractive. And on the weight, I think it would have to be negotiated. I can make 164 pounds for Canelo."
Chavez, who held a middleweight world title from 2011 to 2012, said he also wants to win another title.
"My goal is to fight in one or two fights for a world championship," he said. "I want to be a champion again, but if there is a major fight with Canelo, with Golovkin, of course, I would take it."
Britsch said he plans to ruin those plans.
"Chavez Jr. has the ideal style for me," he said. "He goes straight ahead, does not take care of his defense and gets hit with everything. Besides, he is slow. It will be a great fight and I will win."