After being cleared Tuesday by a Nevada State Court judge to fight Daniel Jacobs, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighed in nearly 5 pounds over the super middleweight division limit of 168 pounds for the Friday night bout in Phoenix.
The 12-round fight will go on at Talking Stick Resort Arena (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET), but Chavez’s roughly $3 million paycheck will be $1 million lighter.
Chavez won a court-ordered temporary restraining order that forced the Nevada State Athletic Commission to lift his suspension for refusing a random drug test in October and paved the way for him to oppose fellow former middleweight titlist Jacobs.
Chavez weighed in Thursday at 172.7 pounds. The fight was contracted at 168.
After the court decision, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was pleased that the fight would go on, though he joked — in a reference to Chavez’s well-documented history of problems at the scale — “unless he flunks weight” to ESPN.
Chavez did just that.
Jacobs, who is making his super middleweight debut following a decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in their middleweight title unification fight in May, was 167.8 pounds.
Chavez’s paycheck will be considerably lighter, as he’ll give up $1 million of his roughly $3 million guarantee purse to Jacobs for the fight to go on.
The Jacobs camp had Chavez over a barrel. With the possibility of Chavez (51-3-1, 33 KOs), 33, of Mexico, not being allowed to fight had he not won the injunction in the drug-testing case, Jacobs’ manager, Keith Connolly, insisted that Hearn line up a standby opponent, which he did weeks ago in former two-time middleweight title challenger Gabriel Rosado.
Rosado was placed on the undercard with a contract that called for him to step into the main event for a greater purse should Chavez be unable to go.
With Chavez also being unreliable when it comes to making weight, Jacobs had the option of fighting Rosado if Chavez were over by an undisclosed number of pounds.
With Chavez so dramatically over the contract weight, Jacobs (35-3, 29 KOs), 32, of Brooklyn, New York, could have invoked that contractual right and had Rosado step in. But Jacobs has been adamant that he wanted to face Chavez because he has a much bigger name than Rosado.
In the end, the camps made a deal for Chavez to pay a severe penalty but remain in the bout.
“It doesn’t bother us at all. Danny’s still gonna beat his ass,” Connolly told ESPN of Chavez missing weight so badly.
Hearn was pleased that the camps worked out the agreement to go through with the fight. Chavez is the big draw in Phoenix, where he has many fans in the Mexican-American community and where his father, the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., is immensely popular.
“I guess we can’t be too shocked by it, but I am not too disappointed because I know [Chavez] put the work in,” Hearn told ESPN. “I genuinely don’t think he can make 168 anymore. He can earn his redemption in the ring if he shows enough heart for the 10,000-plus fans. He is in shape, but so is Danny, who feels amazing up at 168.
“The weight will help Julio, but Danny feels great.”
Rosado (24-12-1, 14 KOs), 33, of Philadelphia, who weighed 168.4 pounds, will remain on the undercard in a 10-round preliminary bout against Humberto Gutierrez Ochoa (33-8-2, 22 KOs), 31, of Mexico, who was 166.1 pounds.
Also, Julio Cesar Martinez (14-1, 11 KOs), 24, of Mexico, was 112 pounds for his fight against former flyweight world titlist Cristofer Rosales (29-4, 20 KOs), 25, of Nicaragua. Rosales weighed in at 111.3 pounds for their vacant flyweight title bout in the co-feature.
Former junior welterweight world titlist Maurice Hooker (26-1-3, 17 KOs), 30, of Dallas, was 144.3 pounds for his first fight with new trainer Brian McIntyre. Opponent Uriel Perez (19-4, 17 KOs), 24, of Mexico, was 141.9 pounds. The fight is Hooker’s first since he lost his 140-pound world title by sixth-round knockout to Jose Ramirez on July 27 in their title unification fight.