"Man, Chavez was highly overrated. They were picking the perfect guys that go with Chavez style and throwing them in there with him. That’s how they built Chavez. Chavez never really had a guy that had a lot of skills. They always gave him a guy that was a boxer and Chavez would walk him down, or someone that came straight forward and Chavez would beat them up. Once you came straight forward, Chavez would beat your body up until you’re weak and then he would knock you out," stated former lightweight champion Freddie Pendleton, who explained why he always believed that Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was highly overrated. Check it out!
PC: I’m a huge fan of yours, so props to my man, Dhafir Smith, for hooking me up with your number. It’s a pleasure to speak with you. How are you doing?
FP: I’m doing pretty good. I’m just trying to get situated. I have a couple of guys that I’m trying to turn pro; about three guys. One is going to turn pro in the next couple of months and then next year, the other two will.
PC: Are you still in Philly?
FP: Yeah, I’m in Philly now, but I’m trying to go back to Miami. I gotta do a couple of things here. I’m hanging around because my dad is real sick, so I’m hanging around a little bit. He’s up there in age, you know what I’m saying.
PC: I feel you. Hate to hear that, my man. I definitely wanted to touch on your career a little bit. When you’re the guy constantly being brought in as the opponent and the underdog, what’s the mentality to overcome so many of those situations like you did?
FP: I just knew the skills that I had. I was sparring in the gym with the best fighters and that kept my confidence up. I used to do damage to them in the gym, so that kept me feeling like I was more than just an opponent. I knew I could really become a world champion. I’ve had world champions in the gym look at me and say, "Damn kid, you’re real good. You need to stick with it and you could be champ of the world." Almost all of the other top guys that came before me that sparred with me all told me, "You got some serious skills." And they would always ask me, "How did your record get like that?" It’s two reasons; my first manager was selling me down the drain. He didn’t care who he put me in there with or nothing. He just threw me in there. I found out it was all about him making a couple dollars here and there. He didn’t care about my career or anything. He threw me in with any and everybody. I was fighting guys who were national champions and who had just made the Olympic team in my first couple of fights and I only had five amateur fights. I’m coming in turning pro with guys who had over a hundred amateur fights. I’m dominating the fights and beating these guys and still losing.
PC: You had 78 pro fights. How many of those fights would you say you were screwed in some fashion?
FP: If you pull up my record, every fight that I lost, you would only find about ten fights that I lost. Every other fights were robberies. It was ridiculous.
PC: I know how they do guys like you; I’m sure a large percentage of those fights you didn’t have a full training camp.
FP: (Laughing) Tyrone Trice, a week.
PC: Damn! And you stopped him in one.
FP: I knocked him out in the first round. I fought Roger Mayweather; that’s the one that really wasn’t that bad. I had a month to prepare for that fight.
PC: Would you say Roger Mayweather was your biggest win, Jorge Paez, Livingston Bramble, or Tracy Spann?
FP: Tracy Spann, I never really counted him. I look at Tracy Spann; I fought tougher guys than Tracy Spann. I pretty much laughed at him when they said I was going to fight him for the title. I busted out laughing. I knew he was strong, but he wasn’t that good a fighter. The main thing with Tracy was the fact that he could punch and he was a southpaw. That’s why everybody was afraid of him. He used to walk through people because southpaws, it’s hard to fight southpaws, but I’ve never had a problem with them. I had two guys in the gym that I sparred with that were southpaws. That’s the gym I came up in and I banged them up. My trainer expected me to have problems with them and I banged him up. He was shocked. He couldn’t believe that because I had never fought a southpaw before and then the first southpaw I spar with, I banged them up. So it’s hard to say who my best win was, but the guy with the most ability that I fought was Frankie Randall. And he could punch. He was a very difficult fight. I was able to catch him and figure him out because that’s how I was trained. I was trained when you’re working with a guy, you gotta see what he’s doing and once you figure out what he has and you get around it, you gotta start changing what you do. Don’t approach a guy with the same attack. So what I did against Frankie Randall was every time I went after him, I changed the point of attack. He couldn’t figure it out. Sometimes I come in from the side, sometimes I came straight in the middle, and then I could go dig to his body. When I touched him with my right hand, which I knew he couldn’t deal with, it would hurt him. He caught me with a right hand and that joker could punch like hell (laughing). That’s why I told everybody, I was the only one in the arena that night in Miami when Randall fought Chavez. I said, "Chavez, going to get his head tore off. Frankie Randall got a right hand like a missile." If he can hit you with that right hand, you’re going to go down. Everybody was calling me crazy and carrying on about Chavez. Man, Chavez was highly overrated. They were picking the perfect guys that go with Chavez style and throwing them in there with him. That’s how they built Chavez. Chavez never really had a guy that had a lot of skills. They always gave him a guy that was a boxer and Chavez would walk him down, or someone that came straight forward and Chavez would beat them up. Once you came straight forward, Chavez would beat your body up until you’re weak and then he would knock you out. And if you’re a boxer, his favorite thing was to cut to the body with shots after he touch you upstairs with a couple of shots. He just kept systematically doing the same thing. He’ll take a couple of blows. He don’t care if you hit him a couple of times. He’ll walk through that and keep digging in because he could take a pretty good shot. The reason why he didn’t want to fight me is because I was a combination puncher. He was never going to beat a combination puncher. You saw what happened when he fought Sweet Pea; Pernell embarrassed him and they still said it was a draw. I couldn’t believe it. These guys sit up here and try to talk about how Chavez won the fight and anybody who watched the fight knows Sweet Pea beat the crap out of him. Sweet Pea beat the stuffing out of that punk.
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK FOR MUCH MORE WITH FORMER WORLD CHAMPION FREDDIE PENDLETON
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]