Mystery always surrounds Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., like a perpetual blanket of fog.
Whenever the son of one of Mexico’s greatest fighters nears a fight date, the questions arise regarding weight, preparation, mental focus and simply who will enter the ring as his chief second.
If Dashiell Hammett were still alive he might want to pen a book about it.
Questions will be answered when Chavez (47-1-1, 32 Kos) enters the ring for the rematch against Texas tough Brian Vera (23-7, 14 Kos; pictured in Rachel McCarson photo) on Saturday, March 1. The repeat showdown takes place in the Longhorn State, San Antonio to be exact.
HBO will televise.
Last September, Vera, 32, absorbed every big blow from the much bigger Chavez and out-punched the former champ, but all he received at the end of 10 rounds was a lumpy face. The judges sided with Mexico’s Chavez in the state of California. Many were surprised.
From the beginning that the first fight was announced, questions arose regarding Chavez’s weight. Eventually he walked into the ring far above 160 pounds, but so did Vera. Weight was not an issue, but the punches landed by the Texan proved it was not a mismatch. It also proved that Chavez may not have success at light heavyweight if he chose to move up to that division.
“Vera earned his second opportunity because of what he did in the first fight,” said Chavez, 28, who quickly realized it was not one-sided last September at the StubHub Center in Carson before a mere 4,000 fans. “Vera is a true warrior.”
Texas is not often kind to visitors, especially in the prize ring. The state has produced some of the worst decisions in boxing. Chavez, however, and other popular prizefighters from Mexico, usually enjoy hero status in the Southwest because of proximity to Mexico. One thorn sticking out in this fight, is Vera is a native Texan.
Who will the judges favor?
“I have had much success in Texas, especially in San Antonio,” Chavez said.
That might be good for the fans, but what about the judges?
“Everyone knows that I won the first fight,” says Vera, who comes from Fort Worth, but trains in Austin, Texas.
Recently, Top Rank’s Bob Arum revealed that Chavez could be fighting Andre Ward. That’s a great match-up for fans and Ward. But it might be a little hasty.
“I sparred against heavyweights to get ready for Chavez Jr.,” Vera said. “I’m going to beat him for the second time.” (Above Chavez photo by Rachel McCarson.)
Vera, the judges and Chavez’s own penchant for under-training might derail Top Rank’s future plans.
A mystery will soon unravel in the Alamodome.
Will the judges make up for the California debacle and give it to Vera? Or will Chavez be able to shove aside Vera so that he can fight Ward?