Brian Vera was pretty crushed when he didn't get his hand raised after his spirited and effective showing against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (seen landing on Vera, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) on Saturday night in California. The Texas-based boxer spoke on a Wednesday conference call to discuss the fight, his feelings and what he hopes occurs moving forward.
His promoter, Art Pelullo, was also on the call, as was Vera's trainer Ronnie Shields.
Here are the top takeaways. 1) A Rematch Is In the Works: "We are talking to Bob Arum," Pelullo said. "We are talking to HBO about a December date." He said that he doesn't think HBO should pay for it, and is investigating a PPV model. Me, I applaud that the right thing seems to be being considered, in a rematch, but I am not sure what the appetite would be from the public to pay extra to watch the sequel. 2) Belief In A Blowout: Trainer Shields has been in the ring when the judges dropped the ball, in Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez, which was deemed a majority draw, and a "robbery" perpetrated on Pernell, by Sports Illustrated, and Erislandy Lara's screwjob loss to Paul Williams. "This was really a blowout by Vera," Shields said, who termed the decision "ludicrous." 3) A Call For Accountability: Pelullo is spot on, calling for ramifications, for structural procedures which could minimize poor scoring decisions. "Part of the problem is with our industry is that the officials are not held accountable for their action," the promoter said. "There is no suspension in place. There’s no fines. There’s no review. All of the commissions, they stand by their officials right or wrong, which is wrong. I’m a licensed fight promoter. Should I make a mistake, should there be a problem, there are repercussions for me, but there’s nobody that holds the officials accountable. Very few times does anybody say, “Hey, you were wrong. You’re suspended. You’re fined and whatever.” And that’s the basic problem of the officiating, because they’re not held accountable to anybody." Amen, brother. 4) Time For a $tiff Punishment: Shield said if there is a sequel, there needs to be contractual language which will force Junior to make weight. "I think the next time we have to put in the contract that if he doesn’t make weight it’s going to cost him half a million dollars, simple as that, and I think that that’s only fair," Shields said. Again...amen, brother. 5) The 12 To 10 Call: People still debate whether or not Team Vera made the right call seeking to make the fight a 10 rounder. Wouldn't a longer fight benefit the in-better-shape Vera rather than the under-trained Chavez Jr, who Shields thought weighed 200 pounds on fightnight? Shields said he stands by the call: "Vera was in great condition, but I know coming down the stretch that Chavez was going to try to put his weight on him, and he was going to try to be sitting down on a lot of his shots. So, I didn’t want to take the chance. I know Bryan was faster than him regardless, but still at the rate Bryan was throwing punches on a big guy like that." 6) The Fix, Was It In? Shields admitted he had to consider all possibilities following the decision, including whether something more odious than incompetence went down. "I don’t know if they was paid off," he said of the judges. "They could have been." I frown on making such implications, reasoning that unless you see smoke, billowing, you shouldn't yell fire...but I understand Shields' anger, and how that might make him speak with excessive candor.