LOS ANGELES-Nobody questions Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s fighting ability. They just question his eating habits.
A toned but cruiserweight-looking Chavez showed up at the Biltmore Hotel on Thursday to formally announce his fight with Texas middleweight Bryan Vera on Sept. 28. The clash is set for the super middleweight limit of 168-pounds and will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson. HBO will televise.
Chavez appeared in a rather tight-fitting blue shirt and though he didn’t look out-of-shape, he looked far above the 180 pounds the Top Rank team said he weighed. More like 190 to 205 was the actual weight, it looked like.
When Vera and Chavez posed for photos side-by-side, it was obvious there was a serious weight discrepancy. It doesn’t matter to Vera.
“I’ll fight him anyway,” said Vera, who has been in training for 11 weeks because of postponements of their fight. “We could have stuck around and fought for the WBO against Peter Quillin. But we know what the stakes are.”
If it’s a matter of weight Vera will give up a few pounds because he’s antsy to test himself against Chavez. He’s been riding on the A-train lately with wins over some good middleweights including a technical knockout of Serhiy Dzinziruk. No reason to stop the train now.
“We both have good chins,” said Vera. “I’m going to test out that body. Nobody tests him down there.”
There’s a lot more body to hit.
Chavez walked into the ballroom along with his father, the great Julio Cesar Chavez (pictured above, in foreground, as Junior looks on, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo), who looked in fighting shape. Top Rank’s Bob Arum commented that he wished he looked like that when he was fighting on his cards a decade ago.
“I know this is a tough fight for Julio,” said the father Chavez. “Bryan Vera is a warrior in there.”
Chavez Jr. has been through these wars and weight loss crises before. He’s just content to be back in the ring after the suspension by Nevada State Athletic Commission for illegal drug use.
“I’m very excited to be coming back,” Chavez Jr. said. “It’s like a dream. I can see this like the second part of my career.”
HBO’s Tony Walker said the venue where the two combatants will meet is known for staging some of the most notable prizefighting wars in the last decade.
“We’re very happy going back to the StubHub,” said Walker, a venue that was formerly known as the Home Depot Center. “We always have a lot of action in the StubHub.”
The big question is will the fight take place.
Vera is willing to concede a few pounds to make the fight happen.
If Chavez pulls out again?
“If it doesn’t happen, we’re out of it,” said Vera.
Former Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez will be fighting at the StubHub on the undercard of Chavez-Vera.
“Julio Cesar Chavez is my idol,” said Valdez about Chavez Sr. “It means a lot to me to be fighting on his son’s card.”
Valdez will be fighting Giorgi Mtchedlishvili of the country Georgia in a junior lightweight contest. Valdez is managed by Frank Espinoza.