Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. could have wiped off the stink associated with his laxity about the weight for the main event at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA against Brian Vera on Saturday night. If he'd dropped and stopped Vera, the whole silliness about Chavez not making 160, or 163, or 168, would have likely diminished. But Vera hung tough against the son of the legend, who drew heavy scorn on Twitter for acting unprofessionally in the leadup to the match, which ran on HBO. He was the busier man, even if his power couldn't match Juniors.' After ten rounds, we went to the scorecards, and once again, relied on arbiters to do the right thing.
Nobody, save for Team Chavez, perhaps, wanted to hear, "Here we go again." Gwen Adair had it 98-92, Carla Caiz saw it 96-94 and Marty Denkin saw it 97-93, for Junior. A good portion of the crowd erupted, in disagreement. Here we went again.
Vera went 176-734 to 125-328 for Junior, according to CompuBox.
To Jim Lampley, Junior said after that midway through, he hurt his right hand, and that Vera was dirty. "He hit me with about twenty headbutts," Junior said. Lampley told him that Steve Weisfeld saw Vera the winner and that he will likely read many accounts that call Vera the winner. He said he wasn't bothered by that and would have kayoed Vera. He will look for a crown at 168, and wants to fight in December, depending on how his hand looks, he said.
Vera to Lampley said that he thought he did enough to win. "I backed his ass up the whole time," he said. He was dazed a few times, but not really hurt, he said. He said everyone knows that he won, but that he'd like to do it again. "I hope he gives me another chance to do this again," he said.
Lampley to wrap up said that this decision will generate discussion, like the CJ Ross card in the Mayweather-Canelo fight did, in the next few weeks.
The Mexican Chavez (46-1-1; ex WBC middle champ) was 172.4 to 171.2 for Vera on Friday.
The fight was contracted for a max of 173, and for the trouble of allowing Junior to be a light heavy, the Texan Vera (23-6 entering) got a six figure chunk from Junior's purse. Junior didn't let HBO weigh him today, so we don't know what he weighed on fight night. I think that should be mandatory if HBO is going to be putting up purse money.
Junior started out at 130 pounds in 2003 and hadn't fought above 160. He last gloved up against Sergio Martinez, last September, and was schooled, saved a 12th round knockdown. He had his dad in his corner, in the lead second assist slot.
In the first, Chavez (seen exulting, with an insolent look on his face, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) backed up, and landed three hard left hooks which rattled Vera's teeth a tad. The Texan, trained by Ronnie Shields, stalked but not effectively. In the second, Vera doubled and tripled up and was thus more effective. In the third, Junior's heavier hands again spoke louder. His dad asked for rights to the body and combos. A right cross landed clean and hard on Vera, the best punch of the bout. Some swelling appeared on Junior's right eye.
In the fourth, Chavez again wasn't crazy-busy. He let Vera be the busier man, and one wondered how the judges were seeing this scrap. In the fifth, Junior landed a heavy duty right, one of about four shots which looked nasty. In the sixth, a one-two hurt Vera. But the Texan has immense pride and shook it off, and kept coming forward. "I don't need you to be macho," Vera's trainer said after the round. "Do not just stand right in front of him."
In the seventh, Vera had a nice round until a left hook caught him late. Vera landed a heavy right, and was active and busy in the eighth. In the ninth, Vera landed as Chavez backed off and beckoned the ref, as he pawed his right eye. Vera treated it like a fight, Chavez like a sparring session in his home gym. In the tenth, Junior landed a long right, then lefts to the body. He looked like he knew he needed a stoppage to win. He didn't get it; we went to the cards.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?