A serious Julio Cesar Chavez Jr might not be of the quality of his old man, but a serious Junior is no slouch in a prizefight ring, as he wasn't in the super middleweight main event which unfolded on HBO, from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas Saturday night.
Junior showed up in shape and of a completely different caliber than the last time he fought Bryan Vera. Last year, Junior was given a gift decision, but on this night, he well earned a UD12, via scores of 114-113, 117-110, 117-110.
Even a boneheaded crew of Texas judges couldn't mess this one up...
Chavez (age 28) was 167 1/2, while Vera (age 32; 23-8) was 167 1/2 on Friday.
Before the fight, Junior said he regrets some past behaviors, but wants to be mature. He said he saw bad stuff growing up, with his dad using substances. He said he'd be cool with his dad training him, but said that his dad tries to live through him too much. He also said he'd be down with fighting Gennady Golovkin. "I'm ready to fight whoever," he said.
These two met last year, with most thinking Vera won. He said prefight that the decision for Chavez hurt him badly. "I was at a loss for words," he said. He stated he expects Junior to look better than he did the first time.
In the first, Vera came out jab heavy. Junior launched looping rights. Vera looked to press, as Junior backed up. He mostly moved to his left, as righties do by default. Post-round, Junior's corner told him to keep doing the same, and not to wait for Vera to throw. Ronnie Shields said he liked Vera's work in round one.
In the second, they banged heads. Vera started backing up more in this round. At 1:20 they banged heads again. Junior got a little break. Junior landed lefts to the body and right up top. In the third, the Vera jab stood as his best weapon. A hard right stung Vera. Another right cross stung Vera, but Vera came back with his own. The crowd was in the fight. Junior wasn't just loading up, he didn't neglect the jab, either.
In the fourth, Vera was busy, but his power lagged Juniors.' Shields asked for the jab from Vera after. In the fifth, Junior mugged, and pretended Vera hurt him. Vera's lack of power was again so apparent. He was now backing up, looking like he was being preyed upon more so. "I need you in the middle of the ring," said Shields to Vera post-round.
In the sixth, a sharp right buzzed Vera, a tiny bit, as he has a hard coconut. Vera started looking more sloppy. In round seven, a left hook buzzed Vera a tiny bit and it was hard to fathom how he could change the momentum. In the eighth, he begged Vera to bring it on. The ref took a point from Vera for an infraction, which he didn't specify at 50 seconds left. It was a bad call. Junior scored heavily when he had Vera on the ropes. "Now you're fighting his fight, not your fight," Shields told Vera. Junior, though, had lost some spark.
In the ninth, Vera kept on humming, bless his stubborn soul. He'd eat a hard right, and grin, like he'd been fed a piece of porkchop. In the 10th, Vera kept on eating hard shots but wasn't put off. They traded to end the round to the delight of the fans. In the 11th, Junior landed hard, looking to pull off a stoppage. In the 12th, Vera ate, and grinned. His glove touched the mat, but no knockdown was called. Junior clowned some late, and the fans didn't dig it. We went to the cards.
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV