Son of a Gun: Chavez Decisions Vera
Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was gifted a unanimous decision over Brian Vera by scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92…
Being the Son of a Legend has its advantages.
Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KOs) was gifted a unanimous decision over NABO middleweight champion Brian Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) by scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92.
Fighting out of the red corner in black trunks with green trim, this fight was Chavez’s long awaited return after his boxing year from hell. His loss to Sergio Martinez in his last fight was followed by a failed drug test and suspension, so there was much was on the line in this bout coming in.
Vera, fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks trimmed with gold, was the designated safe opponent. A bonafide tough guy with limited power and mobility, he was selected in order to make Chavez look good. Vera, however, refused to cooperate, while Chavez simply couldn’t.
Looking soft and unprepared may be attributed to the pre-fight nightmare connected with weight. But once the opening bell rang, it was clear that Vera had come to fight. He had no intention of rolling over and playing dead, not for Chavez or anyone else. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for his whole career and Vera decided to make the most of it.
Vera dictated the pace. Vera was the busier fighter. Chavez was for the most part throwing one punch at a time, but they were bombs which, when they landed, elicited oohs and ahs from the crowd. But Vera shook off those punches the way a dog shakes off fleas and kept coming forward to hammer away.
Chavez’s thudding punches were impressive, if not especially effective, but he didn’t jab his way in, didn’t throw combinations, and has no defense to speak of. Perhaps the judges were swayed by power instead of work rate. Stranger things have happened. Still, the fact that Vera landed 176 of 734 punches to Chavez’s 125 of 328 was impossible to ignore.
While the final scorecards were being tallied, Chavez was screaming at the referee Lou Moret. That pretty much sums up the night.
After the fight, Chavez’s frustration, denial, and sense of entitlement was palpable.
“I worked the ten rounds,” he said, with the crowd booing in the background, “but in about the fifth round I fractured my right hand. But I connected with the best punches and I hurt him more. And he was very dirty. He hit me with about twenty headbutts and kept hitting me low, but the referee didn’t do anything so he kept on doing it. I won the fight. I hurt him quite a bit. Maybe he connected with a few punches, but sooner or later I would have knocked him out. In the 10th round he was done.”
Brian Vera, a working-class hero if there ever was one, was unhappy with the decision.
“I thought I did enough to win,” he said, as the crowd cheered his every word. “I came into this fight—I never fought above 170 in my life. He was supposed to be the guy who pushed me back. I pushed his ass the whole time. I did what I had to do. I outworked him. He had me dazed a couple times, but he never really hurt me. I feel I could have done better, but I feel like I did enough to win the fight. You can hear everybody yelling out. Everybody knows I won the fight. It makes me sick to my stomach that it happened this way. But I’ll be back. I hope he gives me another chance to do this again…and he does it the right way.”