He’s Back: Here’s…Junior

By Robert Ecksel on September 23, 2013
He’s Back: Here’s…Junior
Hopefully the little part of Chavez that died in the ring has been reborn if not resurrected.

After a one-year absence from active duty, former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs), from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, moves up in weight when he returns to the ring Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, against middleweight contender Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KOs).

Given his travails in and out of the ring, Chavez’s star has lost some of its luster. He’s still huge in Mexico, if not as huge as Canelo, in part because of his illustrious name, in part because he’s big, he’s strong, and he can take a good punch.

That size and those whiskers will both be in evidence on HBO when he gets it on with a fighter whose specialty is mixing it up.

“Vera is the real deal,” said Chavez at the pre-fight presser. “Years ago I sparred a few rounds against Vera when I was in Dallas during the Pacquiao vs. Margarito event. Vera was pretty intense and I knew he could fight. So this fight on September 28 will be challenging for me. I am just so happy getting back into the ring after such a long layoff. I think about the Sergio Martinez fight every day. A little of me died inside when I lost that fight. Could I have done better? Of course I should have but it did not happen. Now we have Vera who is aggressive and punches hard. I wanted to come back against a great fighter and Vera is all of that. I plan to win this fight and then we will discuss my plans for 2014.”

Hopefully the little part of Chavez that died in the ring has been reborn if not resurrected. Vera, unlike Maravilla, is no fancy Dan. He will bring it. But also unlike Maravilla, he is a good but not great fighter. The 31-year-old from Austin, Texas, has won six of his last seven bouts, setting up the showdown with Chavez, but his losses to the likes of Andy Lee and James Kirkland suggest that he’s vulnerable to boxers and punchers alike.

This is a fight that is Chavez’s to lose. Chances are he’ll come in way over the super middleweight limit. But he’s chomping at the bit, eager to climb back into the ring, eager to prove that he, like the famous namesake who will be in his corner, is a fighter by choice and not by default.

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