After a full year away from boxing ring activity, and a circus of weight issues before his fight against the tough Brian Vera (23-7, 14KO’s) from Austin, Texas, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (47-1-1, 32KO’s) slipped out of California with a unanimous decision this weekend. Although he was awarded this decision, most boxing experts and media had Vera winning the fight. From the beginning round, it was obvious that Chavez was the bigger man, but it was Vera who had the bigger heart. Vera practically ran after Chavez in the early rounds, and was clearly the aggressor in the first half of the fight. The fight was initially scheduled for twelve rounds, but because of the renegotiations just before the fight, it was reduced to ten rounds. In these negotiations, Chavez was penalized with a hefty fine which was put on top of the reported $275,000.00 purse that Vera was to receive. Chavez reportedly received $2.5 million for a fight that he clearly lost.
Before the fight, much was not known as to the actual training Chavez had done for this fight, because the majority of news only related to his weight issues. In Vera’s camp it was clear that he had been training hard for this fight because it was publicized and he had no problem making the weight. It was unfortunate for Vera that he had to settle for the weight advantage discrepancy, but it didn’t matter to him, he was ready to fight.
From the beginning of the first round, Vera was the one putting pressure on Chavez in the early rounds. Chavez was able to slip in some quick left hooks to the head of the smiling Vera, but they did no damage to the warrior from Austin. Early on, Vera was snapping his jab to the head of Chavez as he put the pressure on. Despite the punches that Chavez may have landed, Vera countered with twice as many punches. According to Compubox numbers, Vera landed more punches (176 to 125) on Chavez and also connected with more power shots in the entire fight.
In the fourth round Vera was looking very sharp as he used his jab in an attempt to get in close on the retreating Chavez. At this point in the fight, HBO had Vera ahead on the cards and landing more punches. In the middle of the round, Chavez already had a swelling under his right eye as Vera continued marching forward. In the beginning of the fifth round, Vera landed a huge right to the head of Chavez and he smiled at Chavez. At this point in the fight, Chavez started to drop his hands to his side in an attempt to lure Vera in for a knockout punch, but Vera just kept jabbing his way in.
In the sixth round, Chavez did have a good round and he was able to land a right hand down the middle, but Vera kept coming forward. Chavez continued to move backward as he kept looking for the one punch knockout. Chavez was able to land a big left hook in the seventh round that jarred Vera, but bur Vera made up for it by landing more punches with both hands as the round continued. As the fight was getting close to its conclusion, Chavez landed a nice right hand in the middle of the eighth round, but Vera countered it with one of his own. Chavez then attempted to go to the body, something he had not done throughout the fight. This was strange because he normally works the body of his opponents. In the ninth round, Vera began to press again and he began to go to the body. Chavez appeared content with backing up as he continued to drop his hands at his side as he looked for that one big punch.
Just before the bell sounded for the last round, it was obvious that the look on Vera’s face was that he felt he was ahead and that he had already won the fight. The confident Vera then moved forward with his jab as he stood toe to toe with the taller Chavez throughout the final round. As the bell sounded, Vera raised his hands as he and the crowd were confident that he had won the fight. Unfortunately for him, boxing was given another step backward as Chavez was awarded the fight by a very controversial unanimous decision. As the announcement was made, boos were heard from the audience towards Chavez and later, loud cheers were given to Vera as he was being interviewed by HBO. Vera was overheard saying “This is the best performance of my career, the weight was never an issue. The game plan was exactly what we did. I was never hurt during the fight."