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March 02, 2014

By Rick Evans

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. W12 Bryan Vera...  Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. came to San Antonio, Texas' Alamodome to show the world that his poor showing against Bryan Vera last September was an aberration-- Chavez was awarded the decision in that fight but almost no one felt the verdict was fair. Vera came to show that he belonged in the ring with the upper echelon of the sport. Both fighters proved what they wanted to on Saturday night, but it was Chavez Jr. who was awarded the unanimous decision victory in an action-packed battle.  This time there was no controversy. 

The fight began with Chavez establishing a reach advantage over Vera with a jab that kept the shorter Vera at bay. For the first two rounds, Vera had trouble mounting much of an attack. 

In the third, Vera began finding success by walking Chavez down and throwing combinations that limited Chavez to throwing one punch at a time in return. 

The fourth marked the turning point in the bout as Chavez adjusted and became the aggressor, walking Vera down and mounting an attack on his rib cage while pinning him to the ropes. The fight progressed with Vera showing a world class chin, taking hellacious shots from Chavez and mounting retaliatory combinations in return.  The decisive factor in this bout was that Vera’s punches didn't bother Chavez anywhere close to what Chavez’s shots were doing to Vera. 

Round eight brought a bit of controversy as a point was deducted from Vera for pushing down Chavez’s head with his forearm from the clinch. This was the first time Vera was warned for this particular foul, but he was penalized nonetheless. However, Vera had been warned for multiple other infractions (headbutts and elbows) throughout the fight to that point. 

Chavez had Vera in big trouble in the eleventh, but Vera dug deep, showing his heart and chin, and battled back to survive the round.

The final round saw Chavez attempt to close the show and go for the knockout, but when that didn't happen, he changed tactics and began moving, clowning and dancing around the ring the rest of the round away (ala Oscar De La Hoya’s final round against Felix Trinidad) believing he had the fight well in hand. 

It turned out that Chavez was right as the judges scored the fight 117-110 (twice) and 114-113 for Chavez. After the fight, Chavez claimed an injured hand prevented him from pressing harder for a knockout in the championship rounds. The victory sets up Chavez (48-1-1 with 32 KOs) for a potential pay per view showdown with power punching middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin sometime later this year. Chavez made a point of saying in English he wanted to fight Golovkin. Chavez showed what he is capable of when he is in shape and ready to fight. 

Vera falls to 23-8 with 14 KOs with the loss but proved he has a world-class heart and chin and that would be a tough night at the office for any top level middleweight or super middleweight. source: hbo

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