On Saturday night, Sept. 28, in Carson, Calif., former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was given a tougher-than-expected fight from gritty challenger Brian Vera inside of the StubHub Center.
Chavez vs. Vera was an entertaining affair that saw Vera outhustle Chavez in several rounds while Julio appeared to land the more telling and powerful blows throughout the contest.
After ten rounds of action, scorecards reading 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94 were all in Chavez’s favor despite several ringside observers seeing the fight for Vera.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Chavez’s co-promoter Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions revealed that his fighter had suffered an injury to his right hand in the fourth round.
During his time on the dais, Chavez went into detail on how the injury affected his effort.
“Of course what happened is I threw less punches than I was used to throwing,” Chavez said, addressing the media. “And when I hurt him with the left hook [in the tenth round], I couldn’t finish him because I couldn’t throw my right hand.
“I was always in control of the fight,” said Chavez. “I really believe I didn’t knock him out because I hurt my hand in the fourth round.”
There was serious confusion during the days leading up to the fight, as Chavez declared this past Tuesday that he wouldn’t be able to make the contracted catch weight limit of 168 pounds that he and Vera agreed upon.
The following day it was revealed that the weight limit for the fight had been changed to 173 pounds.
Chavez would end up weighing 172.4 pounds at the weigh-in, over 14 pounds more than he did this past Sept. ahead of his match with Sergio Martinez.
This camp for Chavez was drastically different, as he came into training well overweight and saw the Vera match postponed on multiple occasions.
Absent from Chavez’s team this time around were his former trainer Freddie Roach as well as strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
Asked if he felt it was difficult not having them with him this time around, Chavez denied such assumptions but did note that he very well may be reaching out to Roach for his next fight.
“I don’t think so, you know? I think Freddie Roach is a great trainer. Probably for my next fight I’m going to hire him, to train with him. Of course he’s a great trainer,” said Chavez.
Chavez-Vera Fight Night Coverage: Tim Bradley says Julio needs to decide if boxing is really for him / Robert Garcia says Chavez landed the better punches on Vera, deserved to win / Brian Vera wants a rematch with Chavez 'I'd love to do it again' / Virgil Hunter says he saw suspicious activities taking place during Chavez-Vera / Chavez speaks on the hand injury that affected his performance / Andre Ward looks at Chavez Jr. as an ideal pay per view foe
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com