One thing is for certain in the upcoming Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KO) vs. Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KO) bout: There will be blood. Both fighters prefer a toe-to-toe battle, and that is precisely what fans will see when the two men clash on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Chavez Jr. is making his return to the ring after losing his WBC middleweight crown to Sergio Martinez last September. It was Chavez's first loss of his career, so this fight could mark his return to the title picture.
Vera has been hot after winning his last four fights. He has established a reputation as a crowd-pleasing fighter, which could make this one explosive. The fight is the second half of a split-site doubleheader that will be broadcast on HBO.
The first fight is a light heavyweight title bout between champion Adonis Stevenson and former IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud.
Here's how you can catch the action.
A Closer Look at the Fighters
The Book on Chavez Jr.
The spotless record is gone for Chavez Jr. It is now time for him to establish what his legacy will be in the sport. To a degree, some of the pressure that was associated with being undefeated has been lifted.
Being the son of a legend is one thing, but carrying an unbeaten streak similar to the one his father had in his prime only added to the pressure.
How Chavez Jr. responds after adversity will say a lot about his character and longevity in the sport.
The Book on Vera
Vera isn't blessed with great hand or foot speed. Although he has 14 KOs in his career, he isn't an explosive puncher. What he does possess are toughness and grit that you can't teach. He comes from a boxing background, as his brother and father are or were fighters.
He has endured losing streaks in his career, but he has built enough sustained success to get this opportunity. This bout isn't for a world title, but Chavez Jr. is one of the biggest draws in the sport, and the fight will be broadcast on HBO.
This is a major opportunity for the 31-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas. Can he cash in?
Analysis and Prediction
Chavez Jr. is a relentless body puncher who wears down most opponents. He actually employed this strategy in his loss to Martinez. He dropped Martinez in the final round, but because the Argentine survived and had dominated the fight up to that point, Chavez Jr. still took the loss.
His combination of stamina, power and toughness is usually enough to make up for his slow hands and feet.
Vera has a slight speed advantage in this fight, and he'd be smart to try to use it. In all honesty, if you've ever seen Vera fight, you know he's not going to shy away from banging with Chavez.
It is in his nature. The moment that Chavez hits him flush, the warrior is going to kick in.
Unfortunately for him, he can't win a brawl with Chavez. Vera would have a hard time outboxing him as Chavez is adept at cutting off the ring. This one is going to be brutal and action-packed, but in the end, Chavez will pound Vera into submission.
A seventh-round TKO win for Jr. seems logical.
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