Bryan Vera should call the authorities. He was robbed in a major way on Saturday night in the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. won the unanimous official decision, but most believed he didn't deserve it. Vera outworked an out of shape, whiny and unprepared Chavez Jr. for 10 rounds, but was left with nothing to show for it.
The official scorecards read, per BoxRec:
Gwen Adair 98-92, Carla Caiz 96-94 and Marty Denkin 97-93, all for Chavez Jr.
The crowd in Carson booed when the decision was read and this fight will go down as yet another perplexing result in the sport. Tweets from the boxing world prove how controversial this decision was.
ESPN's Dan Rafael, former welterweight champion Zab Judah, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix and ESPN Boxing all chimed in:
Honestly, Vera deserves this. He came forward, threw and landed more often, and won more rounds. Even Chavez's face tells the story. #boxing— ESPN Boxing (@ESPNBoxing) September 29, 2013
96-96, 97-93 and 98-92.... for...... Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and the crowd which is mostly made up of his fans boos lustilty #boxing— Steve Kim (@stevemaxboxing) September 29, 2013
Judging is killing boxing— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) September 29, 2013
Here we go to the cards: 96-94, 97-93, 98-92 all for the winner, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 98-92? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? VOMIT TIME!!!— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) September 29, 2013
This was Bryan Vera's life. This could have meant life changing money to him. He's been mugged by incompetence or corruption. Terrible— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) September 29, 2013
Chavez Jr. did more damage with his shots, but the volume in which Vera landed his is hard to ignore, unless you're the three judges that scored the fight.
According to the HBO broadcast, Vera out-landed Chavez Jr. 176-125. Through the last three rounds, he was the fresher of the two and Chavez Jr's face showed wear and tear. Vera's face was unmarked.
Chavez Jr. had issues making weight for the fight, per Rafael, and throughout the night he looked somewhat disinterested. He abandoned his normal style to employ a hands-down, one-punch-at-time attack. A big KO was clearly his goal, but Vera's toughness and chin withstood the single hard punches he absorbed.
Who do you think won this fight?
Apparently, the judges were impressed enough by Chavez Jr's scattered moments of glory to award him the decision. He spent a good deal of the fight complaining about what he perceived to be low blows and head butts. At one point, referee Lou Moret could be heard shouting: "stop crying" at the 27-year-old former champion.
After the fight "the winner" told Jim Lampley through an interpreter that he was done fighting at 160 pounds. The super middleweight division and its 168-pound weight limit is far more attractive to him at this point in his career.
Based on what he showed on Saturday night, Chavez Jr. wouldn't have much of a chance against any of the champions at 168 pounds.
RING, WBC and WBA champ Andre Ward is entirely too quick and skilled. IBF champion Carl Froch is long, quick and punches too hard, and even WBO title holder Robert Stieglitz would severely outwork Chavez Jr.
If he is going to be a threat in the super middleweight division, he has to be more serious about his preparation and conditioning.
As for Vera, he deserved to win this fight, but his lack of head movement would put him in peril against the best fighters at 160 pounds. He's tough and game for any challenge, but WBA champion Gennady Golovkin and WBO king Peter Quillin would batter him into a TKO or lopsided decision.
Let the water cooler talk commence. Boxing has produced another smelly decision that will stick with us for the next few weeks.
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