Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was in better shape physically for the rematch with Bryan Vera on Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Tex. Chavez left little doubt about the outcome, winning decisively on two of the final scorecards.
Per HBO Boxing, here’s how the official judges scored the bout:
Official scores: 114-113, 117-110 in favor of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, winner by unanimous decision #ChavezVera— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) March 2, 2014
In the first fight, Vera was robbed of a victory and Chavez escaped with a controversial unanimous decision.
This time, Chavez actually deserved to win the fight, though not by a big margin.
Vera was game, but Chavez landed the more telling blows throughout the fight. Vera also had a point deducted in the eighth round. On my card, that point deduction was the difference in the fight. I had it 114-113 for Chavez.
In the 12th and final round, Chavez chose to dance and taunt rather than finish strong. It drew boos from the crowd and tightened the scorecard. He seemed to give the round to Vera.
The fight featured fouling from both men, though Vera was the only one officially docked a point for his actions. As ESPN’s Desmond Howard points out, Chavez got away with low blows late in the bout:
Two low blows by Chavez Jr in round 11 amounted to nothing but two warnings.— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) March 2, 2014
Vera fought hard the entire fight and only appeared to be hurt once. In the 11th round, Chavez caught him with a thunderous right hand with just under a minute left in the round.
Vera survived, but that punch is what gave Chavez the confidence to coast in the final round. Vera’s biggest issue was his lack of punching power as Steve Kim of Max Boxing points out:
The problem for Vera is that he doesn't have an eraser and the one thing Chavez inherited from his pops is that cast-iron chin #boxing— Steve Kim (@stevemaxboxing) March 2, 2014
Chavez's resiliency to the plethora of punches that were thrown was the key to the fight. Here’s the final punch stats from HBO Boxing:
Final stats from #ChavezVera: Chavez - 256/526, Vera - 205/961— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) March 2, 2014
From here, Chavez seems free to pursue bigger names for a larger payday. Quite honestly, he will find the going tough if he faces an elite super middleweight. He throws one punch at a time and lacks the foot and hand speed to consistently get to agile fighters.
At the end of the fight, Chavez called out a man it seems he has no chance to defeat, Gennady Golovkin. Per HBO Boxing, Chavez told HBO’s Max Kellerman:
Golovkin’s skill level, punching power and defense are superior to Chavez's.
The latter does have a granite chin, but that will only allow him to absorb punishment. It won’t mean that he’ll actually defeat Golovkin, or any other elite fighter in his weight region.
Vera has made a nice reputation for himself and some money along the way. He should get another shot against a fairly big name. But unless they are as slow and plodding as Chavez, he probably won’t have as much success.
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