Chavez Jr. defeats Vera in robbery
Well tonight we didn’t see just one oddball score from a judge; we saw three of them with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KO’s) winning a controversial 10 round unanimous decision against a much smaller Brian Vera (23-7, 14 KO’s) on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
I’m not sure which fight the three judges were watching because I had Vera winning the fight by 4 rounds. The three judges had the fight scored 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92.
I’m still trying to figure out how two of the judges had Chavez Jr. winning 97-93 and 98-92. With the way that Chavez Jr. was getting outworked all fight long, I don’t see how he could have won all those rounds.
Vera did a good job of backing Chavez Jr. up in every round, and nailing him with combinations to the body and the head. Chavez Jr. was bothered by the body shots, and looked to the referee on more than one occasion to complain about what he felt were low blows. They weren’t low.
Vera was landing right on Chavez Jr’s belt line with perfectly placed shots. Those punches seemed to bother Chavez Jr. a lot more than the ones he was taking to the head. That’s not to say that he didn’t take punishment to the head, because Chavez Jr. definitely looked battered after the fight. Both of his eyes were swollen up, and he looked more like the loser than the winner of the fight.
Chavez Jr. did have his moments in the fight. He hurt Vera in the 7th and 8th rounds with big left hooks to the head. Chavez Jr. landed a high percentage of his punches, but the fact that he wasn’t throwing very many punches made it difficult to give him rounds.
Being so much bigger than Vera, when Chavez Jr. would land, it was like watching a cruiserweight hit a middleweight. Chavez Jr. was huge, and he looked giant next to Vera. I’m not sure what Chavez Jr’s weight was tonight, but he looked like a cruiserweight or a mini-heavyweight.
Other boxing results on the card:
Diego Magdaleno UD 10 Edgar Riovalle
Karim Mayfield KO 8 Christopher Fernandez
Matt Korobov UD 8 Grady Brewer
Daniel Sandoval UD 8 Richard Gutierrez
Gabino Saenz TKO 1 Dominic Coca
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. gets victory
Associated Press - espn.go.com
CARSON, Calif. -- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. won a unanimous decision over Bryan Vera on Saturday night in his return to the ring from a yearlong absence.
Chavez (47-1-1) overcame weight struggles and a lively challenge from the unsung Vera to get the decision on all three judges' scorecards, winning 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92.
"I definitely won seven or eight rounds of the fight," Chavez said. "I was very close to knocking him out like three times in the fight."
Not many ringside observers agreed: The crowd at StubHub Center, largely pro-Chavez during the fight, roundly booed the decision and Chavez as he left the ring. The Associated Press scored it 96-94 for Vera.
The win capped a tumultuous stretch for Chavez, who hadn't fought since Sept. 15, 2012, when he received his first career defeat in a thrilling decision against middleweight king Sergio Martinez.
After serving a nine-month drug suspension, Chavez missed the original 168-pound contract limit for his comeback bout with Vera. The notorious boxing scion struggled just to get to the new 173-pound limit for Friday's weigh-in.
Vera (23-7) and his camp were furious with the verdict, feeling he outpointed Chavez with superior activity and aggression in the 10-round bout. Vera landed 176 of his 734 punches -- throwing more than twice as many as Chavez, who landed 125 of 328 -- while also landing more power shots than Chavez, whose face was swollen and cut by the final bell.
"This is the best performance of my career," Vera said. "The weight was never an issue. The game plan was exactly what we did. I was never hurt during the fight."
Vera was the aggressor from the opening bell, chasing Chavez around the ring and throwing twice the volume of punches. Chavez, who wouldn't step on HBO's scale before the fight, consistently backed up against his smaller opponent.
But Chavez also landed his left hook consistently, setting up short right hands that turned Vera's head.
The sixth round was a corker, with both fighters trading big shots. Vera appeared to be winning the seventh round, cutting Chavez on the nose during a flurry against the ropes, but Chavez staggered him with a big left hook in the final seconds.
Chavez complained repeatedly about head butts and low blows by Vera, who finished the final round aggressively and thrust his arms skyward at the final bell.
No matter the decision, Chavez showed some rust and conditioning issues in his first bout since losing to Martinez. Chavez took a pounding in the first 11 rounds of that bout before staggering and nearly stopping Martinez in the 12th, possibly falling a few seconds shy of an upset victory.
But Chavez's career hit the rocks shortly after that impressive moment. He tested positive for marijuana use, receiving a nine-month suspension and a hefty fine, and he split with respected trainer Freddie Roach and strength coach Alex Ariza.
Chavez was ostensibly trained for this fight by his famous father, although the Hall of Famer watched the evening's opening bouts in a tuxedo while broadcasting for Mexican television's Azteca Deportes.
Chavez had hoped to return with another middleweight fight, but realized early in negotiations with Vera that he couldn't get down to 160 pounds any more. Chavez tried to make the super middleweight limit, but gave up several days ago -- and reportedly paid a hefty penalty to Vera on top of Vera's $275,000 purse.
Chavez, whose purse was $2.5 million, could afford it.
Vera is the son and brother of boxers from Austin, Texas. He competed on the reality show "The Contender" before upsetting Andy Lee in 2008, leading to a decent career as a second-tier opponent for numerous 160-pound contenders.
Vera revitalized his career in the past 18 months with victories in his last four bouts, including a surprise stoppage of Ukraine's Sergiy Dzinziruk in January
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Handed Disputed Decision Over Brian Vera
Written by Patrick Connor - queensberry-rules.com
Sometimes the more compelling match ups in boxing are accompanied by back stories, grudge matches and pre-fight shenanigans. It seems to be better for the long term (and even short term) health of the sport when the antics are innocuous or light hearted.
(Chavez Jr., left, after weighing in for his fight against Brian Vera; photo credit: Chris Farina/Top Rank)
But with approximately 98 percent of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Brian Vera pre-fight news rightly centered around Junior's trials and tribulations, weight-related and not, it makes one wonder exactly what we're looking at here. Is this serious pugilistic business, or some manner of half-cocked joke?
Signs pointed to the latter after Chavez was awarded a unanimous decision over Vera that few seemed to feel he clearly deserved.
In the split-site co-feature, Adonis Stevenson sauntered over Tavoris Cloud in what was supposed to have been a competitive fight.
Despite the usual cheerleading that seems to favor the "house" fighter, the HBO commentating crew spent a chunk of time discussing Chavez Jr.'s various sins and misdeeds, even going so far as to add him to an on-screen graphic that highlighted the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division. It wasn't clear whether or not the HBO graphic artist team meant to pull on Chavez' chain, or whether they truly expected him to compete in the light heavyweight division before too long, but it wound up a crystal ball of sorts. At the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., Chavez looked huge in the ring compared to Vera.
Most rounds were difficult to score, and most stuck to the pattern of Vera throwing about twice as much as Chavez, and the middleweight/light heavyweight/Ford F-150 scoring with the more damaging punches.
Every so often, a right hand would appear to stun Vera or a left hook would send an electric twitch to one of his feet, but by and large -- mostly large -- Chavez was taking mid-round rests and watching his output closely. In the meantime, his right eye was puffing up, his forehead was marking up, and his endurance was burning up. Chavez did indeed uncork a lead left hook that regularly caught Vera, but its effect wasn't obvious until Vera had taken a dozen or two of them.
Vera was expected to bring an awkward style to the table, and he did exactly that, preventing Chavez from picking up much momentum by moving in and out unpredictably, tripling up jabs before connecting with right hands and even roughing up the larger man at times. In the rounds that clearly belonged to Vera, Chavez spent about as much time complaining about fouls as he did punching.
Through round 6, most of the Twitter and Facebook scorecards had the fight somewhere in the realm of even, but Chavez seized initiative in round 7 by wobbling Vera with a left hook just before the bell. Vera closed a tad stronger, though, taking round 9 as Chavez did little more than vacation. As the fight came to a close in the 10th, it was again quantity vs. quality, and neither fighter took that skirmish without dispute.
A reasonable card of 96-94 were followed by increasingly farcical cards of 97-93 and 98-92, all for Chavez Jr.
It wasn't the first time in Chavez Jr.'s career that he's been let off the hook despite seemingly losing, or breaking the rules, and through all of it, his trademark impish grin has been stenciled onto his mug. It's as if he's in on the joke that most of us just suspect: no matter what Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. does, the check is in the mail. The punishment for infractions will be minimal, if it exists at all. Really the only thing to sort out, in terms of his career trajectory, is what weight he'll be fighting at -- for the time being.
A stereotypical "hard luck" kind of fighter, Brian Vera, 23-7 (14 KO), will soldier forth as though the world owes him nothing, even though it probably does. He's rarely the name fighter in the equation, thus close decisions are unlikely to go his way, and he doesn't have fight-ending power against most guys. He's a high risk, low reward type of guy. Here's hoping he's thrown a television date and payday for his effort.
In the opening bout of the telecast, Adonis Stevenson improved to 22-1 (19 KO) while defending the light heavyweight title, surprising many by thoroughly outboxing Tavoris Cloud at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Not only were Cloud's moments few, but it was difficult to clearly give him a round. That and cuts over both eyes, courtesy of Stevenson's overhand lefts, had Cloud's trainer Al Bonanni thinking twice about letting his fighter answer the bell for round 8.
Having put six months of deep thought and training between his loss to Bernard Hopkins and now, former IBF titlist Cloud, now 24-2 (19 KO), had little to offer against Stevenson. The consensus expectation was that exchanges would be plentiful, as Adonis Stevenson is a power puncher and Cloud is a swarming bruiser, but it was not the case. Rather, Stevenson used better, lighter feet to maneuver around Cloud with ease, while Cloud simply couldn't plant his roots to shake loose the solid punches necessary to freeze Stevenson.
It was a simple strategy for Stevenson, and he implemented it perfectly: jab, left hand, uppercuts and body shots inside, taunt when action resets. Tavoris Cloud just had no answer, aside from occasional snarling and grunting that accompanied the odd retaliatory bomb. In the opening round, Cloud's left eye was scraped up by a punch and he never seemed to move on from that moment. When Stevenson opened up, Cloud threw up his high guard and retreated, and Cloud's offensive spurts were nullified by the champion's higher quality stuff.
HBO's punch stats had Cloud landing a mere 36 punches in the bout, and throwing one third of Stevenson's output. Without a doubt, Stevenson's craftier style had Cloud hesitating, but the latter's lack of offense gave him almost no chance to win at all.
At 36, one wonders how much farther Stevenson can go in boxing despite not having many miles on the odometer, and the division has enough match ups for him to pounce on. As he didn't take much punishment, a quick return to the ring would be ideal if considering his age. Perhaps Sergey Kovalev type could force him to stand in there more.
As for Cloud, he's still somewhat young at 31, but two losses in a row coupled with a career full of hiatuses should be worrying. A dismantling at the hands of a fighter like Bernard Hopkins is one thing, but getting completely undressed by Adonis Stevenson should be something of a wake up call. If he's wading in with heavy feet, little head movement and not-so-fast hands, he needs an extra dimension that he hasn't yet shown.
More judging controversy as Chavez Jr 'beats' Vera
Boxing is facing a fresh judging scandal after Julio Cesar Chavez Jr defeated Bryan Vera by a unanimous decision in Los Angeles.
by Sean Fay | Eurosport
The popular Mexican had the bulk of the arena supporting him but that same crowd were booing by the end when the scorecards were read out.
Eurosport - Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., left, and Bryan Vera butt heads in the second round of a 10-round boxing match (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Most ringside observers had Vera winning the fight but judges Gwen Adair (98-92), Carla Caiz (97-93) and Dr. Lou Moret (96-94) unanimously called the fight in favour of Chavez.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Dan Rafael of ESPN and former judge turned HBO analyst Steve Weisfeld all scored the fight 96-94 in favour of the Vera.
The Compubox punch stats showed that Vera landed with 176 of his 734 punches while Chavez landed 125 punches from just 328 thrown.
The fight comes in the wake of recent judging scandals involving Floyd Mayweather and Ricky Burns.
Mayweather was denied a unanimous decision against Canelo Alvarez two weeks ago when judge CJ Ross somehow saw his one-sided victory as a draw. Ross stepped down in the wake of the storm that followed.
Also earlier this month, Ricky Burns kept his WBO world lightweight title in Glasgow after a hugely controversial draw against Mexico’s Raymundo Beltran that was seen by most as a 'hometown decision.'
Vera's promoter Artie Pelullo was disgusted with the scorecards in LA: "The one judge had it 98-92, which basically means that Bryan Vera wasn't even in the fight and they didn't give him credit for a thing he did," he is quoted as saying by Yahoo! Sports.
"They gave him no credit for the quality of the fight that he had. It's like he didn't exist. It's unbelievable. I told the commissioner Andy Foster, of the California State Athletic Commission, 'A judge in Nevada lost her job for doing this kind of thing.' 98-92? 97-93? What are you watching?
"You know me and I don't get crazy, but that was a travesty. He won that fight. If he lost the fight by one point, OK. I don't agree, but OK. But he didn't lose the fight by one point. According to them, he wasn't even in the fight."
Chavez who weighed in at 172.4 pounds but entered the ring closer to 190, shrugged off the criticism.
"I was very close to knocking him out three times in the fight," he said.
"One of the rounds, he was really hurt and it should have been a 10-8 round."
Chavez's legendary father, who was training his son for the first time, also scoffed at Vera's performance.
"I know about boxing and have been in this sport all of my life," Chavez Sr said. "Who connected the best punches? When Bryan Vera did anything against Julio, it was because he was hitting him low and using his head. That's all he did."
Vera for his part said he did everything he could: "This was the best performance of my life. The weight was never an issue. The gameplan was exactly what we did. I had to take some of the macho-ness out and I was never hurt during the fight."
Chavez Jr. tops Vera in unpopular unanimous decision
CARSON, Calif. -- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. returned to the ring Saturday after a one-year absence from the sport.
But it was jeers, not cheers heard by the son of the legendary Mexican fighter after he won a controversial 10-round unanimous decision against tough, unheralded Bryan Vera at the StubHub Center.
While Chavez believed he won the fight, and the three ringside judges agreed, the crowd of 5,206, pro-Chavez when the fight started, let him have it with a thunderous chorus of boos when the decision was announced.
Judge Gwen Adair scored it 98-92, Carla Caiz had it 96-94 and Marty Denkin 97-93 all for Chavez in the super middleweight fight that was contested at a controversial catch weight of 173 pounds.
Vera's trainer, Ronnie Shields, was furious with the judges' scorecards.
"Every one of these judges needs to retire," said Shields. "It wasn't an easy fight for Bryan, but come on, Bryan won at least seven or eight rounds."
Chavez saw it differently.
"I definitely won seven or eight rounds of the fight," Chavez said. "I was very close to knocking him out like three times in the fight. I was working with my left hand because my right hand starting hurting. I think it wasn't a good night because people expected the knockout. I think it was a good fight."
A knockout would have occurred, Chavez believed, if not for what he called a broken right hand he suffered in the third round. Though he's yet to have medical tests to determine the severity of the injury, the hand was clearly swollen and bruised.
Weight and judging aside, Chavez, 27, if not very impressive, was able to shake some rust off and likely will garner a big fight in the near future based mostly on his star power.
He executed his game plan by using his superior size to set up power shots to the head and punishing body punches with great accuracy. His famous father was in his corner for the first time, but remained fairly quiet throughout the fight.
It was Vera, though, who had everyone cheering in his favor by the end of the night.
"This was the best performance of my career," said the disappointed Texan. "The weight was never an issue. The game plan was exactly what we did. . . . I was never hurt during the fight."
Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) controlled the pace and was the aggressor throughout. He threw punches in combination, kept his feet moving against the much larger opponent and made Chavez miss often.
When Chavez (47-1-1, 32 KOs) did get in punching range, he made Vera pay with crushing left hooks, though Vera seemed to take the shots in stride.
The Mexican fighter's power was clear throughout the contest, but Vera showed an excellent chin.
Vera, 31, stalked Chavez over the early rounds and appeared to win frames purely on activity. Chavez remained flat-footed and seemed to be searching for one fight-ending shot that never materialized.
Vera, the former star of the boxing reality show The Contender, set a feverish pace, likely with the plan that Chavez would tire quickly after his weight troubles. It seemed to be effective early. In the third round, Vera peppered Chavez with shots while on the move, and Chavez was stationary, with mouth open from exhaustion. Chavez's right eye began to swell and his left eye followed suit the next round.
Chavez threw one punch at a time, but that punch – the left hook – was quite effective. He also snuck in thudding shots to the ribs and to the head. But Vera kept marching forward, throwing combinations and dictating the pace.
Chavez complained to referee Lou Moret every chance he had over what he said were low blows, pushing his head down and rabbit punches.
But Chavez's power shots began to find their target with increasing accuracy.
Chavez rocked Vera in the waning moments of Round 7. He caught Vera with a big winding left hook and then jumped on his opponent with a follow-up attack, but the round ended just in time for Vera.
Down the stretch of the slugfest, Vera continued to exchange with Chavez in close quarters. Vera landed some eye-catching shots, but never seemed to hurt Chavez.
Vera more than doubled Chavez's output, according to CompuBox, with 734 punches thrown to 328 for Chavez. But Vera connected on only 24% of those shots, while Chavez landed 125 punches at a 38% clip.
But the more telling stat was in power punches, where Vera let loose with 343 to 186 for Chavez. Vera landed 109 of those shots (32%); Chavez connected on 98 (53%). Chavez's accuracy and clean punching likely won him many rounds on the cards.
It was in essence a comeback bout for Chavez on the heels of a nine-month suspension for marijuana use. The lengthy ban came in the wake of a positive test for the substance after perhaps the greatest moment of his career – a loss to middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. It was a wide-points defeat, but Chavez dropped Martinez in the final round and was inches away from the dramatic rally knockout.
Following the controversy of the suspension, Chavez found himself again in the middle of turmoil. The fight against Vera was seriously discussed to take place during the summer at 163 pounds. Then the bout was slated for Sept. 7 at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds. Chavez suffered a cut over his eye – the severity of the gash has been questioned – that caused the bout to be postponed until Saturday
But amid rumors that Chavez was having major problems cutting weight, a mid-week agreement was negotiated to move the contract weigh limit to 173 pounds. The bout was also changed from 12 rounds to 10. At Friday's weigh-in, Chavez weighed 172.4; Vera came in at 171.2.
Vera, a career junior middleweight and middleweight, received a six-figure settlement for his troubles, but faced a stark reality: He would likely be outweighed by a wide margin come fight night. But it was never revelaed how big the weight disparity truly was. Chavez refused to step on the unofficial HBO scales on fight night, as is customary. To the naked eye, though, Chavez seemed to be fighting a man at least two weight classes smaller.
In light of the weight problems, will Chavez return to super middleweight for his next bout, or is a permanent move to light heavyweight in the cards?
"Going forward, we have to really re-examine a different way of training, a different way of dieting, a longer camp and decide if he can get to '68 or below again," Chavez's manager Billy Keane told USA TODAY Sports at the weigh-in. "He struggles with the weight. He's enormous. To get down to the weight he gets to, you see how sunken in and drawn he is, he's clearly not someone who didn't make an attempt. He's someone who struggled and lost a lot of weight."
On the undercard, Jose Ramirez, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, went the four-round distance with Daniel Calzada and prevailed by unanimous decision: 40-36, 40-36 and 40-36. The 21-year-old junior welterweight was the aggressor throughout the bout and landed some stinging punches, but couldn't put Calzada on the canvas. Ramirez improved his record to 6-0 with 4 KOs, while Calzada dropped to 8-9-2 with 2 KOs.
In his debut under the Top Rank promotional banner, Karim Mayfield scored an eighth-round knockout of journeyman Christopher Fernandez. Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOs) dropped Fernandez (21-16-1, 13 KOs) twice in Round 4, then finished him with a left hook to the body at 2:59 of Round 8. With the victory, the 32-year-old is in line for a shot against WBA junior welterweight titleholder Khabib Allakhverdiev this fall, according to a source close to the fighter.
Stevenson retains title: In Montreal earlier Saturday, Adonis Stevenson retained his WBC light heavyweight title, outclassing challenger Tavoris Cloud at the Bell Centre and handing the former champion his third consecutive defeat.
Cloud took a beating, having been cut and bleeding heavily over both eyes when the fight was stopped at the end of the seventh round.
Stevenson (22-1, 19 KOs) continued an impressive run, winning by stoppage for the ninth fight in a row, and followed up his first-round knockout of then champion Chad Dawson in June. The southpaw Stevenson outlanded Cloud, 108 punches to 36.
"I boxed, connected, used my jab and movement," Stevenson said. "My trainer did a very good job. I beat two great champions in light heavyweight."
Asked if he was ready to fight undefeated WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev next, Stevenson said, "I got my mandatory now. Sergey needs to fight a couple champions first. I'll let my promoter fix that."