By Marc Livitz: Just a few days have passed since Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. was declared the unanimous decision winner over Brian Vera. The bout which took place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California was very much a case of disbelief throughout the evening and the days prior to it. There was shock (without the awe) over Chavez’s weight issues, which many attributed to laziness and sheer lack of motivation.
Furthermore, there were weight issues in regard to the contracted poundage limit for the fight itself. It went from the low 160’s to the high 160’s and eventually all the way to 173 pounds, all of which were conditions crafted just for Julio. Vera (23-7, 14 KO’s) of Austin, TX. has fought in and around the middleweight division for the majority of his career and once the bell rang, his opponent with the famous last name from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico appeared as if he was now campaigning as a cruiserweight. This disbelief wasn’t a jolting shock for just about anyone who has even casually followed the habits of Chavez, Jr. The biggest letdown was saved for the end of the contest. The lone concession of shortening the non-title bout to ten rounds would ultimately not mean a thing for Brian.
Although the central Texas fighter outlanded Chavez (per CompuBox statistics) in punches for eight of the ten rounds and at a very high ratio, the three ringside judges still awarded Julio a clean sweep victory. The need for a knockout for Vera would likely have been the only way to guarantee a win, regardless of the performance and effort he would exhibit. Brian was active seemingly throughout the contest, while Chavez, Jr. was often slow and plodding. Effective judging seemed to give way to only one as opposed to several criteria in scoring a fight.
The disbelief was finally too much for the highly pro-Chavez crowd in attendance last Saturday evening. The vast majority loudly booed the visually poor outing by Julio and the victory they felt was awarded to the wrong person simply because his opponent didn’t carry the same last name. Vera’s trainer, the great Ronnie Shields as well as the Austin fighter’s camp, loudly cried foul. They called the decision a robbery. Brian, Ronnie and their management team agreed and he kindly spoke to the media this afternoon by way of a quickly announced telephone conference session. Highlights listed below.
Brian Vera on the Decision: "We were happy with the way things were going, so we were infuriated with the results. I feel sick to my stomach and you heard the crowd. We all felt the same way. I was disgusted and so, I just hope we can do it again."
Ronnie Shields’s Thoughts on the Same: "I had my suspicions, but I told Brian that no matter the decision, he won the fight. In my mind, I kept telling myself that I had been through this before with other fights. To give Julio, Jr. a unanimous decision was ludicrous".
Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions: "I never thought the scores would be so bizarre and erroneous. Even Bob Arum says that Gwen Adair & Marty Denkin were both off. We’re going for a rematch. Of sixty reporters polled, 56 saw Brian win and only 4 saw it a draw. No one gave it to Chavez. The only thing to do now is to have a rematch in Brian’s home state of Texas. The judges were supposed to see who is winning the fight, not who is supposed to be winning the right. They had preconceived ideas before the fight ever took place. The officials are not held accountable for their decisions and their commissions stand by them. I’m a promoter and if I make a mistake, then I’m held accountable. The officials are not held accountable to anyone. In Nevada, (Executive Director, Nevada State Athletic Commission) Keith Kizer got on trouble with his Governor because he stood blindly by the judge from the Mayweather versus Canelo fight who scored the bout a draw."
Vera on the Possibility of a Rematch: "I am not going to stop boxing or give it up because of what happened. We have to make sure that the contract is right and that there are real penalties in it if he (Chavez) does the same kind of things, not just the stuff that he can afford. I just have to go back to work."