SAN DIEGO, March 2, 2014 – Julio Caesar Chavez Junior reminded boxing fans what he has to offer on San Antonio on Saturday, going 12 hard rounds for a unanimous decision victory in over a Texas tough Brian Vera.
Chevez Jr. proved when he puts in the effort, he’s got all the tools to be a formidable and entertaining fighter. His size, strength and ability to take a punch allow him to stand in with anyone and take his best, as he did with Vera. No one can doubt Vera’s heart, but he simply didn’t have enough power to hurt Chavez.
Chavez landed an impressive 62 percent of his power shots compared to just 23 percent for Vera. Still, Vera took those power shots and stayed tough with Chavez right to the end of the fight. Vera would have benefitted from more body work, but he must have been concerned it would leave him open to taking a shot he couldn’t handle from Chavez to the head.
Unlike their first fight, there was no doubt about the outcome of this one. Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KO) was far more active and far more powerful than Vera (23-8, 14 KO).. Chavez landed 256 punches out of 526 thrown, 50 more than in his first fight with Vera. Vera landed 205 punches of 961 punches thrown. Two judges’ scorecards had it 117-110 for Junior; the third was 114-113. Vera had a point taken away by referee Rafael Ramos for hitting Chavez on the back of the head with his arm.
It was precisely the kind of fan friendly fight Chavez Jr. needed to win back the supporters who had given up on him after a series of lackluster efforts since his near upset of Sergio Martinez. It won’t be a half empty arena next time as it was in front of 7,300 fans at the Alamodome.
Chavez Jr. told HBO’s Max Kellerman in the ring after the fight, “This time I prepared to win round by round and make the weight … I gave a better fight, this is a better version of myself, but I will give more for the people.”
Chavez Jr. said if Sergio Martinez beats Miguel Cotto in their June bout, he should fight Martinez in a rematch. But when Kellerman suggested he fight middleweight knockout artist Gennady Golovkin, Chavez Jr. said, “I like the fight, because Gennady Golovkin is a strong fighter, undefeated, one of the best in the middleweight division. I’d love to fight Gennady Golovkin next.”
As a result of this unfortunate situation, the timing may work out better than imagined. Chavez Jr.’s ability to take a punch would be sorely tested by Triple G, and he hits harder than anyone Golovkin has faced to date. Golovkin fights at middleweight, 160 pounds. He would have to come up to 168 pounds at least for Chavez Jr. Stay tuned.
Vera couldn’t be any tougher. One side of his trunks Saturday read “Texas Proud,” the other side read “Warrior.” He lived up to both. He said his parents raised him in Texas to be a tough kid, but said “I need to be a smarter fighter to get to where I need to get.”
Two-time Ukranian Olympic Gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko hoped to become the first boxer to win a title belt in just his second professional fight against Mexican veteran Orlando Salido.
But sometimes the fighters don’t follow the script. Salido (41-12-2, 28 KOs) won a narrow split decision as the more active fighter overall, throwing more punches including five times the number of body shots as Lomachenko (1-1, 1 KO). Lomachenko came back with a last ditch effort in the final round, rocking Salido but he could not finish him off.
Salido failed to make weight and came in heavier than Lomachenko. Throughout Friday’s fight, he threw low blows and referee Laurence Cole failed to control the situation.
Nevertheless, Lomachenko didn’t place the blame for his loss on anyone but himself. “I did my best, I really tried. It didn’t work out … I am a fighter, my job is to fight. When asked by HBO’s Max Kellerman why he didn’t start throwing low blows in retaliation, Lomachenko said “I don’t like dirty fighters. I’m a straight fighter, I’m clean. That’s why I didn’t want to hit him below the belt. “ As for the weight difference, Lomachenko smiled and shrugged, saying “I didn’t think of it. I believed I could beat him even if he was bigger.”
Salido said of his victory, “He’s a true champion, he’s a true fighter. He’s a two time Olympic medalist.” Salido gave up his WBO title belt due to his failure to make weight. “I spent 12 years at 126, I could no longer do it,” said the veteran fighter.
Credit Lomachenko for not whining about the hand he was dealt. He will learn from this experience, and it won’t hurt his long-term prospects. The Lomachenko team gambled and lost, but Lomachenko showed he belonged on the professional stage.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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