This Saturday, boxing fans, who probably took last week off to recover from #TheOne PPV, get a chance to get back into the groove of things with the return to the ring of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. He will be returning to the squared circle to face off against Brian Vera in the Super Middleweight division, however, the weight limit has been changed to 173. The Top Rank promotional bout will be taking place in the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California and is presented by HBO. Unfortunately for boxing, sometimes the backstory to fights are more interesting than the fight itself, which could be the case for this one.
The story of Chavez Jr. father is already known, I want to speak more of Chavez Jr. himself. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. comes into this bout with a record of 46-1-1 with 32 KOs, with his only 2 blemishes coming against a young Carlos Molina, almost 9 years ago in a draw, and his last fight, over a year ago, against Sergio Martinez in a loss. The 27 year old has started to really step up his level of competition slowly over his last 5 fights, before that, it was a list of young guys and nobodies at the time of the fight. Chavez Jr. is coming off a long layoff, mostly due to testing positive for marijuana after his against Martinez. The suspension was for 9 months and he was fined 900k (reduced to 100k), which was 30% of his $3 million purse that night.
Chavez Jr. has good power, but he’s still a very average, raw boxer. He has been known as a guy who rehydrates around 20 pounds before anyone of his middleweight fights at 160. Recently pictures have surfaced of him in the ring and in a tub looking clearly over 200 lbs, so there was already doubters on whether he could get down to 168. Now, that has been proven with the weight adjustment going to 173, and it’s probably still a question on whether he makes that. Most people will say that Chavez Jr. is lazy and doesn’t respect the sport because the rules seem to be different for him. Now, with the changing of the weight limit from 168 to 173, it maybe proving that statement true.
Brian Vera will step into the ring with a 23-6 with 14 KOs record. The 31 year old, native Texan, had his 4 biggest fights against James Kirkland, in which he was stopped in the 8th, a 3rd round TKO against Canadian, Sebastian Demers, in Canada, a good fight against Sergio Mora, that he got the split decision, but could’ve gone either way, and then a loss against Andy Lee, in which he didn’t put up too much of a fight. Since the Lee fight, he has won 4 in a row and hopes to pull off the upset against the young Mexican in his 1st fight moving up to 168, a class that Vera has fought most of his career at. A win here would push his name clearly back into the top 10 super middleweights in the world.
This fight has a chance to be very good or very bad. Will we see a Chavez that’s hungrier to be at top of the boxing world than for a meal? Will Vera be able to use his experience at this weight class to his advantage against the younger and stronger Chavez Jr.? Sadly, the fight could also be a dud and it ends up being more interesting to see what weight Jr. comes in on fight night, rather than the fight at all. Either way, it should be interesting enough to tune in and see what’s next for the Prince of the Royal Family of boxing, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Enjoy the fight.