Photo Credits: Ed Mulholland
CARSON, CA — Less than an hour ago, the “weight drama” concerning this Saturday’s HBO matchup between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Brian Vera ended with Chavez making the newly contracted weight 173-pound weight limit.
Vera, who stated earlier today that the fight would be off if Chavez came in over 180 pounds, weighed in at 171.2 pounds, the highest of his career. Chavez tipped the scales at 172.4 pounds.
Tomorrow’s matchup will air at 10:15 p.m. ET on HBO.
Prediction: Chavez is sporting that same empty, emaciated stomach that he had for the Martinez weigh-in. This fight still bothers me immensely. It’s not just Chavez’s absurdly unprofessional behavior. It’s the unnecessary physical risk being put on in this fight by a protected fighter who isn’t even a major draw in the U.S. (tickets are still available for this fight). Chavez will probably be in the mid-180s tomorrow and Vera, a career middleweight, has never fought someone that big.
BadCulture.net summed it up very well in an article earlier this week recalling how Joey Gamache got his career and nearly life ended when an athletic commission allowed a gross size disparity in the ring. I pray we don’t see that tomorrow, but I’m not fooled by the fact these guys are close in weight today; they’ll look at least two weight classes apart by tomorrow.
As for the actual fight, Vera is a tough, scrappy fighter who earns his trade by roughing guys up and wearing them out with workrate. It’ll be hard to do that with Chavez, who should be much stronger Saturday unless the weight issues and layoff have taken a bigger toll than anticipated. If Junior is close to what we’ve seen over his last two bouts, he should be overcome a slow start in the first 2-4 rounds to start pushing Vera back and breaking him down with mauling and body shots.
Vera can box in small spurts, but he’s not quick enough on his feet, like a Sergio Martinez, to keep away for any extended period. Junior will have some rough spots early, but his body punching will see him to a competitive unanimous decision. The circus will continue.