Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defeated Bryan Vera by unanimous decision in a 10-round light heavyweight fight Saturday in Carson, Calif.
The fight was difficult to score, as Vera clearly outworked his bigger opponent but Chavez landed the harder, more-eye-catching punches. The scores were 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92.
The drama began before the fight, as Chavez failed to make the original 168-pound limit and ultimately weighed in at 172.4. Vera, who agreed to adjust the limit in exchange for cash, weighed 171.2.
In the ring, Chavez (47-1-1, 32 knockouts) looked like the bigger man and punched like it. He landed about half as many punches as Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) but did much more damage. Vera was rocked several times, although he never left his feet.
Still, Vera took the fight to Chavez from the beginning, throwing – and landing – combinations with regularity. They did no damage but they scored points, at least in theory. He worked his butt off.
The fight seemed to be close, leaving the outcome in doubt before the decision was announced. When it was, many observers obviously had the same feeling they had when C.J. Ross scored the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez a draw.
Veteran judge Gwen Adair was the one who scored it 98-92, meaning she gave eight of the 10 rounds to Chavez. Marty Denkin, another veteran, had it 97-93. And Carla Caiz scored it 96-94.
In the post-fight interview, Chavez said he broke his right hand in the middle of the fight and also complained of head butts and low blows from Vera. Vera said he thought he had won the fight.
A full report will follow shortly.
Photo by Chris Farina-Top Rank