Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Bryan Vera rematch heats up
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vows to have "no weight problem" in advance of his 168-pound rematch with Bryan Vera, who promises "to beat Chavez decisively" on March 1 at the Alamodome in San Antonio in Vera's home state of Texas.
"People are going to see I have the fire and hunger back," said Chavez. "I have been training for five months and my weight is perfect."
Vera lost a controversial 10-round unanimous decision to Chavez in California in September at a 173-pound catchweight because Chavez was not able to make the originally contracted weight.
"I plan to beat Chavez decisively this time… we have a new plan of attack — more movement, that kind of stuff. It's going to be a lot different this time," said Vera, who is handled by Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions. "I have fans from all parts of Texas plus former fans of Chávez who are now on my side because of what happened in our first fight."
In a poll of 59 media members, 53 scored the bout in favor of Vera, with the remaining six calling it a draw. In its round-by-round, RingTV.com scored the fight for Vera, 97-93.
"I thought I won the first fight," said Vera. "My trainer, Ronnie Shields thought so too, and that got everyone in my corner excited."
But Chavez was awarded the decision by scores of 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92 by Carla Caiz, Marty Denkin and Gwen Adair, respectively.
"When I heard a 98-92 score my heart told me I would not get my hand raised," said Vera. "I was in sudden shock."
According to CompuBox, Vera had a 176-125 advantage in overall punches landed, as well as winning 109-98 in power shots compared to Chavez.
"He is a big guy and is hard to hurt. In our first fight I thought the crowd over-reacted when he landed a few punches," said Vera. "He ran around a lot, not fighting like he did against Andy Lee. Chavez caught me with a couple of big shots, but I wasn't buzzed that much. I expected much more from him."
Chavez has been out of the ring for a year before facing Vera, having fallen by unanimous decision to Ring and WBC 160-pound champion Sergio Martinez in September of 2012.
"The last time we fought, I was coming off a hurtful loss and was out of the ring for over a year," said Chavez. "While training to fight Vera, I made a call to [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum saying I was having a weight problem and needed help. In that fight, I was maybe 40 or 50 percent of myself and deep inside I knew it would be a difficult fight."
Chavez saw their fight differently than did Vera.
"I controlled the first fight and connected on more punches. The thing is that Vera actually thought he won the first fight which will make this fight even better," said Chavez, who will be fined $250,000 of his purse if he fails to make weight against Vera this time. "He wants to win, but I have more hunger and no weight problem. I am more motivated. This fight will do away any doubt who is the better fighter."
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lomachenko fought his pro debut in October and scored two body-shot knockdowns during a fourth-round stoppage of Jose Luis Ramirez in a scheduled 10-rounder.
Lomachenko hopes to dethrone Salido, a 33-year-old veteran who won the vacant belt by seventh-round knockout of Orlando Cruz on the same card as Lomachenko-Ramirez.