When Brian Vera and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. first met last fall, their bout was full of controversy before, during, and after. The judges at ringside scored the bout for Chavez Jr. with virtually nobody else concurring with that opinion. When they met this past Saturday night, there was no controversy as Chavez Jr. left no doubt whatsoever that he was the true victor this time around.
Chavez Jr. won a dominant unanimous decision despite one judge scoring the bout 114-113 in his favor.
Chavez Jr.’s training for this bout was without incident and his weight wasn’t an issue, unlike the first bout with Vera, but the biggest difference between the Chavez Jr. that won Saturday night and the one that may or may not have won last fall was his punch output.
When he first boxed Vera, Chavez Jr. was literally throwing one punch at a time for the entire bout, not ever throwing or landing a visible combination. The exact opposite occurred on Saturday with Chavez Jr. outworking Vera for the majority of the bout and specifically landing his left hook and different variations of his right throughout.
Chavez Jr.’s left hook has been his best punch for his entire career. Saturday night, Chavez Jr. used it primarily on Vera’s body while his right and right cross punches landed often to Vera’s face. These two punches in particular provided Chavez Jr. with the necessary effective strikes to win rounds that were otherwise close ones.
The biggest similarity between the two Chavez Jr./Vera bouts was that there were plenty of close rounds with Chavez Jr. landing effective punches and Vera throwing everything he had. The reason I ended up scoring these rounds for Chavez Jr. in this bout and Vera in the first bout was because Vera was not only landing punches, but outworking Chavez Jr. by a much wider margin than on Saturday. If the difference in landed punches is large enough, I believe it can overtake more effective punches as far as scoring a round.
Vera was deducted a point in round eight for pushing down on Chavez Jr.’s head. This by itself was not worth a point deduction. My only guess is that it was more due to referee Rafael Ramos’ multiple warnings to Vera up until the round for his head hitting Chavez Jr. in the eye (two warnings for that) and Vera’s shoulder making too much contact with Chavez Jr.’s face.
While Chavez Jr. was in terrific form on Saturday, his cocky side was just as visible.
In round five after Vera landed, Chavez Jr. feigned being in pain. This was the first bit of mind games from Chavez Jr. in the bout. This cocky demeanor and body language returned in round eight, and then crested in the final minutes of the bout. During round 12, Chavez Jr. began to channel Ray Leonard‘s cockiness in every way, almost like a remake of Leonard’s mind games during his 1980 rematch with Roberto Duran.
All of that aside, Chavez Jr. was tremendous in this bout.
He was everything he wasn’t in the first bout against Vera and it added up to a victory he earned, deserved, and can be very proud of. Also, this was a rare bout in Chavez Jr.’s career that received great attention in the boxing world and resulted in Chavez Jr. appearing focused all the way from the bout being announced to its conclusion. That is a big step in Chavez Jr.’s career even if it wasn’t visible to Chavez Jr., his camp, those watching, or anyone else.
Chavez Jr. 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 10 10 9 118
Vera 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 10 9 9 10 110
Salido edges Lomachenko with controversial split decision win
All of the controversy that didn’t come with Chavez Jr./Vera II seemed to be packed into Orlando Salido‘s split decision win over newcomer Vasyl Lomachenko. The controversy began the day before at the weigh-in when Salido came in overweight, didn’t attempt to drop the necessary weight and was then stripped of his WBO featherweight title. The controversy would continue into the bout and after it with the refereeing job of Laurence Cole and then the judge’s scoring of the bout.
Because Salido was stripped of the title due to not making weight, Lomachenko could have still won the title had he won the bout. Because Salido won the decision, the title is now vacant. But don’t be surprised if Salido’s next bout is a decision bout for the title he didn’t lose in the ring.
Both men chose differing spots to focus their punches on through the first ten rounds of the bout; Salido focused on the body while Lomachenko focused on the head.
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