By John Walker
In a surprising scorecard, Julio Cesar Chavev Jr. upset the determined Brian Vera tonight as many of the fans booed the decision at the StubHub Centers in Carson, California.
Former middleweight champ Chavev Jr. had failed to make weight, and both men settled at a catchweight of 173 pounds, forcing the smaller Vera to try to beef up to compete with Chavez’s power.
For almost the entire fight, the pattern of Chavez’s power versus Vera’s activity asserted itself. Vera managed to redden Chavez’s eyes by round two, even as some of his heavier shots took some steam out of Marquez. Vera rocked Chavez with a right uppercut in round three; Chavez crunched Vera with a hard left hand in round four. And on it went.
Both men were already tiring by round eight, when Vera launched a long right in round nine that rocked Chavez, whose right eye was damaged, but who fired back with a big right.
Though both men had their moments, Vera seemed to be gaining momentum as the bout entered its final stages. Chavez Jr., with his power advantage, just couldn’t close the show.
The audience thus gasped at the scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92 for Cesar Jr. Only the most ardent of the winner’s fans seemed happy.
Chavez (47-1-1, 32 KOs) was upset after the fight: ” I fractured my hand in the fight round. He fought dirty–20 headbutts–but the referee didn’t do anything,” he told Max Kellerman.
As for Vera (23-7, 14 KOs): “I thought I did enough to win. He never really hurt me. I outworked him — won the fight. I hope he gets down to the right weight and to fight him the right away,” Vera said, taking a shot at Chavez Jr.’s lack of dedication to fitness.
In Montreal, at the Bell Centre, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (22-1, 19 KOs) cruised against former IBF king Tavoris Cloud (24-2, 19KOs) over eight rounds to retain the WBC light heavyweight championship. Known for his power and spectacular knockouts, Stevenson showed that he could also box. He moved up and down the ladder, utilized slick footwork, and plain out-boxed Cloud.
Finally, Stevenson’s work-rate wore down Cloud, who was hurt after absorbing some huge left hands. After “Superman” landed some withering combinations and thudding body punches, Cloud’s corner stopped the fight, their fighter cut over both eyes, and Stevenson reclaimed his WBC light-heavyweight championship.
Stevenson may now look toward a fight with Andre “Son of God” Ward.