LONDON (Feb. 27) – Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is hoping to give fights fans something to remember as he takes on Texan Bryan Vera in a bout he hopes will go down as ‘Fight of the Year’.
The former WBC middleweight world champion faces Vera in a rematch at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas this weekend following a meeting last September in which Chavez Jr won a highly contentious points decision over 10 rounds.
Many observers that night felt the underdog Vera had won the fight, or at the very least had done more than the judges’ scorecards suggested, as he put on a gallant display in front of a pro-Chavez Jr crowd.
The bout last year was riddled with controversy even before both men entered the ring with the son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez unable to make the initially agreed super-middleweight limit of 168 pounds, instead renegotiating a new limit of 173 pounds.
Now, though, Chavez Jr insists he has had a great camp, welcoming his first born along the way, and is ready to put on a special performance for the fans.
“Vera has not seen the best Julio,” said Chavez Jr. “I had my best training camp since I fought Andy Lee. I am ready to fight. Having my little daughter Julia with me gives me extra motivation. Vera earned his second opportunity because of the way he fought in our first fight. He is a true warrior,” he said.
“I have had much success in Texas, especially in San Antonio and am looking to give the fans something they can remember – hopefully the ‘Fight of the Year’,” he declared.
The 28-year-old has refused to underestimate Vera this time around and is confident his improved conditioning for this fight will make him a much more dangerous foe.
“I have been training for four months for this fight because I need to be at my best to win this fight and win it in an impressive fashion. I must eliminate all doubts about the outcome. I know that I will be much better than the first fight,” he said.
“I believe that Bryan Vera will come very confident after what happened in our first fight which will make this fight much better than the first one and one that the fans will remember for a long time. I owe the fans a great performance and that is what they will get,” Chavez Jr said.
“I will make the 168 pound limit with no problem and I will be able to do the things I couldn’t do in the first fight. I will have better movement, I will be more consistent and I will fight 12 hard rounds if that is what it takes to win this second fight,” he added.
Vera came to prominence with his victory over the then undefeated Andy Lee back in 2008, before the Irishman avenged the loss three years later.
The Mexican-American was seen as a stepping stone for Chavez Jr, who was looking to go after another world title, before he ran into the unrelenting 32-year-old, who is convinced he will dish out more of the same in the early hours this Sunday.
“I did all of my training times two. This has been the longest camp of my career. I sparred against heavyweights to get ready for Chavez Jr,” Vera said.
“I’m going to beat him for the second time. Everyone knows I won the first fight. This is a serious fight with only one ending – I will get my hand raised,” he said.
Also on the card that night will be an exciting matchup featuring the two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko who will go after his first world title in only his second professional bout.
The silky southpaw who dazzled on his debut against Jose Ramirez last October challenges the tough WBO featherweight world champion Orlando Salido in a highly unusual and intriguing clash.
“I am not nervous at all,” said Lomachenko. “I am the one who chose this path to a world title fight. All of this was my decision. Salido has fought the best of the best. He will be a hard fighter to defeat. I like fighters like him with the tough Mexican style. It makes it so much more challenging.
“Salido is a great champion because he is calm, never talks trash, is cold-blooded and has beaten the best. This is a real fight, a battle,” he stated.
Earlier this Saturday from 8pm, BoxNation will also show the WBO super-middleweight matchup between Robert Stieglitz and Arthur Abraham as they battle it out live from Germany.
Plus, on March 8th, Mexican hero Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez makes his ring return following his defeat to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather last September. He steps in against fan favourite Alfredo Angulo in a bad blooded all-Mexican affair.
The stacked undercard sees potential Carl Frampton rival Leo Santa Cruz in action when he defends his WBC super-bantamweight crown against Cristian Mijares.
The following week on March 15th, the top dog at 140 pounds – Danny Garcia – puts his WBC and WBA world titles on the line against Mauricio Herrera, live from Puerto Rico. With heavyweight hitman Deontay Wilder looking to blast past yet another opponent when he faces Malik Scott in his toughest fight to date.
Chavez Jr vs. Vera is live on BoxNation (Sky Ch.437/HD 449 & Virgin Ch.546) this Sunday from 2am. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.