Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. beat Brian Vera by a controversial, 10-round unanimous decision on Saturday.
After everything was said and done, the judges’ scorecards read 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92, per the Associated Press. Chavez believed he won “seven or eight rounds of the fight” and emphasized he came close to stopping Vera on three occasions.
Not so fast.
Ironic as it may seem, the pro-Chavez crowd of 5,206 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Cal. booed Chavez and his entourage as they stepped off the ring, clearly not pleased with the decision.
Their point seems to be validated by the fact that Vera landed 176 of his 734 punches, as opposed to Chavez’s 125 of 328. The Associated Press, which scored the bout 96-94 in Vera’s favor, also reported that Vera landed more power shots which pounded Chavez’s face to a bloody pulp.
Understandably, Vera’s camp was furious with the fight’s outcome. His trainer, Ronnie Shields, saw it exactly the opposite way Chavez did.
“Every one of those judges needs to retire. It wasn’t an easy fight for Bryan, but come on, Brian won at least seven or eight rounds.”
Vera didn’t hold anything back when he said the decision “made me sick to my stomach,” according to Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times.
Nonetheless, Mike Coppinger of USA Today Sports writes Chavez “executed his game plan by using his superior size to set up power shots to the head and punishing body punches with great accuracy” with his father, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr., in his corner.
Vera seized control in the early going by hammering Chavez with several shots in the third round without getting counterpunched all that much.
In fact, Chavez managed to counter with just single punches, particularly his left hook, which were still effective in spite being hampered by fatigue through the first few rounds.
In the seventh round, Vera appeared to seize momentum for good when he rocked Chavez against the ropes. However, the latter unleashed a left hook which staggered him just as the round was about to end.
Chavez also maintained Vera headbutted and hit him with several low blows. It didn’t matter in the end, as he was still able to get the controversial verdict.
“Of course I won the fight. The ref (Lou Moret) did nothing. It was low blows and head butts. I had to fight him and deal with all that.
“The guy is good, but there were too many head butts. I almost KO’d him three times.”
Vera, who fell to 23-7, made an estimated $275,000 while Chavez improved his record to 47-1-1 on top of his $2.5 million purse.
The victory was Chavez’s first after a year-long hiatus since he lost by losing for the first time in his career to Sergio Martinez on September 15, 2012.
After he served a nine-month suspension for marijuana use, Chavez failed to make the 168-pound contrract limit for the Vera bout. The contract weight limit for both fighters was agreed to be moved to 173 pounds.
At last Friday’s weigh-in, Chavez tipped the scales at 172.4 pounds while Vera checked in at 171.2 pounds.