SAN ANTONIO – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. unanimously outpointed Bryan Vera in a super middleweight rematch Saturday night at the Alamodome, rebounding from perhaps the worst performance of his career.
Chavez (48-1-1) had winning scores of 117-110, 117-110 and 114-113.
“It was a better fight this time,” said Chavez, whose boxing great father sat ringside. “I won clearly. I threw a lot more punches. For sure I proved I’m a better fighter than Vera.”
In September in Carson, Calif., the Mexican fighter struggled while outpointing Vera in a disputed unanimous decision. Chavez failed to make weight, forfeited a six-figure portion of his purse and appeared to allow Vera to win the later rounds.
This time, Chavez consistently scored with a big overhand right, his first landing squarely while Vera (23-8) was on the ropes in the third round in the non-title fight. Chavez capped it off with a jarring straight right in the middle of the ring in the 10th.
Vera came out with two strong rounds to begin the fight, before Chavez hammered him with the first right. But he complained he hurt his left hand in the third or fourth round.
“You can see it’s swollen, but I’m not making no excuses,” Vera said. “(I was) just being lazy and the fight got away from me. I just got hit too much.”
Appearing to have a safe lead, Chavez mostly circled the ring and danced in the final round. Vera had a point taken away in the eighth when, while on the ropes, the Texan pulled down on Chavez from behind his head.
“When Bryan abandoned his jab we had to fight Chavez’s fight,” said Ronnie Shieldss, Vera’s trainer.
Chavez appears to have revived his career and likely is in line for a title shot. It was his second fight in the past 17 months after a marijuana suspension in 2013 and a DUI in 2012.
Promoter Bob Arum said he’s interested in setting up Chavez for a title fight by the fall against either Jean Pascal or Gennady Golovkin, with possibly another non pay-per-view fight before then.