Across all sports there is something very attractive about a rematch. In the fight game, a rematch most always happens because the pre-fight favorite loses the bout, and exercises the rematch clause in his contract as a result. Rarely does it happen when the pre-fight favorite wins.
On March 1st in San Antonio, TX we will be treated to the second edition of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KO), son of the Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., vs. Brian Vera (23-7, 14 KO). Chavez Jr., the heavy pre-fight favorite, did in fact win the first bout; coincidentally, the only three people who saw it that way were the only ones that mattered — the three official judges.
The decision was received with much criticism. Chavez Jr. was less active than Vera; he was continually looking for the one shot to end the bout. He was clearly out of shape and not nearly as fit as he was against Andy Lee in 2012. Vera remained busy pressing the action, never landing anything too dangerous against the iron-chinned Chavez Jr., but getting his work in and controlling much of the action.
It was clear Chavez Jr. received a gift from the judges that night in September. Now, more than five months later, the two will lace it up again, and Chavez Jr. has everything on the line. Meanwhile Vera has nothing to lose. Since the signing of the rematch, Chavez Jr. has continuously promised his fans that the old, tad flabby, lackadaisical version of himself is no longer. This time, he is back.
He is more motivated than ever as a new proud father, and he now finds himself with a new sense of responsibility. Being the son of a legend, he has had many things handed to him and has had the luxury of being able to talk himself in and out of certain situations. With all that being said, the beautiful thing about boxing is that talk is very cheap. It is great hype and awesome for the promotion, but every single time the man in the nice tuxedo finishes his bit and everyone leaves the ring, it’s just you and the other guy.
If Chavez Jr. can turn it around on March 1, he will have big things ready for him come summer time, perhaps a date with English champ Carl Froch. If not, it will be the signature win for Vera’s career, and probably the last time we ever take Chavez Jr. seriously.