Between Chavez Jr.'s weight issues and the last-minute negotiations involved with keeping the bout from being canceled, there was enough controversy for several bout. Then poor boxing judging once again ruined a bout, and this case it ruined a great one.
In all fairness to the judges who scored this bout, it ended up being another example of the classic judging dilemma in boxing: what is worth more, effective punches landed or total punches landed? Chavez Jr. clearly landed the harder and more effective punches while Vera threw and landed more punches. How you score that round-by-round depends on what you value more as a judge.
Weight has always been something of an issue for Chavez Jr., and this bout provided the worst example possible. Originally scheduled for 163-pounds, this bout was moved to 168 and then 173 pounds when a combination of Chavez Jr. being cut in training and then basically blowing off training caused him to have no hope of making even a 168-pound limit. So Bob Arum, Chavez Jr.'s promoter, was able to get the catchweight moved up to whatever Chavez Jr. weighed in at last Friday, that being 172.4 pounds.
If Chavez Jr.'s punches themselves weren't enough evidence that they were more effective than anything Vera landed, there was plenty of audible evidence almost every single time Chavez Jr. landed his left hook as well an assortment of other shots to Vera's face.
There were several moments where Chavez Jr. had Vera stunned or worse, but never was able to capitalize. The closest Chavez Jr. came to sending Vera to the canvas came at the end of round seven when a left hook from Chavez Jr. caught Vera right in the face. It must have hit the sweet spot because the next thing Vera knew, he was on rubber legs doing a little dance in the ring.
On the other hand, Vera was by far the busier and more aggressive boxer. Chavez Jr. was throwing one punch at a time throughout the bout and not throwing combinations. Whether this was due to his conditioning or lack of training or weight issues is anyone's guess, but it definitely benefited Vera. Demonstrating his desire to bring the fight to his opponent as always, Vera came out of the corner charging to begin every round and never relented. He was always coming forward, even when hit or hurt.
Normally outboxing and outworking your opponent benefits a boxer. Normally because it didn't end up working at all for Vera on this night. Vera ended up outlanding Chavez Jr. in eight of the ten rounds and landed more than 50 punches total in the bout. However, it appeared as though effective punches and maybe, just maybe, the Chavez family name won out when the judges' scorecards were handed in.
Carla Caiz scored the bout 96-94 for Chavez Jr., Marty Denkin scored it 97-93 for Chavez Jr., and Gwen Adair scored it 98-92 for, you guessed it, Chavez Jr. This writer's opinion is that Adair's score is a disgrace, Denkin's was pushing it though slightly acceptable, and Caiz's was respectable. In the end, a draw would have been a very passable score, a rarity in boxing.
This writer did score rounds for Chavez Jr. because the shots he landed did outweigh the totality of Vera's work in the round. Though it is ridiculous that someone could score eight rounds for Chavez Jr., especially when Vera's work did overwhelm any and all big shots Chavez Jr. landed in some rounds.
This was a tough bout to score and this writer admits if he watched the bout three more times, he'd probably have three slightly different scorecards each time. There were plenty of swing rounds and the effective shots/total work argument is an eternal one in the world of professional boxing.
Sadly, as is becoming the case more often in recent years than any point in history that this writer can recall, the judges failed both the boxers and the fans with how they viewed the bout as opposed to what was actually in front of their eyes.
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