Another weekend, another controversy. Par for the course for boxing fans and the sport itself, which will snicker and giggle into the shadows once again, confident that 90% of the diehard audience that tuned in will return for their next extravaganza, merely bitching and moaning, unable to actually right any of the sport's absurd wrongs.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr won a controversial 10-round decision tonight over Bryan Vera on scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92. BLH had it 97-93 for Vera. Most media members and knowledgable fans on Twitter had it 7-3 or 6-4 for Vera. A draw would not have been crazy. A 96-94 Chavez card isn't preposterous, perhaps. But seeing seven or eight rounds of this fight for Chavez "is what it is," as the boxing world loves to say.
"Come on, man," Vera told Jim Lampley of HBO after the fight at ringside. Hey. It is what it is, Bryan. It is what it is.
Vera (23-7, 14 KO) outworked Chavez (47-1-1, 32 KO) over the entire fight, with the Mexican star given credit, it would seem, for occasionally landing what appeared to be "thunderous" shots. The fact that they only twice or maybe three times so much as wobbled Vera never seemed to make any difference in how people saw those shots, Lampley and broadcast partner Andre Ward in particular. "Hard left hook!" Was it? Well, it was supposed to be.
As Chavez was the much bigger man -- ridiculously so, in fact -- it was assumed that his power, already an overrated asset of his, would be a difference maker. But as the fight wore on and it was clear that Chavez couldn't do more than momentarily buzz Vera before the Texan got right back to coming straight at him, it seemed like it was entirely reasonable to think that maybe, just maybe, Chavez's supposed monster hooks and right hands weren't exactly doing the sort of damage that the narrative needed.
But it is what it is.
Vera connected with more clean, hard shots than Chavez did, and realistically, he did at least as much damage. Chavez was marked up pretty badly as he huffed and puffed his way through the fight, cautiously staying away from Vera as much as he possibly could, hoping he could sluggishly stroll around the ring and avoid mixing it up with a guy who was in much better condition. Vera came forward, Vera put the pressure on, Vera controlled the pace, and Vera threw and landed far more punches. Vera did as much damage to Chavez as Chavez did to Vera, too, so the idea that Chavez won rounds because he would land a punch or two very cleanly is a bit suspect.
Ah, well. It is what it is.
"I backed his ass up the whole time," Vera told Lampley. "He had me dazed a couple times, never really hurt me. I worked him. I won the fight." Trainer Ronnie Shields was reportedly very upset after the fight, according to ringside media member Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, who said on Twitter, "Ronnie Shields just came over to talk to me at ringside and was so angry. He said the fight wasn't close."
Team Chavez, who willfully inhabit the same fantasy land as their fighter, mostly whined about low blows, headbutts, and the performance of referee Dr. Lou Moret. That Team Chavez had the gall to and the complete lack of self-awareness to ever complain about how a boxing official handled one of their fights is, as Floyd Mayweather would say, truly amazin'.
But it is what it is. See you next Saturday.