Chavez Jr. dominates Vera; Salido defeats Lomachenko
By Chris Williams: Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1, 32 KO’s) defeated Brian Vera (23-8, 14 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The final judges scores were 114-113, 117-110, 117-110. Chavez Jr. used his bigger size to dominate Vera, who was pulled up from the middleweight division for this fight.
The referee took a point off from Vera in the 8th round for leaning on Chavez Jr’s next. It seemed like a petty point deduction given that Chavez Jr. was getting away with throwing low blows all night long without the referee taking any points away.
Chavez Jr. said “I want to fight Gennady Golovkin.”
It would have been interesting to know how much Chavez Jr. weighed tonight for this fight, because he looked much bigger than Vera. Chavez Jr’s superior size really benefited him in terms of his punching power, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Chavez Jr. weighed close to 200 lbs for the fight.
Vera marked up both of Chavez Jr’s eyes with his punches, but he didn’t have nearly the power that Chavez Jr. had. There’s no question that Chavez Jr. was the much bigger punches. Vera absorbed some monstrous head and body shots in each round. Chavez Jr. is a major puncher at 168. He’ll never be good enough to beat someone like Andre Ward, but he’d likely beat the other top fighters in this weight class.
Orlando Salido (41-12-2, 28 KO’s) defeated two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko 1-1, 1 KO’s) by a 12 round split decision. The final judges scores were 115-113 for Lomachenko, and 116-112, and 115-113 for Salido.
Lomachenko didn’t throw enough punches in the fight, and this ended hurting him with Salido getting the nod by the judges. In the 11th and 12th rounds, Lomachenko finally let his hands go and this enabled him to rally to make the fight close at the end. Had Lomachenko fought in this manner the entire fight, he would have won. It’s just surprising that his trainer didn’t make adjustments earlier in the fight to make the needed changes.
Salido had a great game plan by focusing on throwing to the body of Lomachenko rather than to the head. This strategy worked well, because it would have been difficult for Salido to land head shots due to Lomachenko’s head movement. The body shots appeared to weaken Lomachenko, who spent much of the fight holding Salido in round after round.
A lot of Salido’s body shots strayed low, but the referee Lawrence Cole chose not to take points off for the fouls. Some fans might not like that, but Lomachenko also got away with nonstop clinching in every round, and that’s something that some referees would have taken points off for. Lomachenko was clinching 10+ times per round, and that was far too much for him to win the fight. He was spending most of the time trying to prevent Salido from punching than he was in throwing his own shots.
In hindsight, Bob Arum of Top Rank misjudged Lomachenko’s ability to fight a guy as good as Salido with just one fight under Lomachenko’s belt as a pro. Arum should have said no to the idea of Lomachenko fighting Salido this early in his career, because he didn’t show the type of talent that Cuban Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux showed after he turned pro.
“I don’t like to fight dirty. I fight clean,” Lomachenko said to HBO’s Max Kellerman when asked why he didn’t throw low blows himself in the fight.
Other action on the card:
Juan Diaz UD 10 Gerardo Robles
Oscar Valdez TKO 3 Samuel Sanchez
Jose Zepeda TKO 2 Johnnie Edwards
Alex Saucedo UD 6 Gilbert Venegas
Jerren Cochran UD 6 Adauto Gonzalez
Ivan Najera UD 8 Angel Hernandez
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