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Left at the Altar Again

Brian Vera
Brian Vera

The news spread quickly throughout the Twittersphere on Monday night that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. had suffered a cut during training (, which eventually caused a postponement of his September 7th appointment against Brian Vera.
And how did Vera find out?
“Basically through the people on Twitter and I got a text from you,” said Vera (and yes, this scribe did reach out to the rugged Texan as speculation ran rampant on Chavez Jr.’s status). “I was hoping it was going to be a joke but you know how that guy is. So it just looks like a little scratch to me but we’ll see what happens.”

He says this with a chuckle because he realizes Chavez Jr. always comes with an issue or three (ironically, Chavez did finally secure his visa for entry into the United States on Monday). While this news was certainly disappointing, it wasn’t at all a surprise to Vera, who had signed on to face Chavez Jr. in June (which was then backed up into July, August and finally September the 7th).
“Man, I mean, this is the fourth time it’s been rescheduled. So it’s frustrating but I talked to Ronnie [Shields, Vera’s trainer] and these guys. At the end of the day, we’re getting better anyways. I’m getting stronger and it gives me a little more time. But yeah, of course people are looking forward to seeing the fight - family, friends and stuff. I’m ready, man.”
This guy’s been left at the altar so many times you’d think his next television appearance would be on “Maury.” But he takes it in stride, realizing the pecking order that exists in this business.
“It’s a bad situation because, obviously, he’s the bigger name because of the dad and he’s had big fights; so I’m just kinda left on the back end waiting but I know it’s my opportunity to jump in and take over his little spot,” said Vera, who has scored two stoppage victories in 2013. “So for me, there’s nothing much I can do but stay ready and when the time comes, I gotta go out there and perform.”
The reality is Vera simply has no other choice but to wait around for the perennially unreliable Chavez Jr. Bottom line, he’d need to fight several times on ESPN2 (where he’s been a staple) to make the money he will for facing Junior. And this particular fight is the most economically viable for him at the moment. Guys like Vera wait for years to get chances (and paydays) like this.
Vera points out, “We’re the number one contender in the WBO for Peter Quillin but it’s the fact it’s the name and all that. The naked eye knows who Chavez Jr. is. So for me, it’s too big of an opportunity to pass up. So yeah, we’re kinda left with a situation where there is no other situation.”
Being the pro he is, Vera actually went to the gym and put in his day’s work even after he knew the fight was postponed. “I did. I sparred six rounds today. That’s what we already had planned. We went ahead and did it. I think I was a little bit mind-drained,” he admitted. “I did good today but I wasn’t really driven today, man, because of the bullsh*t. But you still gotta get through it and everything will be alright.”
Veteran trainer Ronnie Shields told Maxboxing, “We’re just going to continue to work and see what happens. It’s not going to make us back off of anything.” Seeing Vera last week at Fantasy Springs (where Shields had Jermall Charlo in action on “ShoBox”), you got proof that Vera was in prime physical condition. “He’s in great shape and the thing about it is, now we just have more time to get in better shape. So it all works out good for us. We’re not complaining about it but we know what the deal is.”
And “the deal” according to Shields is, “I think [Chavez] couldn’t make the weight and all of a sudden, he got headbutted.”
Vera, a tough product of the “Lone Star State,” actually laughs at the lunacy of Planet Chavez, most likely to keep from crying.
“Yeah, pretty much. My little brother is with me in camp and he just looks at me and is like, ‘F**k, man.’ It’s always good to have somebody close to you with you. But of course, I’m not going to sit there and cry like a baby. It’s frustrating because you don’t know what to expect. Even if you do know what to expect, you still don’t know if it’s going to fall through just like this right here - so damn.”
So is it five strikes and you’re out?
Let’s be honest; Job may have not been as patient as Vera has been throughout this ordeal.
“My manager’s like, ‘We can’t keep going through this. You gotta fight.’ I’ve been in camp for, what, damn near 10 weeks already and of course, you hear something like this and we take it a little bit easier. But it’s just being away from home; it frustrates me because you put in so much and this guy’s messing around,” said Vera, who resides in Austin but has been training in Houston.
“To me, I don’t think he’s really cut. I think it’s a weight issue and I think he realizes I’m over here putting in good work and he’s probably thinking he needs more time. That’s kinda what we’re thinking. So no matter what it is, it’s still a f**ked up situation.”
The date being thrown around for the rescheduling of this fight (and the HBO opener which was to have been Vanes Martirosyan and Demetrius Andrade for the vacant WBO 154-pound title) is September 28th (and Chavez has substantiated this somewhat on Twitter. He also mentioned the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. as the venue), when HBO already has a bout between light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson and Tavoris Cloud from the Bell Centre in Montreal on its schedule.
Top Rank still has to get HBO’s approval for this in addition to getting a venue available for that date.
In reaction to Chavez Jr.-Vera being postponed, Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions announced that their card featuring the heavyweight bout between Chris Arreola and Seth Mitchell will move from September 6th to that Saturday. This card will stay at the Fantasy Springs Casino.
The press conference to officially announce the October 19th slugfest between Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov near Denver, Colorado at the 1stBank Center was staged on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s the ticket info:
Tickets to the Alvarado vs. Provodnikov world title fight event will go on sale This Friday! August 16 at 10:00 a.m. MT. Priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable fees and taxes, tickets can be purchased online at, order by phone at 866-461-6556 and at Tickethorse kiosks located at all Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods Stores (for credit card purchases only).
Here’s the latest edition of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly (an hour of boxing nirvana):
Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio will host a “Golden Boy Live” card on FoxSports1 featuring Luis Collazo against Alan Sanchez...The likes of Oscar Valdez, Diego Magdaleno, Karim Mayfield, Matt Korobov and Jose Felix are just some of the boxers that have to be re-slotted by Top Rank because of the September 7th cancelation...Do NFL teams need to put all their players in protective bubble wrap during training camps?...OK, what did Lamar Kendrick (or is it Kendrick Lamar) say that got everyone buzzing?...Are Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom getting a divorce? I thought those kids would make it...I can be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

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