A recent chat with Shields from his Houston, Texas base revealed a team excited to get in the ring and show what they can - and plan to - do. “This will be my fifth fight with Brian so I am getting to know him and his strengths really well. This is a guy with solid punching power and he is great shape,” Shields stated. While the World Boxing Hall of Fame “Trainer of the Year” for 2003 described Chavez as “a very good fighter with a lot of strengths,” he also said that both Vera and Chavez match up in terms of styles, making for a serious tussle when these two collide. “In terms of styles, I think Chavez, who is a real aggressive, offensive-type fighter, could help us. Brian likes to bang, so we won’t have to look for this guy,” he said. While the fight has been delayed a couple of times with lots of changes in weights and dates, both Vera and Shields are taking it all in stride. “Hey, this is boxing; things happen. It’s actually given us more time to prepare and get ready for Chavez, so it hasn’t been a problem. The fight was initially at 160, then they came back with 164 - now 168 - but that’s OK. We’ll be ready,” said Shields.
While Shields knows California is somewhat neutral turf for the Texas-based Vera and the Mexico-based Chavez, he also realizes it’s probably best not to leave anything to chance. “In reality, we probably need a knockout to win,” he said. “We are going to stick to the game plan that we have put together, show some things to Chavez that are new and he hasn’t seen from Brian. Brian is really excited for this fight; he can’t wait.
When we win, it might surprise some people but it won’t be a surprise on this end. It won’t be a surprise to us. He’s in the best shape of his life and can’t wait to get in the ring.”
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.