By Kieran Mulvaey
Photo Credit: Will Hart (Click image for full slideshow)
There have been times when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. gives the impression that he regards weight limits as not so much fixed and mandatory as approximate and even aspirational – and on no occasion was this more evident than his first meeting with Brian Vera, for which the contracted limit had to be changed to accommodate Chavez’s waistline. (Chavez, of course, has that kind of pull because he is the Son of the Legend, whereas Vera is merely Mr. and Mrs. Vera’s baby boy.)
But the fallout from that debacle provided him with plenty of motivation to do better this time – not in the form of the opprobrium directed his way by fans and media, but in a $250,000 portion that he would be obliged to forfeit if he missed weight again (which would make Mr. and Mrs. Vera’s baby boy a much richer man).
And when Chavez stepped on the scales outside the Alamodome on a sunny Friday afternoon, it was immediately clear that this time around, he means business. He weighed in the same as his opponent – 167.5 lbs., one half-pound inside the super-middleweight limit – and behind him, one of his team waved an oversize check, made out to Vera, for $250,000 but emblazoned with the word ‘Void.’
One of the boxers on Saturday’s HBO World Championship Boxing telecast did miss weight, however: Orlando Salido, who forfeited his featherweight title when he tipped the scales at 128.25 lbs., two and a quarter pounds heavy. His challenger, Vasyl Lomachenko, was fully three pounds lighter. As a result, Lomachenko – who pocketed an extra $15,000 from the comparatively corpulent Salido – remains on course to make history and become a world champion in only his second professional fight; but even if he wins, Salido will not exit the ring with the belt wrapped around his waist.