by David P. Greisman
Unlike the first fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera, the rematch produced a clear victor, not just in the judges’ decision, but also in the eyes of the observers.
Let’s talk about the scorecards.
Two of the judges had Chavez winning widely. Ruben Carrion scored the bout 117-110 for Chavez, only giving Vera rounds 1, 2 and 12. Max DeLuca scored the bout the same way, 117-110, only giving Vera rounds 2, 9 and 12.
David Sutherland had it much closer, at 114-113 for Chavez, giving each man six rounds apiece. Vera had a point taken from him in the eighth round, which is why Sutherland’s card also had Chavez winning. He gave Vera rounds 2, 3, 5, 9, 11 and 12.
We’ll come back to Sutherland in a second. If we take him away, Carrion and DeLuca largely saw the fight the same way, agreeing on the winner of 10 of the 12 rounds, only differing on Round 1 (which Carrion saw for Vera while DeLuca saw it for Chavez) and Round 9 (which Carrion saw for Chavez while DeLuca saw it for Vera).
Let’s bring Sutherland back into the picture again. Carrion was the only one of the three judges to see Round 1 for Vera, and the only one of the three judges to see Round 9 for Chavez. Deluca was in the “majority,” agreeing with at least one of the other judges, for every single one of the 12 rounds.
Sutherland was in the “majority” for nine rounds, agreeing with at least one of the other judges in rounds 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12. He was in the minority in rounds 3, 5 and 11 — all rounds he gave Vera, which is how his card ended up at 114-111.
Halfway through the fight, Carrion had Chavez ahead 4 rounds to 2, DeLuca had Chavez ahead 5 rounds to 1, and Sutherland had it a draw at three rounds apiece. Carrion would only find one more round for Vera, DeLuca would find two more, and Sutherland awarded three more to him.
There were only two rounds in which all three judges agreed that Vera won: 2, 12. One judge gave him Round 1. One judge gave him Round 3. One judge gave him Round 5. Two judges gave him Round 9. And one judge gave him Round 11.
That means that Vera got the edge on at least one judge’s scorecard in seven of the 12 rounds. Then again, Chavez got an edge on at least one judge’s scorecard in 10 of the 12 rounds. There were five rounds in which all three judges agreed that Chavez won: 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
If we were to take a score from “majority rules” — in which a fighter gets the edge from at least 2 of the 3 judges for that round — then Chavez would’ve won nine rounds and Vera would’ve won three rounds, and the final card would’ve been the 117-110 card that both Carrion and DeLuca turned in.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org