By Keith Idec
Enigmatic ex-middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. flippantly indicated on a conference call Tuesday that he’ll try to get down to the contracted weight limit of 168 pounds for his super middleweight fight Saturday night against Bryan Vera.
Mexico’s Chavez, who hasn’t fought since losing to Sergio Martinez in a middleweight title fight last Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, added that he weighed 173 pounds Tuesday. Persistent speculation on social media sites Tuesday suggested Chavez would try to change the contract weight to 173 pounds, but he said that he wants to weigh 168 pounds before a California State Athletic Commission weigh-in Friday.
“I just think it’s time for me to move up to 168,” Chavez said. “That’s the goal for this fight. We want to do our best to get to that weight. … It’s not a championship fight, but we want to get as close to 168 as we can.”
Promoter Bob Arum acknowledged on the same a conference call Tuesday that he won’t determine until sometime Wednesday what the weight limit will be for the Chavez-Vera fight at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Vera (23-6, 14 KOs) and his handlers likely will seek a substantial financial incentive before agreeing to encounter Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs, 1 NC) at a weight higher than 168 pounds in their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event. Their fight already has been postponed twice, most recently because Chavez suffered a cut over his right eye during a sparring session last month.
“We’re going to take a look at what the fighters weigh tomorrow and decide what the weight limit will be on the fight,” said Arum, whose company, Top Rank Inc., promotes Chavez. “I know what Julio Sr. said [about Chavez Jr. not being able to make 168], but I really believe at the time he said it he misspoke.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.