Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. finally finds a weight that he can make, tips scales at 172.4 for fight with Bryan Vera

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighed in at 172.4 pounds on Friday at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, clearing the way for his bout Saturday in Carson, Calif., against Bryan Vera.

Vera weighed in at 171.2 pounds.

When the bout was signed in the summer, it was to be contested at 163 pounds on Sept. 7. But Chavez was cut in training -- at least that was the official word on the postponement, though his weight issues make one wonder -- and when it was rescheduled, the weight was boosted to 168 pounds.

Earlier this week, though, Chavez informed promoters that he could not make 168. After negotiations between the fighter camps, an agreement was reached to set the total at 173 pounds. Chavez had to pay Vera an undisclosed amount of money to get the contract moved from 168 to 173. But Vera had little choice, because if he declined, he wouldn't have been paid.

Chavez barely made the number even with all the increases, and he'll likely add on a significant amount of weight by fight time. There is no limit on what he can weigh on Saturday.

Chavez spent much of the morning on Friday in the sauna at the Biltmore. A spokesman for Top Rank, which is promoting the fight, said he was in the sauna "for hours." However, Chavez did not complain about feeling badly at the weigh-in.

"I feel very strong right now," he said. "I made some sacrifices during the week [and] I lost about five pounds."

He hasn't fought since losing his WBC middleweight title to Sergio Martinez on Sept. 15, 2012. He was suspended after the fight for having tested positive for marijuana.

He said that contrary to reports, he did put in the effort.

"When I got into Los Angeles, I knew I could not make the weight limit, so I asked my promoter if he could arrange for a different weight," Chavez said. "I did train hard to be ready, but remember, I have not fought in a year. I will do the best I can on Saturday night. These fights like [this] against Vera with no title on the line are the most dangerous for me, because I have everything to lose.

"Vera has nothing to lose, really. Not like me."

When Vera, a natural middleweight, arrived in Los Angeles on Monday, he weighed just over 173 pounds.

"I wasn't really concerned with what was going on with him," Vera said of Chavez's weight issues. "I was more concerned with myself that I would be able to eat. I worked out hard the last three or four days."

Chavez manager Billy Keane said the fighter didn't intentionally miss weight, but it getting bigger. Though Chavez said he wants a middleweight title shot, that may no longer be possible because it seems he can no longer make the weight.

"[Julio] trained hard for this fight," Keane said. "It's that his body is different. Yes, he struggles with his weight. We have to re-examine what division he will be in the future.

"Vera is a difficult, awkward opponent and he can make you look bad."

The bout will be televised on HBO at 10:15 p.m. ET. It will open with a light heavyweight title fight from Montreal between Adonis Stevenson and Tavoris Cloud.