CARSON, Calif. -- Not that it came as a surprise, but Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. claimed he was a worthy winner after Saturday's unanimous-decision win over Bryan Vera, and he even ventured that he would have finished his foe before the cards were read had it not been for an injury.
Chavez said he was told by the ringside doctor that he had likely broken his right hand, which Chavez said he injured by "snapping" it on Vera's hand in the fourth round.
"I could not finish him," Chavez said. "I hurt him three times in the fight, and in the 10th round he no longer wanted to fight."
Chavez said that had it not been for the injury, he would have knocked out Bryan Vera.
"In the 10th round I hurt him with a punch to the liver," he said. "I really think I didn't knock him out because I broke my hand."
The judges saw Chavez as the unanimous winner, but the scores -- 96-94, 97-93 and 98-92 -- went against most expert analysis and the majority of fans in attendance at the StubHub Center, who booed the announced results.
"I respect everyone's opinion," Chavez said. "People wanted a knockout -- that was the reason."
According to Compubox numbers, Vera outlanded (176 to 125) and outpunched (734 to 328) Chavez, and also connected with more power shots. But Chavez said he landed the better punches in the fight.
"I give Vera my respect because he's a very seasoned fighter," he said. "But he threw a lot of punches that were not effective, and I definitely won most of the rounds and connected with the best shots."
Chavez said his opponent never had any clearly dominant moments, and he claimed that he had the fight under control.
"Maybe in three rounds he had more activity than I did, but he didn't win a clear round," Chavez said.
Chavez said his recent inactivity -- he hadn't fought in a little more than a year -- played a role in what most would consider a disappointing performance, although he again pointed to the injury as the determining factor.
"It affected me a bit," he said of the ring rust, "but I felt bad. The problem was my hand."
And although he praised the work of his father, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. -- who was working in an official capacity in his son's corner for the first time on Saturday -- and trainer Vladimir Baldenebro, the fighter said he plans to work again with former coach Freddie Roach.
"Freddie is a great trainer, and I want to continue working with him," Chavez said of Roach, who had manned Chavez's corner in each of the fighter's previous seven bouts. "In the corner [against Vera], my dad was pushing me and helped me a lot."
Chavez pointed to an alteration in his style, which included more movement, as being a key to his win.
"We worked a lot more on moving from side to side," he said. "I think that puzzled Vera because he knew I was going to press. I'll keep working to improve it."
Chavez said he would like to fight again in 2013, although that will depend on the status of his hand. What seems more certain is that, despite his opponent's postfight comments seeking a rematch, Chavez won't fight Vera again.
"I'm ready for a rematch, but I don't need it because I clearly won," Chavez said.