Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Arum: 'Wait for the weight'
By Dan Rafael
One thing we know: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Brian Vera will fight a scheduled 12-round bout Saturday night (HBO, 10:15 ET/PT) at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., Chavez’s first bout in a year, since a lopsided decision loss to Sergio Martinez in a middleweight championship fight and his subsequent nine-month suspension for a failed drug test.
What we still don’t know: The weight for the fight. As Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said on Wednesday, “Wait for the weight.”
Just another day in Chavez Land.
Of course, Chavez-Vera was signed as a 168-pound bout. However, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Junior’s Hall of Fame father, announced to the media earlier in the week that the weight was being increased to 173 pounds, which was news to everyone else involved in the fight.
Chavez Jr., as usual, apparently is having all kinds of problems making 168 and since he’s the star of the show and Vera will make by far his biggest payday, Vera will go along for the ride. But that left Chavez's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, and Vera's promoter, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions, to make a side deal in the event Chavez is overweight at Friday’s weigh-in, which most expect he will be.
So Arum and Pelullo, who had discussed the matter by phone a few times previously, met face to face on Wednesday in Los Angeles to talk things over.
According to Arum, they made a deal. Most likely it means that Vera (23-6, 14 KOs) will get an agreed-upon amount of money if Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) is overweight. It might mean a certain dollar figure for each pound he is over. Whatever the details are, Arum and Pelullo weren't talking specifics.
“I know it’s something bizarre, but we’re doing it because we had this [weight] issue and we’re making the issue a character in the promotion of the event,” said Arum, who once tried to stir up interest in a dead Oscar De La Hoya-Yory Boy Campas fight by concocting a secret potion for Campas to take at the final news conference.
Arum said that he and Pelullo made their deal after consulting with the fighter camps.
“We got everything worked out,” said Arum, declining to specify the weight limit. That, he said, would be announced at the weigh-in at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. ESPN Deportes [and ESPN.com] will air the weigh-in at 6 p.m. ET.
“I guarantee you that we’ll have a crowd at this weigh-in,” he said, sounding very proud and trying not to laugh. “So you can just wait for the weight.”