One of boxing’s biggest names makes his 2014 debut in a major rematch and a two-time gold medalist from Ukraine goes for a world title when HBO Boxing World Championship Boxing: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Bryan Vera II and Orlando Salido vs. Vasyl Lomachenko is seen on Saturday, March 1st at 9:45 p.m. from the Alamodome in San Antonio, exclusively on HBO.
In the main event, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (47-1-1, 32 KOs) of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, and Austin’s Bryan Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) meet in a highly anticipated 12-round super middleweight rematch. Making his 2014 debut after fighting just once last year, Chavez Jr., 28, returns to the site of one his most impressive wins, a unanimous decision victory over Marco Antonio Rubio in Feb. 2012. In a hotly debated verdict last September, Chavez Jr., who faced weight issues during fight week, scored a ten-round victory over Vera.
Despite absorbing his seventh career loss, the hard-nosed Vera’s performance against the heavily favored Chavez Jr. earned him enormous respect. Trained in Houston by the well-regarded Ronnie Shields, the 32-year-old battle-tested veteran can leap to the top level of the 168-pound division with a win.
Opening the telecast is a 12-round featherweight title fight that has fascinated the boxing world. The formidable Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs), 33, of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico captured the vacant 126-pound crown last October with a seventh-round knockout of Orlando Cruz.
His opponent, Ukraine native Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO), won gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and scored an impressive fourth-round knockout of seasoned pro Jose Luis Ramirez last October in his first bout since declaring himself a pro. Named the 2013 Prospect of the Year, the 26-year-old Lomachenko will now seek to take a world title from a crafty vet.
Fans can get a revealing inside look at fighters in the main event and preview the action with the special “Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II.” The special will replay in the lead-up to the fight. The HBO Sports team of Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will call the action.