SAN ANTONIO -- For all of the questions and concerns about whether Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would make weight for his super middleweight rematch with Bryan Vera on Saturday, the Mexican star made it comfortably while Orlando Salido failed to make weight for the co-feature and was stripped of his featherweight world title on Friday.
Chavez was nowhere close to making weight for a Sept. 28 fight with Vera and made a side deal with his team a week ahead of time to increase the weight from 168 to 173 pounds. Chavez made a six-figure payment to Vera, the fight went on and Chavez won a highly disputed 10-round decision, which is why they are fighting again on Saturday night (HBO, 9:45 ET/PT) at the Alamodome.
On Friday, Chavez (47-1-1, 32 KOs) looked strong and cut as he weighed 167½ pounds and avoided a $250,000 payment to Vera, which was negotiated into the rematch contract in the event he missed weight again. He and Vera playfully joked about it on the stage at the weigh-in outside at the Alamodome after a member of Chavez's team held up a mock giant check made out for that amount to Vera with the word "void" in big red letters across it.
Vera (23-7, 14 KOs), of Austin, Texas, also weighed 167½ pounds.
Salido was a different story. Before the weigh-in even began his team members were telling people that he was unlikely to make weight. The three-time featherweight titlist from Mexico was 128¼ pounds, well over the 126-pound limit for what was supposed to be his first title defense against Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO), the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine going for a world title in his second professional fight.
Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs) was resigned to the fact that he wasn't going to make 126 and did not attempt to lose any more weight, instead putting his pants back on, posing for pictures with Lomachenko and leaving the stage quietly.
The fight will go on with Lomachenko eligible to win the vacant belt. If Salido wins the fight the title will remain vacant. Salido also agreed to pay Lomachenko $15,000 from his $250,000 purse, which will increase Lomachenko's payout to $215,000, according to Top Rank.
"He couldn't make the weight," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. "When they get older (Salido is 33), taking the last few pounds off is sometimes impossible. He really tried. He's not a screw-up. They brought a doctor in (earlier Friday) and the doctor said if they forced him below 128 pounds there could be serious repercussions and dehydration. So he pays the fine, gives up the title and will make the best fight he can."
Sean Gibbons, Salido's manager, voiced concern about Salido's ability to make weight at Thursday's final news conference. On Friday, he was disappointed.
"He didn't have problems making weight for the fight with Orlando Cruz," Gibbons said of the fight in October when Salido won the vacant belt.
"But I got a little worried a couple of days ago when Orlando started talking about this being his last fight at 126. He got to 129 and had that gaunt look like he's gonna pass out, and he just couldn't do it."
The Lomachenko team couldn't care less about Salido's weight. They just want the title in what would be a record for the fewest fights needed for a boxer to win a world title.
"It doesn't matter what Salido weighs," Egis Klimas, Lomachenko's manager, said. "It's OK. Doesn't matter. We will win the title whether he's on weight or not on weight."