Vera staying focused despite silliness

LOS ANGELES -- Bryan Vera is patiently awaiting Saturday's turn against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., calmly steering clear of the distractions surrounding his opponent's weight.

As late as Wednesday night, the official weight limit for the bout hadn't yet been decided -- it was finally settled on Thursday morning -- but the Texas native claimed that it didn't affect him at all.

"I'm just trying to ignore it, and that is something that I have been doing from long before," Vera said. "I've been in this game for a long time and I have a great team. They keep me focused and busy. I let them deal with it because I have faith in them. If you have people you trust by your side, you should let them handle it."

Vera said that the situation didn't, and won't, change his routine or diet leading up to the fight. But the last-minute changes to the weight limit (originally contracted at 168 pounds, it's now set for 173) and number of rounds (down to 10 from 12) were enough of an issue that Chavez's side had to give up a six-figure sum, as reported by ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, to persuade Vera's team to go through with the bout.

"Obviously, he will be penalized because this is what we agreed on," Vera said of the 168-pound limit. "It's a slap in the face and a lack of respect, but I have a team and I'll let them handle this."

And there it is: Vera isn't completely serene in the face of all the wrangling in the final moments leading up to Saturday's clash. Might the perceived disrespect fuel him on fight night?

"It could give him an extra motivation because of who he's facing," said Vladimir Baldenebro, Chavez's trainer. "He will want to beat us and go away with everything, but tell me, who fights with Julio that doesn't come well prepared? That's why we prepared well, because we know that our rival will come out with everything."

Chavez was in agreement, suggesting that lower-profile fighters such as Vera have a built-in edge when facing him.

"I think that they are the most dangerous fighters because they have everything to win and nothing to lose," he said. "It's the complete opposite for me."

Vera seems to be embracing that nothing-to-lose attitude and has repeatedly claimed that he's ready to take advantage of the opportunity in front of him.

"It's a great opportunity, the biggest of my life and my boxing career," he said. "It could get me closer to a lot of things and open doors for [more] opportunities."