Although plans remain in the works for a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera, it won't take place in December as originally discussed.
Top Rank's Bob Arum, who promotes Chavez, told ESPN.com that the fight is now being targeted for late February, probably in Vera's home state of Texas, because HBO's budget and schedule can't accommodate the bout before the end of the year.
Arum had said previously that the fight would air on pay-per-view if HBO couldn't handle it this year, but changed his mind. And it was a good call, because although Chavez-Vera II is an interesting rematch, it hardly rises to the level of being PPV-worthy.
"HBO wants to do it, and I think the less frequently we go on pay-per-view, the better for the whole business," Arum said. "With some fights it's impossible because you can't come up with enough money to do the fight on HBO, like the other night [for the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez bout]. But that is not the case with this fight."
Arum said he and Artie Pelullo, Vera's promoter, will talk more specifics of their deal this week when they are both in Denver for Saturday night's Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov junior welterweight title fight.
Former middleweight titlist Chavez (47-1-1, 32 KOs) won a heavily disputed unanimous decision against Vera (23-7, 14 KOs) on Sept. 28 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Although it was a competitive fight, most viewed Vera as the winner. But it was Chavez who got the decision on scores of 98-92, 97-93, 96-94. The two wide scorecards were heavily criticized, and deservedly so. One poll of 60 media members had 54 scoring the fight for Vera and four scoring it a draw.
There also was controversy before the fight even started. During the week of the fight, Chavez, who signed for the bout to be contested at 168 pounds, left Vera little choice but to accept a six-figure side deal to move the limit up to 173 pounds because Chavez wasn't in shape.
Arum said he had a recent meeting with Chavez's camp -- the fighter, father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., co-promoter Fernando Beltran and manager Billy Keane -- to discuss the rematch and the weight issue.
"We ironed all this stuff out. It was a very good meeting," Arum said. "[Chavez Jr.] said he would fight at super middleweight and that there wouldn't be any nonsense. He will make super middleweight [168 pounds], go with a real trainer and a real conditioner and do a regular camp. He said he will behave like a fighter."
Arum said Chavez -- who faced Vera after a year layoff following his loss to champion Sergio Martinez and a subsequent suspension for testing positive for marijuana after the fight -- needs to come into the rematch in shape and win if he wants to move on to a bigger fight and restore his fans' confidence in him.
"Chavez needs to be Chavez before you can put him with the guys he really wants to fight, guys like Andre Ward and Carl Froch," Arum said. "He has to beat this guy [Vera] first."