Mr. Marc Abrams – Hello, everyone, from the media. I thank everyone for joining us today. We’re having a special conference call with Bryan Vera in the wake of last Saturday night’s fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. that was at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, which was the largest--the most viewed fight on cable television this year in 2013. And obviously there’s been a lot of controversy about the decision. So, we’re going to rehash a little bit of that. And obviously people have read maybe in the last couple of days that there’s already been some rumblings about a possible rematch. So, we have Bryan on the call along with his trainer, trainer of champions, Ronnie Shields and promoter Art Pelullo of Banner Promotions, and he can shed a lot of stuff on that. So, let me turn it over to the CEO and President of Banner Promotions, Art Pelullo.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Hi, guys. Who’s on the call?
Mr. Marc Abrams – We’ll find that out in a minute.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Okay. The bottom line is I thank everybody for calling in. Where we’re at now is this is for you guys to ask your questions about Bryan and what the future holds for him. We are talking to Bob. We are talking to HBO about a December date. And should they not be financially in a position to pay for this event, Bob and I are discussing a pay per view event for December. So, outside of that, I think everybody wants to hear from Bryan and Ronnie. So, I’ll just listen in the background till there’s a question.
Mr. Marc Abrams – Bryan, you want to make any opening statements?
Mr. Bryan Vera – No, I’m good, man. Just--I’m ready to answer any kind of questions you have for me.
Mr. Marc Abrams – Okay, Ronnie?
Mr. Ronnie Shields – I just want to say that everybody saw the fight. This fight deserves a rematch because Bryan did win the fight. And I just think everybody, especially all the press, I think you guys need to put it out there that there should be a rematch.
Mr. Marc Abrams – Okay. I guess, operator, we’re ready for questions.
Operator – The line’s now open for questions. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so by pressing star and then one on your telephone keypad, that’s star and then the number one. We do have a question from the line of Brian Fogg with Leave it in the RinG. Your line is live.
Mr. Brian Fogg – Hi. A quick question here kind of for all three of you actually. Going into the 10th round and after the 10th round you guys were all celebrating. You seemed pretty sure of the decision. I guess what was going through your head right before you heard it?
Mr. Marc Abrams – Bryan?
Mr. Bryan Vera – Yeah, for me, I thought Iwon. I was a little bit worried [unintelligible] me and Ronnie [unintelligible] corner where we’re very happy with the way things were going. So, we--I thought for sure we had it man.
Mr. Ronnie Shields – Well, for me--.
Mr. Brian Fogg – --Ronnie, what do you think?
Mr. Ronnie Shields – --Yes. For me, I was happy because Bryan followed the game plan to a tee. I couldn’t ask him to do no more than what he did that night. And right after the fight though, I had my suspicions. I really did. But, I told Bryan, “No matter what the decision is, he won the fight.” I say, “No matter what the decision is you won the fight.” And--but always in the back of my mind--I’ve been through this so many times with Pernell Whitaker and Chavez Senior, with Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, with Erislandy Lara and Paul Williams. So, nothing surprised me. But, this was really a blowout by Bryan Vera. And for them to give Julio Jr. a unanimous decision was--it was really ludicrous.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Just to add what Ronnie and Bryan said, he clearly won the fight. In the 10th round, I was sitting with Josh from my office. The bottom line is that he’s a powerful kid. And I knew that if the 10th round went the way we thought it would Bryan would win a unanimous decision. Never thought in my mind that it would so erroneous the scores and so bizarre. I mean, even to this day people are talking about the scores. Even Bob Arum, who promoted the other guy, who has to say--who promoted Chavez. He says, “Well, it was a close fight. Six, four, I call it even.” Even he says that Marty Denkin was off and so was Gwen. I mean, Gwen she’s just bizarre. I mean, she shouldn’t be judging anymore. But, in the meantime where we’re going from here is a rematch and everybody wants to see it. And I understand that Marc Abrams took a poll. There was 60 reporters, 56 saw Bryan win and four saw a draw and nobody saw Chavez winning. So, clearly it’s a bad situation for boxing because it has to be rectified. The only way it gets rectified is another fight in Texas in the state where Bryan’s from. That’s where it’s at right now so far.
Operator – As a reminder, if you would like to ask a question, you may do so by pressing star and then one on your telephone keypad. We do have a question from the line of Lem Satterfield with RingTV.com. Your line is live.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Yeah. Artie, how you doing?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Hey, Lem. I’m good, bud.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Hey, I talked to your buddy, Joe DeGuardia, and I actually talked to Lantle [sp]. You just mentioned where do we go from here. How much pressure in your mind--and I don’t know if you’ve talked to Joe. How much pressure is on the judges in Florida in that fight in particular with Cotto-Rodriguez, which is very similar in my mind to this one where Chavez was the A side and Cotto is the A side. Do you see rightly or wrongly there being any pressure on that situation?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Well, let me just say this to you. You would hope that they would play it straight. I mean, you would hope that they would see the fight, who’s winning the fight and not who’s supposed to win the fight, but you don’t know, Lem, because look what happens. C.J. Ross has--can never withdrawal. So, you would have thought the officials--she gets--she’s forced to resign. You would have thought the officials in California would have taken a page out of what’s going on in Nevada and played it the right way and saw the winner, because he won the fight, not because they wanted to see a certain guy win the fight or have a preconceived idea who won the fight before the event actually took place. So, to answer your question, I have no idea. I have no idea, because part of the problem is with our industry is that the officials are not held accountable for their action. There is no suspension in place. There’s no fines. There’s no review. All of the commissions they stand by their officials right or wrong, which is wrong. I’m a licensed fight promoter. Should I make a mistake, should there be a problem, there are repercussions for me, but there’s nobody that holds the officials accountable. Very few times does anybody say, “Hey, you were wrong. You’re suspended. You’re fined and whatever.” And that’s the basic problem of the officiating, because they’re not held accountable to anybody. So, what they do and as they do it it’s not brought under scrutiny. And what happened in Nevada Keith Kiser got in trouble because he stood by the official blindly, instead of saying nothing and seeing how it played out. He got in trouble with his governor. So, the answer to your question, I have no clue what’s going to happen in Florida. I don’t know the people who are appointing. And you would hope that what goes on in Florida will be a lot better than what happened in California.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Okay, now let me--along those lines really even though you’re going to Texas, and I’d like Bryan--is he--Bryan on the line?
Mr. Marc Abrams – Yeah, Bryan’s here.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Okay, this is for you, Bryan, and for Ronnie. Really even though you’re going to Texas you don’t know what’s going to happen. So, my question is, Bryan, Ronnie, Artie, how do each of you go through a whole promotion, a whole training camp, not knowing for sure whether (A) Chavez is going to come in at the weight he’s supposed to and (B) you’re going to get what you perceive to be a fair shake? Starting with Bryan, how do you put this all behind you?
Mr. Bryan Vera – Obviously, you just go get ready. You don’t really put it behind you, but I’m not going to just stop boxing and give up because of what happened. I’m going to go back and get with Ronnie and get with those guys and talk to Artie. And like Ronnie was telling me earlier, we got to make sure there’s stipulations in the contracts before we sign everything that there’s real punishments, not these little punishments that he can afford, like what he got last time. I mean, we got to put real punishments to where he’s [unintelligible] to not do these things. You know what I mean? And as far as the judges and everything, I mean I don’t know really how to control that. I just know that we have to control Chavez, make sure he comes to the final weight. And I got to let Ronnie and let Artie and Dave Watson, let them guys handle that. And I got to go back to camp and get ready.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Ronnie?
Mr. Ronnie Shields – Yes, I think that we can’t worry about the judges. The most important thing is to get Bryan ready. Get him in great shape again and go over the game plan again. And there’s always some stuff that we can go back and change up just a little bit from the last fight. But, as far as the weight is concerned, I think the next time we have to put in the contract that if he doesn’t make weight it’s going to cost him half a million dollars, simple as that, and I think that that’s only fair. This guy walks away with a lot of money, but he tried to dictate everything. He dictated the weight. He dictated the cancellations and all of this stuff. And Bryan he just had to sit back and wait until the fight happened. And when the fight did happen Bryan just did what he was supposed to do and he won the fight. So, I think this next fight come up then they have to abide by the rules or there’s not going to be a fight.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Artie, is there anymore pressure on you? Is there anymore pressure on you right now to make it a more--have more control in the situation? What’s your thought?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Well, I agree with everything that Ronnie and Bryan said. Control’s very difficult now. The way you do it is like they said, you put things in the contract, and he has to live up to what he signs. At the end of the day it depends on how much he wants to be a fighter. I mean--and they’re right, about the officiating, I’m going to go down there early. If everything goes in place and we get the rematch, I’m going to go down there early. I’ll talk to the Texas Commission. I want to have input on who the officials will be as far as--you’re not allowed to have--input who you want, but you can strike people. I’ll get more involved with that as well. But, at the end of the day you can’t control a human being. You can put it in a contract what he’s supposed to do. And whether he lives up to that is a different story altogether. I can’t control my children. I mean--and they love me. So, how am I going to control anybody else?
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – You got it.
Mr. Lem Satterfield – Thanks for having the call.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of Brendan Montenegro with roundbyroundboxing.com. Your line is live.
Mr. Brendan Montenegro – Hey, Bryan, how’s everything? My question is as far as weight limit, you started off at one weight and it was changed a few times after that. Are you looking to push it if you do get the rematch to stay at 168 or would you do like a medium of 170 and leave it at that, no if and or buts? And the other question is do you feel that the CompuBox numbers were right that you only landed 176 out of 734 punches compared to his 125 out of 328?
Mr. Bryan Vera – You asking me?
Mr. Brendan Montenegro – Yeah--.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – --That question’s for you, Bryan.
Mr. Brendan Montenegro – Yeah, Bryan.
Mr. Bryan Vera – I don’t even know about the CompuBox punches. I felt like I landed a lot of punches. But, as far as the weight, yeah, he has to be at 168. I think Ronnie agrees with that as well, I believe. I think that we have to make him weigh 168. I have no business fighting at 170 or over 170. I come in at 60 to fight to 68. So, I don’t see why I am fighting at 171.
Mr. Brendan Montenegro – Do you feel you lost a little power moving up or you’re just not comfortable at that weight and you feel that 168 is the max for you?
Mr. Bryan Vera – No, I just feel like it’s their problem. Obviously, I’m bigger and stronger than everybody at 60--a lot of people at 60, but at 168 I also feel strong. But, when we started going over there I’m dealing with a heavyweight--come down and fight like a heavyweight. I mean, for me, I’m trying to make more sense of my career and trying to make a fair playing field. So, I’m thinking 168 is the limit.
Mr. Brendan Montenegro – All right, thank you.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of Norm Frauenheim with 15 Rounds. Your line is live.
Mr. Norm Frauenheim – Hi, Artie. I got one question for you. In your talks for the rematch did Bob say that he talked to Julio Jr.? And what’s your sense on whether--I mean given his unreliability through this and prior fights, what do you think the chances are that Julio Jr. will agree to a rematch?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Bob did talk to junior. He said he was interested in a rematch. And I think he needs to do it, because his own fan base is giving him a hard time. I mean, there are many reports down in Mexico that they’re disappointed with him. He didn’t win the fight. He got a gift. And in that world down there it’s very important to be macho, to be standup, and they’re telling him for him to rematch himself. So, I actually think the rematch is very good--a very good chance to come forward. There’s no fights for him right now between now and the end of the year or January or February. Other guys are tied up. So, this would also help us get the rematch.
Mr. Norm Frauenheim – Okay, okay. How about--what do you think, Ronnie? You think he’ll agree to it?
Mr. Ronnie Shields – I think he will agree to it. I mean, I think he--I think he’s on the spot right now. If he don’t agree to it that means he know he can’t beat Bryan, simple as that. If you was a confident fighter--and you could blame it on whatever he want to blame it on, but he know he lost. In his heart he knows he lost that fight. And that’s probably why he won’t take him if he doesn’t agree to it.
Mr. Norm Frauenheim – All right, thanks, fellows. Good luck on that.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – You got it.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of Steve Gallegos with thetitlefight.com. Your line is live.
Mr. Steve Gallegos – Bryan, how you are today, buddy?
Mr. Bryan Vera – Doing great. How are you?
Mr. Steve Gallegos – Very good. Man, hey, great performance. Man, you definitely won that fight. Yeah, Chavez definitely got the gift. And during the fight, especially in the later rounds, particularly the 9th, Chavez did what boxings [sp] version of what flopping is. And obviously Lou Moret had no--was having no part of that. Overall based on the bad officiating, how would you guys rate Lou Moret’s refereeing performance?
Mr. Bryan Vera – For me being [unintelligible], he did a great job. He took no points away because he knew what I was doing was fair. And I think he knew that Chavez was complaining a lot and doing it because he didn’t want to be in there. He was getting roughed up and complaining because he could, but I thought the referee did a great job.
Mr. Steve Gallegos – Absolutely--.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – --The referee was terrific. Lou made him fight and didn’t take any guff from him about all his complaining about the low blows and the head butts. Lou was terrific. He let them become--he let them fight, and the kid didn’t want to fight. He was moaning and groaning the whole night long.
Mr. Ronnie Shields – Yeah, I think--.
Mr. Steve Gallegos – --Yeah, absolutely--.
Mr. Ronnie Shields – --He was looking for help. He was looking for help the whole night long. He knew he was losing these rounds, and he was looking for the referee to try to take a point away from Bryan. And everything Bryan threw was legal. He didn’t do nothing illegal. Chavez was trying to use his head. I mean, he was trying to put up all stops. He was looking for help. He got help from the judges, but not from the referee.
Mr. Steve Gallegos – Yeah, absolutely. I didn’t see no dirty play, no elbows, no low shot. In fact his trunks looked very high as well. So, yeah, absolutely. And basically with the high Nielsen ratings and the controversial decision, if a rematch goes forward do you guys feel that you have leverage in negotiating a higher purse on Bryan’s end?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Most definitely. Most definitely. Because, he’s going to have to make less and Bryan’s going to have to make more. So--and then--and we’re dealing with that as things go along, but most definitely.
Mr. Steve Gallegos – Okay. And, Bryan, you looked very comfortable at the higher weight. Even though you had to come in at 173 you looked sharp. You didn’t look like that it was too much for you. I mean, you’re used to fighting right around 160. Do you think you’re going to stay at super middleweight from here on out or are you going to go back down to 160?
Mr. Bryan Vera – I mean, I always--I talk to Ronnie, talk to those guys after we--after the next fight, but most likely if we go back to 60 where there’s a lot more Opportunity the full weight class there’s a lot of good talent and a lot of big fights. So, I’ll get with those guys and we’ll figure it out.
Mr. Steve Gallegos – Okay. Well, that’s all the questions I have today. Thanks, Artie. Thanks, Ronnie. Thanks, Bryan, for having this conference call, kind of addressing some of the issues of the fight. And you all have a good one. Good luck the next time out.
Mr. Ronnie Shields – Thank you--.
Mr. Bryan Vera – --Thanks.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of Karl Freitag with Fight News. Your line is live.
Mr. Karl Freitag – Hello. I was wondering the decision to cut the fight from 12 to 10 rounds was that--looking in retrospect do you think that was a good decision considering Bryan seemed to have a lot more energy at the end of the fight?
Mr. Ronnie Shields – Yes, I think it was a good decision, because, look, Chavez, I’m telling you, he was 200 pounds--easily 200 pounds. And I know Bryan. I know what kind of condition he was in. He was in great condition, but I know coming down the stretch that Chavez was going to try to put his weight on him, and he was going to try to be fitting down on a lot of his shots. So, I didn’t want to take the chance. I know Bryan was faster than him regardless, but still at the rate Bryan was throwing punches on a big guy like that. And people have to understand Bryan’s power was still there, but Chavez was able to assault more because of how big he was. And I still hear the same question, “Well, when Chavez hit him he [unintelligible] Bryan.” Well, if a 200 pound man hit you, he’s going to rock you every time, but he only hit Bryan with a couple good shots that kind of made Bryan go back a little bit, but at the same time Bryan worked him. Bryan threw over 700 punches in this fight and that’s a lot of punches for a super middleweight, let alone a guy that’s had to fight at a light heavyweight. I mean, look at the light heavyweight average. Go and look at the light heavyweight average and look at what Bryan did and you’ll see why I cut it down to 10 rounds.
Mr. Karl Freitag – Before the fight did you look at the officials and give any thought considering that like Gwen Adair’s 80 and Marty Denkin’s 79? Was that a consideration to complain or was there even an option because this wasn’t a title fight?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Who’s that addressed to?
Mr. Karl Freitag – Anybody on the Vera team.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Well, first of all, they didn’t appoint the officials until Friday. Second of all it’s impossible to replace them unless you have cause. So, the answer to that is there’s nothing you can do unless you have enough time and you have to have cause to replace them.
Mr. Karl Freitag – Yeah. Okay. And you’re talking about doing this fight in Texas. I know Chavez has a history in Texas. He wasn’t tested after one of his fights and that led to some situation. Would--do you consider Texas to be a neutral ground or more Chavez territory or more Vera territory?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Well, if you’re asking--Bryan, why don’t you answer that first, and then I’ll take it, and then you and Ronnie go first.
Mr. Bryan Vera – I mean, for me, I think it’s more my territory. Obviously it depends on where it is, too. San Antonio he has a lot of people, but I’m right here in Austin right down the street. So, I don’t know. I mean, the judging--I seem to be all right with the judges over here. [Unintelligible] gives a fair shake. And I mean you can never tell with them but I think it gives me more of an advantage that we’re here in Texas for sure.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – And if you’re asking me, I think that, like I said earlier in the conversation, I would go to Texas and sit down with them and see what’s going on and who they would appoint and have a little bit better handle in it. I don’t think Dickie Cole, who is the--like their Executive Director wants to be in a position to be criticized that the fight would be another scandal like it was in California.
Mr. Karl Freitag – Okay, great. Thanks very much.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – You got it.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of David Greisman with boxingscene.com. Your line is live.
Mr. David Griesman – Actually, my questions have already been asked. Thank you.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of James Myer [sp] with Tha Boxing Voice. Your line is live. James Myer, your line is live.
Mr. James Myer – Sorry, about that. I was on mute. But, anyway, this question is for Bryan and Ronnie. I just wanted to know if you guys have gone back and scored the fight? And if so, have you guys--did you guys see anything, any actual footage of the fight that you might change going into a rematch that won’t allow the judges to score the way they did on Saturday?
Mr. Ronnie Shields – Go ahead, Bryan.
Mr. Bryan Vera – I would get with Ronnie about it, but I mean to me it looked like I won the fight more clearly than [unintelligible] but I would have to just go back to the gym with Ronnie and let him determine on whether I need to make changes now. But, as far as myself, I felt like I did what I had to do to win it and it seemed clear to me.
Mr. Ronnie Shields - And as for me, I haven’t watched a fight back. I mean, I don’t need to watch it back really. I caught it the other night, and I saw like the last two rounds of the fight but that was it. But, I mean, look, I saw it live and I judge every round--every round for my fighters I judge it and I judge it fairly, and if Bryan was behind I would have told him that he was behind during the fight, but I didn’t tell him he was behind because he wasn’t. He was winning the fight and that’s why I just kept telling him--every now and then Bryan would put his hands down and get hit with a shot. And I just told him, “Don’t be macho. You don’t have to be macho. Just stick to the game plan.” And he went back and he did that. And as far as a rematch is concerned, it’s not in me to tell my fighter to train because he’s got to impress--because he’s got to do something special because he’s fighting Chavez Jr. in the next fight. No. We train. We put the fight plan together and that’s the way we do it. We can’t--because we don’t know how judges think. We don’t know how they’re going to be that night. We just got to do the best that we can possibly do, get in great shape, follow the game plan and win the fight. And whether the judges see it that way or not, in my heart of hearts we know Bryan won the fight. That just plain and simple as that. Everybody thought he won the fight. So, that’s enough for me. And in the next fight we have to train harder and just add a few more wrinkles to what we already know how to do.
Mr. James Myer – Also, regarding the weight--you guys being a little bit stricter on the weight loss policy have you guys thought of any sort of rehydration clause or are you guys that far into negotiations where you talked about stuff like that?
Mr. Artie Pelullo – If you’re asking me, we’re not--if he makes 68 and that’s agreed upon weight, it’d be pretty hard to put a number in there that he can’t be heavy than whatever, but I don’t know the answer to that question because we don’t have a fight yet. We haven’t had--we don’t have 100 percent from him, and HBO is hemming and hawing at this time as they’re looking at their budget. So, if it’s not then--going to be on HBO or then it would be on pay per view. So, right now, we’re trying to put together that the fight does happen before the end of the year on the 7th or the 14th.
Mr. James Myer – All right, great. That’s all the questions I had. Thanks a lot for your time.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – I’d just like to say something. I need to get on a plane. So, if anybody wants to talk--ask me anymore questions that’s fine. If not, I’m going to get off. Everybody else stay on with Bryan and with Ronnie. So, if there’s nothing else for me, I’ll wait a second and find out, and then I’m going to get on this plane.
Operator – Our next question comes from the line of Robert Morales with Los Angeles Daily News. Your line is live.
Mr. Robert Morales – Thank you. Yeah, I actually have--you’re okay, Artie. I have one question for Bryan and one for Ronnie.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Okay, then I’m going to say goodbye. Ronnie, and, Bryan, and Marc, you guys keep talking. Thanks, guys, all the reporters--.
Mr. Ronnie Shields – --Thank you--.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – --For coming onboard. We need your help. And because of what you’ve done and because of the outcry and the outrage on how the decision went there could be a bigger fight in the second fight and that’s what we’re working on. So, everybody have a good day. I’ll be on cell. I’ll be in LA. Chow.
Mr. Bryan Vera – Take care.
Mr. Artie Pelullo – Bye, guys. Bye, Ronnie. Bye, Bryan--.
Mr. Ronnie Shields – --Bye.
Mr. Bryan Vera – Take care.
Mr. Robert Morales – Okay, so, Bryan, I’m curious, immediately after the decision was announced, what went through your head?
Mr. Bryan Vera – I mean nothing really. I just felt sick to my stomach, man, because I mean, you heard the crowd. The crowd booed. And I just knew that I won the fight, man. We all felt the same way. I really had no thoughts. I was kind of disgusted, man. So, I just prayed, hopefully, we can do this again.