Sunday, September 16, 2012
School is now in session son
I would like to tell you that very much like the picture to my left, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (@ left) and Sergio Martinez went toe to toe on Saturday night; but I can't. However, that is not to say there was no action and (or) drama in the fight, for as one-sided as it was, the bout was very intriguing. The bottom line was, school was in session and Martinez was giving a boxing lesson.
Now two-time WBC middleweight champion Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO's) stayed true to his word in more than one fashion in his fight against former champ Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (46-1, 32 KO's); as he told him he would take him to school and that's what he did. For nearly all 12 rounds, Martinez did just what I had told many he would do, which was run circles around Junior and destroy him with his speed, lateral movement and superior boxing skills. Though he did not finish him by the 10th round as I had predicted, he did do something else he said he would.
On HBO's 24/7 preview series, Martinez said that after their fight Chavez would be unrecognizable to his family. Well, one look at Junior's puffed up face and nearly shut left eye, and you could see the effects of Martinez's punches. One would think reading this that there can't be that much to write about regarding this fight, but that wasn't the case.
Though Martinez clearly dominated the overall majority, he did not finish strong; that scenario believe it or not went to Chavez. After getting beat to the punch all night and barely throwing any of his own, the kid came back to his corner after the 10th round just looking to survive. His Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach looked him in the eyes and told him bluntly, "Julio, you need a knockout to win."
With that, Chavez gave Roach a slight nod acknowledging his coach and then proceeded to come out in the 11th attempting to do just that; by stalking Martinez and winging hooks to both the head and body. Though he showed signs of life, it wasn't till the 12th and final round that the true drama would appear. He came out with the same fortitude and while trading shots, caught Martinez with a left hook to the head that shook the native Argentinean.
Seeing Martinez in trouble, Chavez kept throwing a barrage of shots, finally knocking down Martinez and sending the Las Vegas crowd and everyone in attendance where I was watching the fight into frenzy. However, Martinez, though weary, was able to gather his senses enough to outlast the last ditch effort and win a unanimous decision. In triumph and defeat, both Martinez and Chavez were humble and respectful in their post fight comments.
Yet, the fact that Max Kellerman asked the question of both about a potential rematch, solely because Chavez was able to muster a knockdown in the last round left me scratching my head asking why? There was no indication that another fight between these two would not end up the same way. Though Junior did get to 'Maravilla' at the end, I doubt an expert and veteran like Martinez will make that same mistake again.
In closing, it was a fantastic night of fights on two separate events taking place in Vegas between this HBO PPV show and the Showtime card headlined by Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Josesito Lopez. While the main events in both ended up as foregone conclusions, the under card fights on both shows such as the super featherweight tilt between Rocky Martinez and Miguel Beltran on HBO and the welterweight slugfest between Marcos Maidana and Jesus Soto Karass on Showtime were great.
How good were they? Well during a friendly back and forth exchange via texts with legendary boxing and MMA trainer Jacob 'Stitch' Duran during the Puerto Rican/Mexican battle of Martinez and Beltran, 'Stitch' eloquently quipped, "If those fights on HBO are as good as the ones on Showtime right now, it is a great night for Latino boxing." I could not have said it any better my friend.
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