Martinez was able to outclass Chavez for all but a few seconds of each of the first 11 rounds of the fight. You could call it a virtuoso performance, similar to what Meldrick Taylor did to Chavez's pops for seven or eight rounds before getting stopped with two seconds left in the fight.
(Photo credit: Chris Farina,Top Rank)
LAS VEGAS -- For 30 minutes, it looked like a fight that needed no return bout. Three minutes later, the word most thrown around in the post-fight press conference was “rematch.” That was the kind of predictable then surprising fight that Sergio Martinez's victory over Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. turned out to be Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Chavez almost duplicated his father's Fight of the Century effort as he put Martinez down on the canvas midway through the final round of what was up until that point a lopsided fight. When Martinez rose, he elected to trade, probably due to his immense pride and talk of demolishing Chavez before the fight. That gave Chavez an opportunity to put it on Martinez, and that is exactly what he did, though he was unable to duplicate his father's feat and wound up losing a decision by scores of 118-109 twice and 117-110.
The fight began with both guys playing it a bit cautious, with Martinez edging things due to his more accurate arsenal. Both boxers were sizing each other up but Martinez was the only guy to really get much done that round. In the 2nd, Martinez landed some solid shots and Chavez. responded by clowning him a bit. Chavez showed where he could excel later on as he landed some good shots in close, though Martinez was able to shake them off at the time.
The 2nd round was perhaps the only point in the fight up until the last stanza that you could make a case Chavez won a round. Martinez began finding comfort in his movement and ability to fire and land 1-2s, and it was like there was a heavy bag in front of him. Like a bag, Chavez did not go anywhere.
Martinez began the 4th by walking to the middle of the ring and waving for Chavez to come to him while the Mexican was still sitting on his stool. Chavez did land his best punch up until that point, a right hand that Martinez took well. Martinez fought himself off the ropes and put the fight back in the middle of the ring where he was vastly superior.
Chavez began looking a bit discouraged in the 5th and his punch output seemed to drop pretty dramatically. Still, he ate a wide variety of punches throughout the middle rounds and kept stalking Martinez, not offering much in terms of combinations, usually going with one shot at a time.
In round 6, Chavez landed some good stuff in the corner for a few seconds, landing a power shot that snapped Martinez' head back but the Argentine got himself out of trouble quickly.
Martinez dominated every second of the 7th, and it was the first point in the fight that Chavez looked really hurt, Martinez had him reeling a bit before he found his bearings. Chavez got beat up in almost every round into the championship rounds, and you could make the case that his corner could have pulled him out without much of a reaction from the boxing public.
Chavez showed life in the 11th, setting the stage for the dramatic and ridiculous final round that showed just what the young fighter from Culiacan is made of.
It was a devastating left hook that nearly put Martinez out, bending through the ropes and absorbing a number of other heavy shots before crashing down to the canvas at the halfway point. The crowd went nuts as beer rained down from the rafters in response to the crazy turn of events. Chavez went for broke, and Martinez didn't back down, trading with his nemesis rather than holding on, likely due to his immense pride.
Though he clearly lost the fight, Chavez didn't walk away empty handed. The countrymen that put their faith in him prior to the fight were rewarded. Chavez proved that he was world class in a couple of categories, notably in the chin and balls departments.
Martinez could have boxed and danced in the 12th round, since his movement was what Chavez couldn't figure out all night. When Martinez elected to trade, Chavez had moments where he landed some quality shots, though he never really hurt him until halfway through the final round.
At the post-fight press conference, rematch was the word being thrown around. If Martinez fights a whole fight the way he did for 30 minutes, he can win comprehensively. Despite that, his pride in the leadup to the fight and his desire for a knockout makes TQBR think that we could get similar drama if these two square off a second time.
Well, Chavez gets credit for his chin, heart and one of the all-too-fleeting gifts of youth: stamina. Serge is on the dying side of 30 (as I used to say about myself, but I"m a hypochondriac) and that, as much as anything, gave Chavez his final-round opportunity and his staying power. And it would have been a much shorter fight had Chavez not had heart to take all those punches and keep on keeping on, making it a bit like a bear-baiting in there for 10 or 11 rounds, though Chavez did have his moments. Still in all? Martinez v. Chavez demonstrated that that the latter is strong with a good chin, but -- unless he develops some low-end torque -- not great.
my favorite post fight moment was when chavez came in when martinez was getting interviewed, and sergio gave him his water bottle to drink from. It was just funny as hell to me for some reason, this weird little moment of politeness..
i don't care how many rounds Martinez won-- in the end, Chavez knocked him square on his ass-- and was probably at one point just one punch away from finishing (chavez shouldn't have pushed martinez down-- he was on the verge and the time on the canvas gave martinez a much needed rest).
I am a Martinez fan, and didn't think much of Chavez before this fight. But I would suggest that Chavez, having seriously rocked one of the sport's elite fighters--earned his place last night as a fighter in his own right-- not just as his father's son.
Having said all that, how great was that finish? Even my casual fan at best girlfriend was completely taken by that ending-- the kind of drama and intensity that only boxing at its best can offer-- of course there needs to be a rematch.
As for comparisons, a better one might be Billy Conn as Martinez when Conn fought and would have beaten Joe Louis-- except Conn, the much smaller man way ahead on the cards, tried to knock Joe Louis out and was left instead in a smallish heap on the canvas late in the fight.
I cant believe the public would want to see a rematch...Chavez was completely shut out for 11 rounds...
I'm really tired of the Meldrick Taylor comparison. Meldrick got hit plenty before getting broken down (and I still disagree with Steele's decision, but that is the past). Martinez got hit barely, and then Jr. got him good, but Martinez refused to hold his way to a sure victory. These are in no way the same thing. Please stop.
post fight interview. please fast forward to 19:35. the instant martinez enters, julio starts tapping his swollen eye and starts looking down. cant even look martinez in the eye.
also, please note the condition of both fighters. sergio is on his way to photoshoot, chavez not so much.
however, chavez did earn a bit of respect. despite being completely dominated, he showed good heart even if he lacks the skill.
so are we saying there should be a rematch? imo rematch is not warranted. winning 30 seconds of a fight does not earn you a rematch no matter how spectacular it was and in the end it wasn't even close to being enough. although the article doesn't mention it, sergio did win the first 1:30 or so of that last round, got knocked down, got up and struggled for 10-15 seconds before winning the last 30-40 seconds. sergio was stupid for getting a woody and going for the knockout when he had no need to. for all those that criticize mayweather...this is a perfect example of why mayweather does what he does and is the best.
i think that just a look at the condition of the both fighters' faces after the match pretty much tells you all that you need to know. chavez showed everyone why there's a jr. in his name as he got bamboozled for pretty much the whole fight.
also, is it just me or did one of chavez' cornermen ask for a "bottle with the medicine" in between rounds 11 and 12. wtf was that all about?
@CedricLee LIke Panama Lewis giving Pryor the black bottle in his fight against Arguello??
I remember hearing something about "medicine" but it was pretty chaotic in his corner.