Martinez survives 12th round, beats Chavez Jr. via UD

Carlos Cinco
So dominant was Martinez that he won every single round up to the last, which surprisingly, went to Chavez Jr. in dramatic fashion

UNITED STATES, LAS VEGAS : LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 15: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (L) and Sergio Martinez trade punches in the second round of their WBC middleweight title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on September 15, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jeff Bottari/Getty Images/AFP

SINGAPORE – In one of the year’s most highly anticipated matchups, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (50-2-2, 28KO) thoroughly defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1, 32KO) over 12 rounds. So dominant was Martinez that he won every single round up to the last, which surprisingly, went to Chavez Jr. in dramatic fashion.

In one of the sport’s most exciting final rounds, “The Son of The Legend” rocked Martinez with a devastating phantom left hook that the Argentine never saw coming. A follow up flurry of left hand bombs sent the Linear Middleweight Champion crashing to the canvass and back up again on wobbly legs.

Chavez Jr. continued the assault in the last minute of the twelfth, but it was just too late as the clock started to wind down. In the end, Martinez took the wide Unanimous Decision but it was Chavez Jr. who took the bragging rights.

Prior to their fight, a fair amount of trash talk between both fighters was dished out. Martinez claimed that Chavez Jr. was not on his elite level, and that the son of perhaps Mexico’s greatest prizefighter had been handed a belt on a silver platter as opposed to having earned it by blood, sweat and tears.

Chavez Jr. was obviously offended by those remarks and wanted to prove to Martinez and to the whole world that he could hang with the best. Nonetheless, both fighters were looking for knockouts coming into the bout.

However, as history has proven time and time again, the old Boxing adage still applies – styles make fights.

In this matchup, it was to be the fast, erratic movement of Sergio Martinez against the slow plodding yet punishing body attack of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

For nearly the entire fight, Chavez Jr. had difficulty dealing with Martinez’s superior mobility and hand speed. Junior tried numerous times to trap Martinez in a corner to get down to business, but failed to keep him there long enough to do some significant damage.

Every time he would be in a position of peril, Martinez circled away intelligently back to the center of the ring where he could not be hurt by Chavez Jr.’s pressure.

Down by 10 rounds with 2 remaining, Chavez Jr. needed a knockout to win going into the 11th.

When Freddie Roach, Chavez Jr.’s head trainer, was interviewed in between rounds by HBO’s Max Kellerman, he was asked if he thought Chavez Jr. could score a late stoppage.

In true-to-Roach honesty, the Hall of Fame trainer said that the “speed factor was too much”, and that he “wasn’t sure” they could get the knockout.

And that pretty much sums it all up. Indeed, Martinez was just too quick and too slick for the sometimes too stationary Chavez Jr.

Martinez did what he said he would do, and that was bully and punish Chavez Jr. until his face was a bloody mess. By the end of the fight, both of Chavez Jr.’s eyes were black and blue, with blood streaming down from his nose and mouth.

But what Martinez did not do was knock the boy out, instead, it was Chavez Jr. landing the shot that scored a knockdown – providing a good, solid premise for a possible rematch.

Can Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. finish the fight in the second meeting? Maybe, we’ll just all have to wait and see.

Sergio Martinez may have gotten the victory, but Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. definitely got the bragging rights and certainly did enough in the last round to merit a rematch.

At 37 years old, Sergio Martinez looked fantastic and as youthful as ever, but the clock is ticking for the ageing superstar. He’ll need all the big money fights he can get in the prime of his career. Martinez has tried to make superfights with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the past, but to no avail.

I don’t think either Pacquiao or Mayweather will ever step into the ring against this beast they call Maravilla, so a rematch with Chavez Jr. seems likely as both guys seem to want it as do the fans.

With the win, Martinez grabs Chavez Jr.’s WBC Middleweight strap and retains his RING Magazine Linear Middleweight title. -Rappler.com

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