Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 knockouts) became the WBC middleweight champion of the world on Sept. 15, defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 knockouts) via unanimous decision at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
Right from the start, Martinez established himself as the superior boxer, throwing Chavez Jr. off with his crisp footwork. “Maravilla” controlled virtually every round of the fight, and he looked like he was on his way to an easy decision.
However, Chavez — who suffered his first loss as professional boxer — didn’t go down without a fight, and he turned up the heat in the final round, sending Martinez to the canvas with a left hook. For a moment, it looked like Chavez Jr. would pull of the upset, but Martinez was able to survive until the final bell.
A one-sided affair for the majority of the fight, but the final round was one of the most entertaining rounds I’ve seen in a while.
“Julio did a great job, he did a lot, more than I expected,” Sergio Martinez told HBO’s Max Kellerman shortly after the fight. “He did a great fight. He showed he had a lot of heart until the end. He wouldn’t give in.”
Given the way things went down, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. still has a lot to learn about the sweet science, but he did answer one of the biggest questions hardcore boxing fans had about him. He finally showed the world that he has the heart of a true fighter, as lesser men would have given up during the earlier rounds when Martinez was giving him a boxing lesson.
Chavez Jr. might have lost his undefeated record, but he finally earned the respect of hardcore boxing fans.
Both men seemed open to the possibility of a rematch after the bout, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before it happens. With a few improvements, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. might just have what it takes to compete with elite fighters like Sergio Martinez.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.