Eleven and a half rounds or 95% of the fight, that was how long Sergio Martinez dominated, thoroughly dominated, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The last half of that last round was a hell of a ride.
I openly admit to rooting for Martinez in this fight. It’s hard for me to not root for the serf over the prince or David over Goliath. I understood Martinez and his teeming, seething anger. I understood his feeling slighted by not only Chavez Jr, but the belt Chavez Jr held and who handed him that belt.
Sergio Martinez fights on HBO and so it would stand that HBO would have final say on who he fights. Martinez held the WBC title and his mandatory defense was Sebastian Zbik who HBO did not approve of as an opponent for Martinez.
Martinez now having HBO decline a fight with Zbik, the WBC then stripped Martinez of his title. The president of the WBC is Jose Sulaiman.
Jose Sulaiman is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s godfather. No matter who your allegiance lies with that’s fishy (to say the least).
Martinez saw all of this for what it was, the boy with the silver spoon having that spoon upgraded to gold. It wasn’t fair and he let everyone know how he felt about the situation and Chavez himself.
He said all through the promotion that he was going to destroy Chavez. That Chavez was going to need his teeth replaced because after the fight Martinez would make sure they’d be missing. That Chavez would need a doctor to identify his remains.
The WBC ordered by unanimous votes that the mandatory defense of WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has to be against the diamond champion Sergio Martinez but also allowed that if both parties reach an agreement, they can have voluntary defenses and then the winner of each bout fight between them for the WBC title. Chavez Jr called WBC President Jose Sulaiman to ask his approval for his voluntary defense on February 4, so the Sulaiman called Sergio Martinez who accepted that Chavez Jr. be allowed to fight because he will also fight in March, so both boxers agreed to a fight between them after their voluntary defenses.
I applaud the WBC for forcing Chavez Jr’s hand and making the next defense of his title against Sergio Martinez, but it doesn’t really matter what they do. If Chavez Jr refuses to take the fight against Maravilla then Chavez Jr will just be stripped of his title.
Stripping a fighter of his title used to mean something. That has gone by the wayside these days. I realize this is a generality, but most boxers don’t care for titles like they used to. Oh sure if they win one it’s an extremely exhilarating feeling, but now they care more for how many zero’s are at the end of their check.
Chavez Jr’s own people said they wouldn’t want to take a fight with Maravilla because it isn’t worth it to them monetarily. In other words, they know Martinez would expose Chavez for the mediocre talent that he really is.
I would be thoroughly surprised it Chavez Jr actually steps into the ring with Martinez, so would Top Rank (Chavez Jr’s promoter). He will most likely
The better match-up, in my opinion, would be a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight. It would be The Battle for Mexico and would probably shatter all sorts of Mexican viewership/gate records.
With news that Ken Hershman was scooped up by HBO (and away from Showtime) to be the new president of HBO Sports, it makes me feel hopeful that the debacle at HBO Sports and their problems with reaching their budget and forcing some non-PPV worthy fights onto PPV is over.
This hopefulness has me thinking of some fights that I would love to see. Not that any of these fights will or will not be made, just my current wish list.
I want to see two men* in the trenches, pouring their heart and soul into every punch. Refusing to give into the will of their opponent and fight as if it was their last chance in the ring.
*Or women, I don’t discriminate I mean I have watched women fight locally in Sarah Kuhn and Jaci Trivilino in fantastic, hard nosed battles that were extremely enjoyable*
5. Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto
I realize Cotto has a fight on HBO PPV coming up (I see a Cotto KO victory over Margarito, btw), but I don’t care. The styles that both men have would end in nothing less than fireworks. I understand and appreciate a fighter that is over skilled defensively and from time to time it’s a joy to watch someone so skilled in that craft do their work in the ring, but what I really enjoy in a fight above all else is a fight. I think these two have the potential to have a 5-star fight. I have almost no doubt Maravilla would win, but I am also sure that Cotto would give him everything he could handle.
4. Yuriorkis Gamboa vs. Gary Russell, Jr.
Russell, Jr. is realistically about three fights away from being ready for someone of Gamboa’s quality. It’s just that to see Russell in the ring now you would think he’s a 10+ year veteran. He looks extremely polished with the whole package at his disposal. The 23-year-old has speed, power, defense and controls the ring like a grizzled veteran.
Gamboa is no slouch though. While I am high on Russell, I think Gamboa is the cream of the featherweight division. He, too, has almost unmatched speed and throws deadly accurate combinations. His major flaw is his ability to disappear for a minute or so in some rounds. He can get away with that against most because he is so superior in talent and quickness, but another grade A fighter would be quick to exploit that weakness. Continue reading “Five Fights Wishlist”→
No, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t the best decision I’ve seen.
The champ, Zbik (30-0, 10 KO’s), came out quick. Sticking his surprisingly good jab into the much heavier Chavez Jr’s (42-0-1, 30 KO’s) face*. That jab kept Chavez relatively at bay for the first four rounds as Zbik threw multiple combinations and generally outworked the larger opponent.
(* The HBO broadcast said Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. weighed in, unofficially, the day of the fight at 180lbs. Zbik weighed in at 165lbs on that same HBO scale. In effect it was a fighter that was just 5lbs over the middleweight limit taking on a fighter 5lbs over the light heavyweight limit. Not sure would could be done about a fighter ballooning 20lbs from the weigh-in to the day of the fight. I mention the unofficial weight because it’s definitely a factor.)
The best thing Chavez could have done was use that 180lbs frame to drive and dig hard, thudding body punches into Zbik’s ribs and kidneys. As always the person taking the body shot didn’t react much, if at all, but that is par for the course. The body shots were meant to soften Zbik up and slow him down and they did just that. Continue reading “HBO Boxing After Dark, 6.4.11”→
First televised fight up was a middleweight bout between Andy Lee & Craig McEwan.
It was a decent fight overall. The one most surprising thing to me was the fact that Andy Lee had a chance to look impressive against someone he should have had no problems with and he failed.
Yes, Lee did knock McEwan out in the 10th and final round, but it was just a save, in reality. He did not look impressive at all. He looked flat and his punches didn’t carry any power through most of the middle rounds. The sting didn’t really appear in his punches until around round 7.
Credit where it’s due, McEwan had all the heart in the world. In the end it wasn’t enough. There are fights every so often where a fighter loses (for whatever reason), but everyone except for the opponent believes he did so much right that the loser deserved to win.
Craig McEwan deserved to win in my book. My book doesn’t matter to fate though because Andy Lee plain old took him out in the last round.
This fight did nothing for my thoughts on Andy Lee, except to prove that he is not near ready for a real step up in competition.
(Side note: For what it’s worth, I had McEwan ahead 86-84 going into the 10th & final round.)