The dramatic Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez results almost made history repeat itself, as the two top middleweights in the world battled for supremacy from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, September 15. However, the son couldn't quite close the show like the father, and Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez won a wide unanimous decision over challenger and Mexican fan-favorite Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Official scores for the Chavez vs. Martinez fight were 117-110, 118-109 and 118-109 for Martinez, and I also scored the bout 118-109 for Martinez.
Nearly two decades ago, on September 17, 1994, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. scored one of the most memorable, and controversial, knockout wins in boxing history as referee Richard Steele called off his fight against Meldrick Taylor with just a second or two remaining on the clock in the final round. It made Steele a lightning rod for criticism, it bolstered Chavez's heroic status, and it helped catapult Taylor into a steep decline.
Back to the present, and Sergio Martinez absolutely dominated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for about 11 and a half rounds. Martinez had craved this fight for years. His middleweight title was stripped, and essentially handed to Chavez Jr. The kid had the fans, the fame, the status and the money, and everything else that came along with it, and Martinez wanted to prove that it all rightfully belonged to him. And he did.
However, even if the son will never come close to reaching the father's amazing legacy as the best Mexican boxer of all-time, and one of the top 10 or 20 greatest fighters ever, he showed he had some of his dad's heart and grit. Woefully behind in every way, he came out in the 12th round to slug it out and close the show.
Seemingly out of nowhere, he pummeled Martinez, who fights with his hands at his sides, waiting to slip a shot in order to throw a swift, clean counter, with his best punch of the night. Martinez was hurt, and hurt badly.
Instead of holding, Martinez tried to fight back, and he kept on getting clocked by Chavez's suddenly relentless attack. If only he had been fighting this way for the previous 11 rounds, perhaps he could have won. Or perhaps he would have merely left himself more susceptible to Martinez's incoming fire. So it goes.
Chavez Jr. planted Martinez to the canvas, and while Maravilla beat the count, a drunken version of himself emerged, wobbling around, unable to keep himself upright. He couldn't stand straight, protect himself, or fight back, but there he was. Chavez pressed, but couldn't get him out of there. With about 20 seconds left in the round - the knockdown occurred with about one minute remaining on the clock - he seemed to gas out a bit, and finally resigned himself to defeat.
The 12th round of the Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez fight will likely be named the Round of the Year. It's at least my favorite for the annual honor, and it enables everyone to walk away a winner. Martinez dominated the majority of the fight, and survived being hurt to seal the victory. Chavez Jr. never gave up, and was able to keep his reputation alive with that final, furious rally.
Let's not do a rematch here, let's let these two guys move on with their own careers in a fresh direction, and remember this night for what it was.
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.