Moments ago, in front of a sold out crowd at the Thomas and Mack Centre in Las Vegas, Sergio Martinez dominated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. over 12 rounds to become the new WBC world middleweight champion.
Chavez was game through-out the match, but the class of Martinez was evident as he continually landed the cleaner and more damaging shots for the majority of the bout. Martinez did however have to overcome a knockdown in the 12th and final round where it looked like Chavez Jr. was about to snatch an upset victory.
Read on for FightHype UK’s round-by-round report of the action.Â
Surprisingly, Martinez is the one starting the round as the aggressor. Throwing out the jab and following it up with right hooks. Martinez moving well and avoiding Chavez. Chavez struggling to get into range but does land a short left hook. Martinez lands a straight left and follows it up with a right hook. Martinez round.
Chavez manages have to some success at the start of the round by trapping Martinez on the ropes. Martinez then manages to get back in his groove, circling Chavez and throwing out jabs and right hooks. Martinez manages to get Chavez on the ropes and land a couple of right hooks but they have no effect on Chavez. Chavez backs Martinez up, and lands left and right hooks to the body. Close round with not much clean work, preferred Chavez.
Martinez starts out fast, throwing combinations and landing them. Landing his jab at will and following it up with nice straight lefts to the head and body. Chavez digs to the body but Martinez lands a nice left uppercut on the inside. Another jab straight left from Martinez lands. Martinez round.
Martinez is countering at will and keeping things on the outside. Chavez is struggling with the speed and movement of Sergio. Uppercut, straight left lands from Martinez. Chavez lands a right hook followed up by a straight right. Martinez reverts back to fighting on the outside, eats a right hand from Chavez, but finishes the round with a great straight left. Martinez round.
Martinez is the one letting his hands go as Chavez tries to walk him down. Martinez going to the body well and pot shotting from the outside with straight left hands and right hooks. A nice left hand counter from Martinez. Chavez has one moment of success where he lands a right hook. Martinez is dominating and takes the round.
Chavez having a better round and manages to get Martinez on the ropes and lands with a right to the head and left to the body. Martinez answering back with two and three punch combinations. Chavez is managing to get up close and take it to the inside, but Martinez is landing the cleaner shots. Another Martinez round.
Chavez bleeding badly from the nose. Martinez keeping things on the outside, countering Chavez with straight lefts as he tries to get inside. Martinez opens up and backs up Chavez with a series of straight lefts and right hooks. Has Chavez trapped on the ropes and is dishing out punishment. Chavez tries to answer back but not enough to take the round.
Martinez still dictating things from the outside and landing the cleaner shots. Chavez had good periods of success though, landing a rare jab and a short right hook. Chavez manages to get a straight right in. Sergio is still throwing more, and landing more. Martinez round, but could have gone either way.
Chavez is just stalking Martinez and attempting to get on the inside, but he’s getting picked off as he comes in. Straight left hand counters are landing at will from Martinez, and he’s landing consistently with his jab and right hook combo. Martinez has a cut over his left eye, but he takes the round.
Chavez is throwing very little and Martinez is able to tee off on him. Jabs and straight left hands are landing with ease. Chavez not letting his hands go at all and allowing Martinez to dominate. Clash of heads. Martinez round.
Chavez is told by Freddie Roach that he needs a knock-out and he emerges for round 11 looking for it. He’s throwing bombs and going for broke. He does have success and, arguably, has his best round of the night. Despite this, Sergio is returning fire with fire and still landing the cleaner and more damaging shots. I liked Sergio in this round, but it was much closer than previous rounds.
Chavez comes out for round 12 and goes for it. He lands a big right hook on Martinez which wobbles him, and he launches an assault on him along the ropes. Sergio recovers well, but eats another big left hook, wobbles, and then Chavez lands a left hook bang on the chin which sends Martinez to the ground. Martinez is hurt, but rather than hold decides to trade with Chavez and eats more big right and left hands. Martinez and Chavez stand and trade up to the final bell in a quite enthralling final round. Chavez takes it.
My scorecard: 117-110 for Sergio Martinez
OFFICIAL SCORES: 117-110, 118-109, 118-109, all for Sergio Martinez who is the new WBC world middleweight champion.
On the undercard there were two more world title fights with, first, WBA world super-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux defending his strap against Roberto Marroquin.
Rigondeaux won a comfortable decision on the cards, dropping his opponent once in round 5 and then again in round 12. Marroquin did have his moments though, and wobbled the talented Cuban in round 3 and again in round 9, but he was unable to capitalise on the moment and score a knockdown or a knockout.
Rigondeaux retained his title with a unanimous decision victory with the scores of 118-108, 118-108, 118-109.
The chief support for the main event featured Roman Martinez vs. Miguel Beltran Jr. for the vacant WBO world super-featherweight championship. Martinez, who lost the belt to Ricky Burns back in 2010, was looking to become a two-time world champion, while his opponent was fighting for his first world title.
The fight had the expectation beforehand of being entertaining and it didn’t disappoint, potentially being one of the fights of the year so far. Both men were content to go toe-to-toe and leave it all in the ring. Beltran Jr. wobbled Martinez on several occasions but was unable to put him away. Martinez, too, had periods of success with powerful straight right hands from the outside and short left hooks on the inside.
A point was taken from Beltran in round 11 for a rabbit punch, which, ultimately, had an outcome on the fight as it went to the judges scorecards.
Roman Martinez took a split-decision to victory to become the new champion. The scores read: 116-111 (Beltran Jr.), 114-113 (Martinez), 114-113 (Martinez).