Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/8/14

8 Apr 1995: Julio Cesar Chavez and Giovanni Parisi throw punches at each other. Chavez won the fight in the 12th round. Mandatory Credit: Holly Stein /Allsport

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was pummeled by Sergio Martinez for 11 rounds in Las Vegas on Saturday night before putting together a thrilling 12th round where he nearly came back to beat the champion. The events of the evening left many questioning the judgment, and training, of Freddie Roach.

After guiding a previously raw Manny Pacquiao to boxing greatness, Roach became known as the best boxing trainer in the world and considered somewhat of a training whisperer. But as Robert Littal points out, Roach’s big fighters are 0-3 in their last title fights (if you include Pacquiao getting robbed in the Timothy Bradley decision). Then the unthinkable happened; Roach was fired by a fighter — Amir Khan, who was dissatisfied after losing his last two fights.

On top of being canned by Khan, some thought Roach gave up on Chavez Jr. during his fight on Saturday night when he shouldn’t have.

Chavez Jr. was getting outclassed by Martinez much of the fight, and Roach told his fighter after the 10th that he needed a knockout to win the fight.

“Julio, let your hands go,” Roach advised Chavez in the corner after the 10th round. “When he’s punching, you have to catch him in between. You have to punch with him!”

Chavez Jr. had lost the first 10 rounds on two of the judges’ cards, so Roach’s analysis was spot-on at that point.

Then, during an interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman during the 11th round, Roach said his fighter was overmatched and admitted he was thinking of stopping the fight.

“Freddie, you told Julio that he needed a knockout to win. How does he get it?” asked Kellerman.

“He’s gotta punch with him, he’s gotta exchange with him, he’s gotta let his hands go. He’s walking in with his head down. He’s gotta let his hands go to knock this guy out,” said Roach.

“Can he [knock him out]?” Kellerman asked.

“I’m not sure. His speed is just so much. His speed is a factor in this fight — the kid is very fast. We can’t keep up with him — at least so far.”

“Have you had any thoughts of stopping the fight?” Kellerman followed.

“I did. I said to Julio ‘Julio, show me that you want to win this fight.’ I’d like to see a little bit more,” said Roach.

“He’s trying really hard, but the speed factor is just too much.”

At that point it seemed like Roach was just giving an honest assessment of the situation and looking to protect his fighter. But you figure that Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who was also in the corner, would never have allowed Roach to stop his son’s fight. Not only is Chavez Sr. into the macho boxing mentality, but maybe he also believed his son could win.

And guess what? Chavez Jr. showed all those who continued to believe in him that he still had a chance that they were right.

He got in some nice shots on Martinez in the 12th and even put the Argentine on the canvas twice — once thanks to a punch, and another time after the wobbly Martinez slipped.

So if Chavez Jr. was so overmatched as Roach described it during the 11th, how did he come back in the 12th? Well it seemed like Martinez went away from what made him successful earlier in the fight. He started the first minute just dancing around with his hands down, hardly throwing any punches. That allowed Chavez Jr. to step in and catch him with a good shot.

We later learned that Martinez was taken to the hospital after the fight and that he had a broken left hand. We don’t know when that happened, but it could explain why he was so quiet in the 12th.

Now that his fighters have lost and looked badly in their fights, the luster is starting to fall off Roach. Why aren’t his guys producing? Is he not properly preparing his guys? And how could he so thoroughly miscalculate things with Chavez Jr. by putting him against someone who was so much better?

Personally, I’ve thought Chavez Jr. was overrated for a long, long time and that his record was built by fighting mostly nobodies, so I figured he would lose to Martinez easily (Martinez was a 1:2 favorite). I also think Roach’s mid-fight analysis and consideration of stopping the fight was probably the right thing for a protective trainer to do. But there is one thing we have learned: it’s that just because a fighter trains with Freddie Roach doesn’t make him invincible. Roach clearly is not a miracle worker, but his training (or decision about whom to train), does seem to have some holes lately.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Blue Jays OF tears meniscus in freak sprinkler accident

Death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Five bubble teams playing well heading into March

Falcons release Steven Jackson

Bill Walton has some words of advice for Derrick Rose


Five under-the-radar National Player of the Year candidates

Judge overturns Peterson suspension; NFL to appeal

Dez Bryant's mother in 2012: Dez threatened to knock me out

Full offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

Brandon Bostick received death threats after botched play

Ex-Louisville player charged with rape, sodomy

WATCH: Sidney Crosby catches teammate's stick in mid-air

WATCH: Vanderbilt coach tells own player 'I'll f-ing kill you'

Are the Kings willing to trade DeMarcus Cousins?

Johan Santana signed by Blue Jays to minor league deal

Leafs trade David Clarkson to Blue Jackets For Nathan Horton

Panthers acquire Jaromir Jagr from Devils

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

HBO picks up The Rock’s football series, ‘Ballers’

The key offseason moves for every MLB team

Giancarlo Stanton gets first-ever customized facemask

Ronda Rousey, Arianny Celeste have verbal sparring match

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Rousey, Arianny Celeste get into it

Dallas sportscaster back with another powerful essay

The parallels of Rose and Hardaway

Offseason breakdown for all 32 NFL teams

On Josh Hamilton's addiction and feeling alone

Judge rules against AP's suspension

Why the Lions should let Suh walk

Chris Jones charged with rape, sodomy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.