For 11 rounds, Sergio Martinez did everything he wanted, including giving Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. the beating he promised.
Then came a wild 12th round that will be talked about in boxing for a long time to come.
Bleeding from the nose and his face bruised from the hands of Martinez, Chavez somehow found a way to land a left hook and then another that put Martinez on the canvas before a frenzied capacity crowd at the UNLV campus arena. Martinez would go down one more time in the final round and was taking huge punches when the bell mercifully sounded to end the fight.
Martinez ended up winning a lopsided unanimous decision to regain the middleweight title. But the 12th-round rally by Chavez was one for boxing lore, reminiscent of a fight his father was in 22 years ago against Meldrick Taylor just a few miles away from the Las Vegas Strip.
''I was 20 seconds away from knocking him out. I started way too late,'' Chavez said. ''I didn't really get started until the eighth round.''