Originally written on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 10/21/14

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

For 30 minutes, it looked like a fight that needed no return bout. Three minutes later, the word most commonly thrown around in the post-fight press conference was “rematch”. That was the kind of predictable then unpredictable fight that Sergio Martinez' victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. turned out to be Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Martinez was able to outclass Chavez Jr. for all but a few seconds of each of the first 11 rounds of the fight. You could call it a virtuoso performance, similar to what Meldrick Taylor did to Chavez Jr.'s pops for seven or eight rounds before getting stopped with two seconds left in the fight.

Chavez Jr. almost duplicated his father's Fight of the Century effort as he put Martinez down on the canvas midway through the final round of what was up until that point a lopsided fight. When Martinez rose, he elected to trade, probably due to his immense pride and talk of demolishing Chavez Jr. before the fight. That gave Chavez Jr. an opportunity to put it on Martinez, and that is exactly what he did, though he was unable to duplicate the feat and wound up losing a decision by scores of 118-109 twice and 117-110.

The fight began with both guys playing it a bit cautious, with Martinez edging things due to his more accurate arsenal. Both guys were just sizing each other up but Martinez was the only guy to really get much done that round. In the 2nd, Martinez landed some solid shots and Chavez Jr. responded by clowning him a bit. Chavez Jr. showed where he could excel later on as he landed some good shots in close that Martinez was able to shake off at the time.

That 2nd round signaled perhaps the only point in the fight up until the last stanza that you could make a case Chavez Jr. won the round. Martinez began finding comfort in his movement and ability to fire and land 1-2s like it was a heavy bag in front of him. Just like a heavy bag, Chavez Jr. did not go anywhere.

Martinez began the 4th by walking to the middle of the ring and waving for Chavez Jr. to come to the middle of the ring, all while the Mexican was still sitting on his stool. Chavez did land his best punch up until that point, a right hand that Martinez took well. Martinez fought himself off the ropes and put the fight back in the middle of the ring where he was vastly superior.

Chavez Jr. began looking a bit discouraged in the 5th and his punch output seemed to drop pretty dramatically. Still, he ate a wide variety of punches throughout the middle rounds and kept stalking Martinez, though not offering much in terms of combinations, usually going with one shot at a time.

In round six, Chavez Jr. landed some good stuff in the corner for a few seconds, landing a power shot that snapped Martinez' head back before he found himself out of trouble soon after.

Martinez dominated every second of the 7th, and it was the first point in the fight that Chavez Jr. looked really hurt as Martinez had him reeling a bit before he found his bearings. Chavez Jr. got beat up in almost every round into the championship rounds, and you could really make a case that his corner could have pulled him out without much of a reaction from the boxing public.

Chavez Jr. showed life in the 11th, setting the stage for the dramatic and ridiculous final round that showed just what the young fighter from Culiacan is made of.

It was a devastating left hook that had Martinez nearly out, as he bent through the ropes and absorbed a number of other heavy shots before he went crashing down to the canvas at the halfway point. The crowd went nuts as beer rained down from the rafters in response to the crazy turn of events. Chavez Jr. went for broke, and Martinez didn't back down, trading with his nemesis rather than holding on, again likely due to his immense pride.

Though he clearly lost the fight, Chavez Jr. didn't walk away empty handed. His countrymen that put their faith into him prior to the fight were rewarded as Chavez Jr. proved that he was world class in a couple of categories, notably in the chin and balls departments.

Martinez could have boxed and danced the 12th round as his movement was the thing Chavez Jr. couldn't figure out all night. When Martinez elected to trade, Chavez Jr. had moments where he landed some quality shots, though he never really hurt him until that point halfway through the final round.

At the post-fight press conference, rematch was a popular word being thrown around. If Martinez fights the way he did for 30 minutes, he can win comprehensively. Despite that, his pride in the leadup to the fight and his desire for a knockout dictates that we could get similar drama if these two square off a second time.


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