Friday, September 28, 2012

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::09.28.12:: Martinez-Chavez & More!

Sergio Martinez UD Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.

Having a chance to see the big match replay last Saturday night, I have to admit: the much ballyhoed 12th round gave me more respect for Martinez than it did Chavez. No doubt, Chavez landed a good shot, but for Martinez to have stuck it out and kept fighting (despite tearing his knee and slipping soon after) was as nearly as jaw-dropping as the knockdown. Furthermore, his continued pressing of the fight actually helped keep Chavez at bay enough to help him stick it out and avoid the finishing blow.

I thought Martinez "won" the round outside of the KD by  fighting better than Chavez afterwards, but on the flip side…what Martinez did was also insanely foolish. Yes, he recovered quick enough, but he left himself very vulnerable by trying to trade with someone that just floored him while still clearly buzzed. This finish was telegraphing itself three to four rounds earlier, as he tried to press harder for the KO and showed less respect for Chavez's power after pelting him all night, in which he was eating a few big shots during exchanges.

A once-dejected Chavez was beaming after the final bell, but it was akin to fool's gold or--in kinder words--a "moral victory". In truth, Chavez exposed himself as ill-equipped, in terms of skill, and too simplistic as a fighter, being capable of just plodding along and pummeling lesser or cornered opponents. He is a bloated crusierweight masquerading as a middleweight, supplanting grounded skill with a serious weight advanatge and the power that comes along with it. It is hard to take Chavez seriously when he has tried so hard to get ahead with the least amount of effort possible. Rd. 12 encapsulated that, as he nearly won a match he did not really "earn" or "deserved" to win. It gave him a false sense of accomplishment, one that hopefully will not hinder the lessons to be learned so he can improve as a fighter.

That fateful round, for the most part at least, hasn't completely overshadowed Martinez's dominating and exacting performance. It was a little slow through the first quarter of the fight, but from then on, he nimbly picked off his shots at will and very much looked like the "man" to Chavez's "boy" as he commanded the ring and batted Chavez around with superior accuracy, speed, and agility. A rematch is looking very likely, but that's solely due to the ending. Chavez has a lot more ground to make up than Martinez does in terms of improvement, and even so, the latter's positives are more potent than the former's. The fight, as a whole, wasn't even close and a second bout, while likely a bit closer, does not look like it could be much different.

Other Bits:

--Sergey Kovalev is solid and pretty sound, but vs. Andre Ward? Not too sure about that one…

--Gabriel Rosado is a reasonably good fighter and I give him a very good shot at taking down "Canelo" Alvarez, but he's still missing something that keeps me from going all-in on him…

--Doubt we'll see him again on U.S. airwaves, but special props goes to Charles Whittaker for battling back after each KD Rosado delivered. Never gave up and gave a fine account for himself…

--Jim Lampley's "Fight Game" show wasn't too bad, except for when he went into "High Priest" mode with his eyeroll-inducing digs at Showtime, who didn't allow HBO to show clips from its own rival Vegas card. I got it, but it sounded really petty, too. And is Dan Rafael vs. Steve Kim a future match-up possible? They seemed to be a little…frosty, though professional, in the presence of the other…

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