Marvellous from Maravilla
WBC middle-weight diamond champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez escaped a last round scare to take a deserved unanimous decision victory over WBC champion, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr last night.
The under-rated Argentinian used his jab and reach advantage to devastating effect, making a mess of Chavez’s nose and left eye as the lights shone bright in Las Vegas.
We marvelled at the hand-speed, guile and boxing skills of Andre Ward last week as he flattened Chad Dawson, and spectators were left doing the same as the 37-year-old Martinez – with his customary low-handed southpaw stance – danced around the ring like a man half his age.
True boxing fans have known that Martinez has been one of the best on the planet for a few years now, and indeed he has won harder fights than he did last night against the likes of Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik, and last night he took his chance to show the world what he can do.
Coming into the fight, Martinez had been withering in his verbal attack of Chavez, calling him a “paper-champion” that “was not on my level”.
Chavez came into the bout undefeated, but quickly learnt that Martinez’s words were in fact true in the opening rounds as Martinez – often a slow starter – took charge, dominating the ring.
Martinez, now 50-2-2, did not have it all his way though, with a cut that opened above his eye as the fight came into its climax.
This did not bother the Argentine, but a sickening right, left hook combination from Chavez mid-way through the final round left Martinez dazed and on the floor.
Fortunately, he was not to be robbed of victory as he regained his head and avoided Chavez for the rest of the round to take a wide decision.
Canelo blazes Lopez
In the night’s other main event, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez blasted Josesito Lopez out via fifth round knock-out.
Canelo quickly established himself over Lopez, a blown up welter-weight fighting at light to middle-weight.
This paves the way for Alvarez to fight either Mayweather or Martinez next, with the latter claiming he could easily bring his weight down to the required 154 pounds; a triangular round-robin of fights between those three is sure to have fight-fans watering at the mouth.
In the night’s other fights, Matthew Macklin won via first round KO over little-known opponent Joachim Alcine. Roman Martinez took a tight split-decision victory over Miguel Beltran Jr in a barnstorming bout.
AA’s Pound-for-Pound rankings:
- Floyd Mayweather Jr (43-0 26KO’s)
- Sergio Martinez (50-2-2 28KO’s)
- Andre Ward (26-0 14KO’s)
- Vitali Klitschko (45-2 41KO’s)
- Wladimir Klitschko (58-3 51KO’s)
- Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2 38KO’s)
- Saul Alvarez (42-0-1 30KO’s)
- Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1 39KO’s)
- Miguel Cotto (37-3 30KO’s)
- Nonito Donaire (29-1 18KO’s)
Adam Appleton, boxing correspondent