So close yet so far away- Chavez/Martinez Wrap-up
By: Albert Alvarez
When I first heard that the Thomas & Mack Center was a complete sell out for the fight, I almost could not believe it. I mean here you have the son of a legend in one corner who happens to just have the same name as his legendary father, but who is not the fighter that his father was, and you have a slick fighter from Argentina in the opposite corner.
I guess it’s safe to say that the announcement of a complete sell out shocked me a bit. As the fight was drawing closer and closer, I expected about 10,000-12,000 fans to come out, especially since Canelo/Lopez would also be in town fighting down the road at the MGM Grand. I enter the Thomas & Mack Center and take a deep look into the crowd, and all you see around is a ton of Chavez fanatics waving the Mexican flag with a lot more than expected Martinez supporters waving the flag of Argentina sprinkled among the sold out crowd.
It is extremely loud in here, so loud that you can hardly hear your own thoughts. During the Rigondeaux/Marroquin fight, the crowd began going back and forth at each other with chants and songs at each other. It was then that I realized that we would be in for quite a night.
Rigo went on to cruise by with a unanimous nod over Marroquin but Marroquin had a couple of good moments so he should not hang his head low. Rigo improved to 11 wins with 0 losses. Marroquin falls to 22 wins with 2 losses. The next bout ended rather quickly as middleweight, Macklin went on to stop Alcine in the first round. Macklin improved to 29-4, as Alcine drops to 33-3-1. Next up was Miguel Beltran Jr. versus Rocky Martinez, Wow, what a fight! But then again, a Mexican/Puerto Rican fight is always thrilling to see, you can always expect to see a total all out war. For 12 full rounds, both fighters threw bombs at close range. Rocky Martinez went on to win by split decision. Martinez went on to regain the 130 pound WBO title.
The main event is now upon us and this place is rocking. After 3 electric national anthems, Robert Garcia comes over to greet me and advised me that his fighter, Marcos Maidana, scored an 8th round knockout of Karass down the street at the Mgm Grand. Garcia then went on to add that he rushed on over to see this fight, no way in hell was Garcia going to miss this fight. At this point, win, lose, or draw, I’m sure that Garcia would love to pin his fighter Kelly Pavlik in against Chavez Jr. Alright now on to the main event.
Martinez circles Chavez Jr. and hits him with shots right down the middle, the fight has just started and I can already see that Martinez’s foot and hand speed are going to be way too much for Chavez Jr. to handle. For the first 4 or 5 rounds, 15rounds.com writer, Bart Barry and I are disussing how Chavez Jr. is looking very similar to how Oscar De La Hoya looked against Pacquiao. The target is there but for unknown reasons, Chavez Jr. simply could not pull the trigger. Truth be told, when I saw Chavez Jr. weigh in the day before, he looked dead to me, his skin looked yellow and his cheek bones looked as if they were sucked into his skull.
In round number 6, Chavez Jr. enjoyed his best round up to that point, but even then, Martinez may have also taken that round as well.
After the sixth round, Chavez Jr. began to let his hands go a bit more, but the game Martinez fought back hard to remind his opponent that if a war is what he wanted, then a war is exactly what he would get. At this point, Chavez Jr. was swinging and firing a rifle and Martinez was blazing Chavez Jr. with an uzi. By round 10, Chavez Jr. had to have known that he would have to empty out the very little fire power that he had left on Martinez in order to save some face. And just as I was tweeting that Kellerman needs to just stop this domination by starting to walk up the steps to congratulate Martinez on his victory, Chavez then in the 12th round almost duplicated what his legendary father did versus Meldrick Taylor when he scored a tko over Taylor, in a fight that Taylor was dominating. Chavez Jr. had forced Martinez into the ropes and hurt Martinez bad with bombs to go on to knockdown Martinez with left hands.
Martinez went on to survive the last round scare, and for Chavez at that time, it was so close yet so far away. The taste of victory was at the tip of his lips but did not have the energy to close the show. Other than that explosive final round, Martinez was pretty much able to do whatever he pleased to do to Chavez Jr. It was Martinez’s night, a Maravilla performance. After the fight at the post fight conference, Chavez Jr. advised that he just could not seem to be able to let his hands go and also felt that he started late, he really had no answer as to why he couldn’t pull the trigger.
After Chavez Jr. spoke to the media, 28-1 middleweight, Daniel Geale mentioned to me that he would love to face Maravilla next, something tells me that Maravilla has his eyes set on much bigger and better things. In fact, when some members of the press threw out the name of Mayweather, Martinez smiled from ear to ear and said that he would love to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. to determine on who really is the best pound for pound fighter in the sport.
Speaking of pound for pound, I’m sure that 168 pound Champion, Andre Ward would also be another possible opponent for Maravilla. The time is now for Ward to strike, after all, the 168 pound class is looking thin and the powers that be needed to somehow create an opponent. Sergio Maravilla Martinez, may have just helped them out with that. Speaking of helping, Chavez Jr. may have also helped out Maravilla a lot by scoring that last round knockdown, because if it wasn’t for that knockdown, the fight would have been dead and quite possibly no one would have wanted to then fight Martinez. But since Chavez Jr. was able to score that knockdown, now starving opponents will love to get it on with Martinez. Chavez Jr. just helped place a few more zero’s on Maravilla’s bank account. That last round act of desperation also helped make the fight, one of the most exciting one sided fights in recent memory. It will be very interesting to see where both fighters go from here.
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