Chavez dominates Duddy
Ringside by Jeff Zimmerman
Photography by Robert Hughes
In a crossroads fight for, both, the son of legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (41-0-1, 30 KOs) and Irishman John Duddy (29-2, 18 KOs); Chavez Jr proved he was the one ready to take his fight to the next level with a dominating performance over Duddy. Chavez won a hard fought unanimous decision with scores of 120-108, 116-112 and 117-111 to claim the WBC silver middleweight belt which puts him in line for a world title shot.
It was an all-action fight from the opening bell as Duddy took the fight to Chavez early and tried to show he was the stronger more experienced fighter. After the second round however, Chavez began landing the much sharper and cleaner blows. When Chavez wasn’t going to the body with left hooks, he was going upstairs to the head of Duddy.
By the ninth round, Chavez was easily winning the fight and the only uncertainty was whether he would finish Duddy and get the knockout. With Referee Jon Schorle watching closely, Chavez unleashed the biggest blows of the night that had Duddy reeling and in survival mode. But to his credit, Duddy dug deep and fired back enough for Schorle to let the fight continue.
In the 12th and final round, both fighters gave the raucous crowd a classic battle in the center of the ring as each tried to KO the other in spectacular fashion. In the end, Chavez Jr proved he was too strong and with the help of his new and famed trainer Freddie Roach, too good, for the tough but underarmed Duddy.
Both teacher and pupil were pleased with the outcome of the fight.
“For me, it was a very special thing, a dream come true," Chavez said. "When I was a little kid, I didn’t think I would become a star in boxing."
Roach stated: “He was a very good student, fought very well. It’s been four weeks, got a long ways to go, but he’s improving. We went 14 rounds (in training) and he wanted to go one more. He wants to work and get better.”
Although Roach had heard the rumors about Chavez being lazy, he knew if Junior was willing to put in the time, his team could make him a better fighter. “With Alex Ariza, my partner, we got the best team in boxing,” Roach stated bluntly.
On whether Duddy was his toughest opponent to date, Chavez said, “Of course, of course. I respect all fighters. When I was fighting four rounders it was tough at that level. He was very strong, a great fighter, first level fighter.”
Duddy also realized early in the fight that Chavez Jr would be a tough hombre.
“In the third round I rocked him with a good right and he battled back," said the swollen-faced Duddy. "That’s the sign of a good fighter. I knew Julio was a tough fighter but as you try and make your career you take on certain stages.
"We took him into deep water and yes, he can swim, a tough kid."
Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum was also amazed by the performance of Chavez.
“Tonight we have a new star in Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.," exclaimed Arum. "He can fight anybody, anywhere.
“I want to thank Manny Pacquiao who told him to train with Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza (strength and conditioning coach for Pacquiao). Pacquiao said just try it and Chavez didn’t know if he could do it. The old Chavez would have been killed by Duddy. He would have run out of gas by the sixth round.”
Barrera batters DeJesus
Former world champion and Mexican legend, Marco Antonio Barrera (66-7, 43 KOs) quietly made his return to the ring last night easily winning this lightweight clash against the experienced but outclassed Adailton DeJesus (26-5, 21 KOs). Barrera did not disappoint the San Antonio fans whom erupted with his entrance into the ring as he won handily on all scorecards, scores reading 100-90, 98-92, 99-91..
Barrera worked his jab early and landed some crisp body shots on DeJesus who seemed in awe of his opponent early in the fight. It looked like Barrera may stop DeJesus early but the crafty veteran hung in there and towards the end of the fight tried to mount an offense but it was a little too late.
Although many in boxing thought Barrera had finally hung up his gloves after his fight with Amir Khan, Barrera instead left Golden Boy and signed a deal to fight under the Top Rank banner.
“I never retired from boxing,” said Barrera afterward. “I took a year off after getting a bad cut in my scalp against Amir Kahn. I was cut very early in that fight. Tonight I felt good. After the fight DeJesus said ‘I felt your power.’ I plan to work harder, get down to 135 and fight for a world title. I am back because I want to be the first Mexican to win world titles in 4 different weight divisions.”
And with Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum by his side, they declared he is indeed on his way for a shot at his fourth world title.
“Our plan is to get him the light weight championship. Me and Beltran, the goal is (for Barrera) to fight and win the lightweight title,” Arum said. “There is no rush to fight for the title, it’s up to him. There are great fights for him at 135lbs – championship fights.”
“I worked very hard. I felt pretty good,” Barrera stated. “I am ready whenever Bob wants me to fight, I fight. San Antonio is like my home, thank you.”
Martinez mauls Elizondo
In a Texas junior bantamweight title showdown, Raul Martinez (27-1, 15 KOs) broke down and eventually knocked out his friend and foe Gabriel Elizondo (22-4-1, 10 KOs) at 2:00 of the seventh round.
Martinez was clearly the faster, stronger and charismatic of the homegrown San Antonio fighters. Martinez was all over Elizondo from the onset and was up 60-54 on all scorecards before the knockout took place. Martinez also dropped Elizondo in the fifth and sixth round and the seventh before it was finally stopped.
Martinez has his sights set on a bigger title although he was happy to be the champion of his home city and state for one night.
“I love San Antonio and I want to be the next world champion from this great city,” he commented. “Gabe Elizondo and I will always be friends here in San Antonio. In the ring he told me he will root for me as I go after a world championship. In the fight I wanted to get my distance, then let him come towards me.”
Villa defeats Sanchez
Featherweight Tomas Villa (23-7-4, 14 KOs) beat Salvador Sanchez II (19-4-2, 9 KOs) to the punch most of the evening and survived a late rally by Sanchez to win a unanimous decision over eight rounds, with scores of 77-75, 79-73, 78-74.
Sanchez II, the nephew of the late former champion Salvador Sanchez, had a tough time early with the awkward but effective Villa. Villa muscled Sanchez to the ropes many times in the first four rounds and unleashed a series of combinations that quickly reddened the face of Sanchez.
Although Sanchez seemed to land the cleaner blows most of the night, he didn’t throw enough at the aggressive Villa. Sanchez was clearly the more skilled boxer as he threw some beautiful combinations in the middle rounds and in the last one where he really tried to pour it on and steal the fight.
Although the fight appeared closer than the final scores indicated, the judges favored the aggression and activity of Villa over the smoother, slicker yet less active Sanchez.
Fuentes TKO’s Barron
In an entertaining see-saw welterweight battle, Jose Juan Fuentes (6-1, 3 KOs) somehow came back from two early knockdowns against Rogelio Barron (12-7, 4 KOs) and instead stopped Barron at 1:12 of the 5th round.
Barron appeared to end the night early for Fuentes when he dropped Fuentes with a counter overhand right in the opening stanza. Fuentes was able to recover, but in the 2nd round he got dropped again as Barron threw a wild combo off the ropes that flattened Fuentes. Again Fuentes was able to survive and slowly started to box and stay away from the power of Barron.
As Barron appeared to tire, Fuentes took full advantage and the comeback was complete when Referee Rafael Ramos finally saw enough and stopped the fight in the fifth round of the scheduled six.
Cantu can – outguns Gamez
Local San Antonio favorite super lightweight James Cantu (6-0, 3 KOs) won a hard fought unanimous decision over the tough but outgunned Antonio Gamez (3-3-1, 1 KO) - 39-36 twice and 40-35.
Cantu was the aggressor from the opening bell and showed his power in the 3rd round with an overhand right flush on the chin of Gamez. Cantu seized the moment and dropped Gamez soon after with a flurry of punches. Gamez seemed unfazed however and got to his feet right away and survived the round.
Henry handles Lopez
Middleweight Omar Henry (10-0, 8 KOs) blitzed Hilario Lopez (12-10, 8 KOs) from the opening bell and won a unanimous decision of 40-34 on all scorecards.
Henry almost stopped Lopez within the first 20 seconds snapping his head back against the ropes, but somehow Lopez survived the onslaught.
In round four, Henry finally put Lopez on the canvas with a beautiful right but could not finish him. Lopez was able to continue under the watchful eye of Referee Rafael Ramos and finished the fight.
Benavidez KOs Beeman
Freddie Roach-trained and hot Top Rank prospect super ;ightweight Jose Benavidez (7-0, 7 KOs) wasted little time when he knocked out Josh Beeman (4-7-2, 2 KOs) with a left hook to the body at 1:20 of the first round.
Benavidez displayed his tremendous raw talent to go along with his natural physical gifts to stop the outclassed Beeman with the powerful body shot. Beeman was laid out face first on the canvas in agony not even attempting to get to his feet. With the great Freddie Roach in his corner, expect Benavidez to be a force for a long time.
In an entertaining middleweight tussle, Emanuel Ledezma (9-1-1, 2 KOs) out of San Antonio won a four-round unanimous decision over Nelson Ramos (4-1, 2 KOs), who suffered his first loss as a pro.
Ledezma, who is trained by the former San Antonio boxing legend Jesse James Leija, won this back and forth affair by being the aggressor. Ledezma squeaked out the unanimous decision by scores of 39-37, 40-36 and 39-37.