Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. defends WBC title against Rubio

Despite being arrested for DUI two weeks before his second defense of his WBC middleweight title, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., 45-0-1(30) wins by unanimous decision against Marco Antonio Rubio (53-6-1). This is a huge surprise to most boxing fans, considering the magnitude of this fight and considering he is the son of the most famous boxer in Mexican history. Nevertheless, Chavez, Jr. made the 160 weight rule for the fight, but quickly bubbled up to 181 as he stepped into the ring.

The first thing that caught my eye just before the fight was Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. giving his son last minute instructions on bobbing and weaving from side to side inside the dressing room. After he showed him the instructions, Chavez, Jr. imitated his father exactly how it was shown and it was clear what he was going to do in the ring.
From the beginning to the end of the fight, Chavez, Jr. not only followed his famous father’s instructions on one tactic, but also used other tactics that his father had used in his career.

In the first round, both fighters were using their jabs with Chavez Jr. coming forward as expected. Rubio withstood the advance and connected with better counter punches and won the round. The second round was more of the same except Chavez landed the more significant punches as he pursued the countering Rubio around the ring. Chavez appeared to have won this round. Just before the third round, Chavez, Sr. is seen looking intently at his son just seconds before the third round began. As the third round began, Chavez, Jr. began to crouch his stance and move forward exactly the way he was being instructed by his father before the fight. From this round until the end of the fight, Chavez, Jr. would force the fight and bully his opponent around the ring.

Although Rubio was said to be a hard puncher, and although he did connect with punches in the fourth round, it didn’t seem to faze Chavez, Jr. at all. Chavez continued to move forward pressuring Rubio until the end of the fourth round. It was apparent that Chavez, Jr. was the stronger and younger fighter. Before the beginning of the fifth round, Chavez’ corner was seen putting a small ice pack above his right eye. HBO had Chavez, Jr. ahead by two points at this point in the fight which seemed accurate. After an exchange, Rubio is warned for a low blow and Chavez is given time to recover. Chavez begins to land good body punches in this round as Rubio covers up. The round ends. At the beginning of the sixth round, Rubio is given another warning for a low blow. In this round, Chavez, Jr. continues to pressure Rubio and he finishes with the last few punches and as the round ends, Rubio smiles as if to say he is not hurt. In fact, neither fighter has landed any major punches to hurt one another.

Before the beginning of the seventh round, the scorecards have Chavez, Jr. still up by two points. In the seventh round, Chavez, Jr. continues to come forward in his crouching stance, leaning on Rubio throughout the round and he wins the round. In the eighth round Chavez, Jr. begins to walk down Rubio and they trade punches. Rubio tries to counter Chavez, Jr., with punches but he is forced backward all over the ring. Another round won by Chavez, Jr. Just before the beginning of the ninth round, Chavez, Sr. is seen giving his son last second instructions just before the round. In this round, Rubio tries to put pressure on Chavez, Jr. as they both move around the ring trading punches. They trade jabs and Rubio misses with a big right. Chavez then gets Rubio in the corner and Rubio fights his way out. Chavez then starts landing heavy punches and Rubio just counters his way out. At the end of the ninth, Chavez lands a left and right combination on Rubio on the ropes. At the end of the round, Rubio misses a hard right. Before the tenth, Chavez, Sr. is seen giving more instructions in the corner and Chavez, Jr.’s eye is beginning to swell and is noticeable. Apparently Chavez, Sr.’s advice is being taken, and Chavez, Jr., begins to really put the pressure on and is walking Rubio down all over the ring. Chavez, Jr. is headhunting and is trying to take his opponent out. Rubio is seen moving backward and only countering the onslaught of punches until the end of the round. At this point, Chavez, Jr. is way ahead on the cards, and only a knockout will win the fight for the countering Rubio.

In the eleventh Rubio caught Chavez, Jr. with a hard right which stunned Chavez, Jr. but Chavez, Jr. shrugs it off and continues to move forward and lean on his opponent. Rubio continues to counter with both hands as Chavez moves forward and lands with both hands. For every punch that Chavez lands, Rubio counters with one. At the end of the round, Chavez, Sr. is seen with his hands raised up encouraging his son to finish the fight.
Before the beginning of the last round, Chavez, Jr.’s eye is beginning to swell and halfway closing. Right before the round begins, Chavez, Sr. gives his final last instructions to his son. Rubio starts out with a combination on Chavez, Jr., but Chavez, Jr. continues to walk Rubio down. They trade punches in the middle of the ring and the tough Rubio counters. Chavez tries to land the knockout punch, but Rubio holds his ground. Rubio lands a good combination, but it doesn’t hurt Chavez, Jr. The bell sounds and the fight is over. Chavez, Jr. defends his WBC middleweight title by unanimous decision as the cards read 118-110, 116-112 115-113.

After the fight, Chavez, Jr. is quoted as saying that his legs began to get weak around the eighth round, and that is probably because of the last minute weight loss before the fight. Despite the struggle of making the weight in this division, he plans on staying as a middleweight. The 25 year old Chavez, Jr. is also quoted as saying ”He wasn’t as tough as I thought he would be,” which was apparent throughout the fight. Although Rubio was able to hold his ground, he was not able to land the heavy punches or the knockout that he wanted. He even admitted that himself. The fight that the people want to see is Chavez, Jr. fight against Sergio Martinez, but that will probably not happen soon. More than likely, he may fight Andy Lee, and hopefully he will fight Saul Canelo, probably the most exciting and upcoming fighter in Mexico.

The undercard:

Nonito Donaire Wins by Split Decision with broken left hand.

The “Filipino Flash,” Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18KO’s) lives up to his name as he moved up in weight to capture the WBO Super Bantamweight title against Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. (21-2-1). Somewhere between the second and fourth round, Donaire broke his left hand but he finished the fight. After the fight it was obvious why he fought with his left hand by his side. But at first appearance, it looked like he was just showboating with his left hand by his side, while at the same time protecting his right eye which was getting swollen.

From the third round forward, Donaire would fight against the steady Vazquez as if he was not injured. At the middle of the third round, it was apparent that Donaire’ right eye was beginning to swell. This is because Vazquez was countering and landing with his quick left jabs. As the fourth round began, Donaire was the aggressor as he flashed around the ring throwing his jab and occasionally landing with his right hand. Donaire constantly moved forward against Vazquez in this round, and Vazquez would quickly counter with both hands. Before most of the rounds, Vazquez would stand in his corner and never sit down. Round four was even.

Again, Donaire came out at the beginning of the fifth round with his left hand at his side as he threw his jab to the head of Vazquez. Donaire then tried to lure his opponent in by throwing long right hands and leaving his self open in hopes of landing his left hand. Vazquez would follow up again with his quick jab. The elusive Donaire continued his tactic of moving from side to side and throwing his jab and then moving out of distance from the combinations of Vazquez. Donaire then throws another right and showboats a little. Vazquez throws a left jab to the right side of Donaire’s face and the round ends.
At the beginning of round six, the Vazquez corner is working on a little mouse under his eye as he stands in his corner between rounds. As the round begins, Vazquez tries to land his jab as the Filipino Flash lunges with his left hand and then tried to land his right hand. They get in the middle of the ring, Vazquez misses with a right hand as Donaire simply slips the punches. Vazquez continues to force the action until the end of the round.
Halfway through the fight, both fighters appear to be strong and ready to go the last six rounds.

Just before the seventh round, Donaire is ahead by two points. Vazquez throws and lands with his jab as Donaire counters. Donaire then landed a hard punch to the stomach of Vazquez. Donaire then throws a combination and gets in a short uppercut, but then Vazquez counters with a right and a left. In the last thirty seconds both fighters are being very cautious and Donaire lands a glancing punch at the end of the round.
Donaire is now ahead by four points according to HBO commentators. In the eighth round, Donaire lands a combination to the head of Vazquez, but he just shrugs it off. Then Donaire begins to showboat and squats in front of his opponent shaking his head from side to side enticing him to throw a punch to the amusement of the crowd. Donaire then throws a right hand and finishes with a hard right and left to the head of Vazquez as the round ends.

The showboating by Donaire was a tactic to lure his opponent in for a quick knockout. And in the ninth round, that is exactly what Donaire did. Donaire quickly lands a right as they were in the middle of the ring. Donaire is still hanging his left hand by his side while he continues to protect his right eye with his right glove. Suddenly, Donaire gets in close and lands a lightning left uppercut and then lands a huge left hand to the head of Vazquez and he goes down. Vazquez gets up just as quickly as he went down and he smiles to his corner to show that he is not hurt. Donaire slowly moves in for the kill, but he does not go after him. After the fight, Donaire admitted that after he landed the left uppercut that put his opponent down, his hand was hurting him badly.

Going into the tenth round, Donaire is ahead 88-81 according to HBO. The tough Vazquez continues to counter Donaire with quick combinations, but never is able to land a punch to hurt him. Donaire then lays on the rope for what seems forever and counters every punch that Vazquez lands. Vazquez then lands a glancing right and they finish the round toe to toe. In the eleventh, Donaire starts again with his right hand covering his right eye, with his left hand to his side. Vazquez then gets Donaire on the ropes and he counters his way out. A small clash of heads occurs around one minute left in the round but the referee lets them continue fighting. They continue fighting until the end of the round without anyone landing a dangerous punch.

Just before the beginning of the final round, Donaire starts to bounce around the ring like Sugar Ray Leonard as he throws his left hand jab. Donaire then connects with a double left and right to the body of Vazquez. Vazquez then misses with a wild right and lands a left on Donaire. Donaire misses a glancing right to the head of Vazquez as he dances to the end of the fight. Donaire wins by a split decision and the cards read 117-110 on two scorecards and 115-112 on the last card. After the fight, Vazquez was quoted as saying, “He’s real quick,” he caught me with some good punches and he surprised me by hitting me when I was off balance.”

All photos © Stacey Verbeek