Like Father, Like Son
Report & Photos By Roy & Marlene Marquez
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
defeated Sebastian Zbik to capture the WBC World
Middleweight Championship before a rabid Staples Center
crowd in Los Angeles, CA. Chavez surged over the second
half of the fight to win a close decision by scores of
114-114, 115-113 & 116-112.
Chavez entered the fight with a gleaming record of 42
wins, no losses and one draw, with 30 of his wins coming
by way of knockout. A stellar record indeed for the son
of a living legend, save for the notable absence of
known fighters. That is, until Chavez faced and defeated
a respectable opponent a year ago this month in John
Duddy. Chavez had Freddie Roach in his corner for the
Duddy bout and it showed. Chavez was fit for the fight
and controlled Duddy with his jab; easily defeating
Duddy by unanimous decision.
aside, has Chavez done enough to earn the #1 ranking by
the WBC and thus become the mandatory challenger for the
coveted green belt? Chavez is ranked outside the top ten
by all of the unbiased boxing polls as well as two of
the sport’s other governing bodies (WBA and IBF).
Perhaps being Mexican is all that is necessary given the
overtly self-serving decisions of the WBC (Saul “Canelo”
Alvarez fought a career welterweight for the vacant WBC
light middleweight title in March).
But what exactly did Zbik do to earn the green strap?
Like Chavez, Zbik entered the ring an undefeated fighter
with 30 wins to his credit. But unlike Chavez, Zbik was
4-0 in title (interim) fights albeit against marginal
opposition. The “interim” tag was removed from his title
in January when the WBC stripped then middleweight
champion Sergio Martinez of his belt. Zbik has limited
experience fighting outside his native Germany and even
less pop. In 30 wins Zbik has managed just 10 KOs, the
last one coming over two years and five fights ago.
Perhaps he is the “perfect” champion for Chavez?
Zbik (30-1) outworked
Chavez in the opening rounds. Working behind a jab, Zbik
backed Chavez up. Chavez tipped his hook to the body by
leaning forward and to the left, allowing Zbik to
counter with his own hook upstairs.
The entertainment value peaked in the third when Zbik
landed four or five straight punches and Chavez shimmied
as if to say, “You can’t hurt me”. Chavez then exploded
and backed Zbik across the ring. It was then Zbik’s turn
to stand in defiance and to invite Chavez back for more.
Moments before the bell
to end the fifth, Chavez raked Zbik with a right cross.
Zbik took the punch well but walk stiff-legged back to
his corner, all the while breathing heavy though his
mouth. Through six Chavez landed the best punches of the
fight but Zbik had been landing more of them.
While Zbik had been able to push Chavez backwards early
in the fight, he was unable to do so as the fight wore
on. Perhaps the body shots began to toll on Zbik’s legs.
Regardless, Chavez, like most fighters, is a better
fighter moving forward and increasingly took the fight
Clearly Chavez was the
fresher, stronger fighter in the championship rounds.
Chavez fired uppercuts off the hook that stymied the
German. Zbik fought in spurts but resorted to pushing
down on Chavez’ head or complain when under attack. Zbik
looked to referee Jack Reiss for low blows but Reiss
motioned for him to fight on.
Zbik threw 834 punches and landed 391 for a 47% connect
rate. Chavez connected on 32% of his 796 punches, of
which 724 were power shots.
Miguel “Mikey” Garcia
used the jab, right hand combination to perfection to
stop Rafael Guzman in the fourth round of their
Garcia, of the boxing Garcia family out of Oxnard, CA,
is a legitimate threat in the talent-laden featherweight
division. At 23 years young, Garcia is wise beyond his
years. His maturation is the natural by-product of being
trained by older brother Robert Garcia, who won a junior
lightweight world title. Garcia is already 26-0 with 22
KOs and is ranked in the top ten by all of the sport’s
Guzman (28-3) is a lanky
featherweight who fights tall. Guzman enjoyed his three
inch height advantage and chopped down at Garcia. While
Guzman was punching down, Garcia was firing up. A wicked
left hook mid way through the second nearly decapitated
Guzman and opened a gash along his left eye.
Garcia steps into his
jab to leave a lasting impression. A stiff right behind
the jab stunned Guzman moments before the bell to end
the third. Garcia hammered Guzman with a 1-2 to start
the fourth and used the same combination to finishing
him off later in the round. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth
counted Guzman out at 1:55 of the fourth.
stopped Mexican veteran Saul Roman to win the vacant WBC
Silver Light Middleweight title.
Martirosyan, who represented the United States at the
2004 Olympic Games, is coming off a second round
knockout of Bladimir Hernandez on the Lucian Bute v.
Brian Magee undercard this past March. Martirosyan
climbed between the ropes with an unblemished record of
29 wins without a defeat; 18 wins by knockout. Despite
being just 25 years of age, Martirosyan has risen
steadily into the 154 lb. division top ten.
After dictating the
opening two minutes of the first, Martirosyan ate a
right hand, left hook combination and staggered backward
and onto his seat for an early knockdown. The
pro-Mexican fight crowd cheered loudly and broke into
“Mexico, Mexico” for the first time of the night.
Roman (34-9) was unable to capitalize on the knockdown
but remained busy and kept himself in the contest. Roman
peppered Martirosyan with his jab and countered
effectively at times. Prone to being cut, this fight was
no different for the Armenian born fighter. Roman opened
small tears on Martirosyan’s right cheek and left eye
reaches with his right too often, but when he lands
there is thunder with it. His punches sound heavy;
capable of making a man crumble. And after taking
several right hands early, Roman finally succumbed to
the hammer. Martirosyan dropped Roman with a right late
in the seventh and then finished him off moments later
with a barrage of punches. Referee Jon Schorle stepped
in and halted the bout at 2:58 of the seventh. The fight
was a draw on the scorecards through six; 57-56
Martirosyan, 58-55 Roman and 57-57.
Dakota Stone defeated
Christy Martin by TKO in the sixth when Martin injured
her right hand and was deemed unable to continue.
Come-backing Christy Martin (49-6-3) had been out of the
ring nearly two years. When she stepped back into the
ring, Martin faced the same opponent she fought in her
last bout; Dakota Stone. When the two squared off in
September 2009, Martin won a close fight by majority
decision. And what exactly has Stone done in the interim
to even the score against Martin? Not a thing. Stone
hasn’t been in the ring since that fight.
Martin, the first lady of boxing, splashed onto the
scene in 1996 on the undercard of Mike Tyson v. Frank
Bruno. Her blood and guts decision over Deidre Gogarty
ushered women’s boxing to the consciousness of the
American (pay-per-view) public. Over the next decade
Martin faced some of the biggest names in boxing
including Mia St. John and Laila Ali while compiling a
record of 49-5-3.
At times, Stone (10-8-4) used her height and length to
her advantage, chopping right hands down onto the
shorter Martin. But too often she traded hooks with
Martin and got beat to the punch. Martin hurt Stone late
in the second. After pressing Stone to the ropes, Martin
hooked high and low with knockout intent. A hook to the
body chased Stone off the ropes as Stone looked to
escape the punishment she was absorbing.
Early in the fourth, Stone dropped, well, like a stone,
from an overhand right. She bounced back however and
backed a tiring Martin around the ring with chopping
right hands. Martin was sucking wind throughout the
fifth and took the round off. But being spent late
proved not to be her biggest problem. Early in the sixth
Martin winced and turned her back on Stone following an
overhand right. Referee David Mendoza called time and
for the doctor who determined Martin had broken her
right arm. Mendoza called off the contest at 1:09 of the
sixth. Martin was ahead on all three scorecards at the
time of the stoppage.
Jessie Roman (6-0) dropped James Grant (2-3-1) with a
perfect left hook one minute into round two to win their
lightweight bout by TKO. Referee Raul Caiz Sr.
immediately waived off the contest.
Welterweight Oscar Andrade (6-0) made a mockery of his
fight with Kai Zama (5-4), dropping the Japanese fighter
three times in the opening stanza on route to a first
In the opener, Alejandro Luna (6-0) defeated Cesar
Garcia (3-7) by unanimous scores of 40-36 over four