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Blog: Knocked down twice in the 12th round, Sergio Martinez still wins comfortable decision against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The world middleweight title fight produced very little action until Chavez Jr. finished strong in the final round

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Steve Marcus

Sergio Martinez of Argentina celebrates his victory over WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Mexico after their title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012.

Updated Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 | 9:31 p.m.

Martinez Defeats Chavez Jr.

Sergio Martinez of Argentina celebrates his victory over WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Mexico after their title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Boxers Weigh in for Fights

WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (L), son of boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, and Sergio Martinez of Argentina face off during an official weigh-in at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada Sept. 14, 2012. Chavez will defend his title against Martinez at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas September 15. Launch slideshow »

Sergio Martinez was knocked down twice in the 12th round Saturday of the WBC world middleweight title fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but had dominated enough in the early rounds to claim an unanimous decision victory.

When the scores were read, the pro-Mexican crowd in the sold-out Thomas & Mack Center expressed their disappointment with a chorus of boos that Chavez — the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. — came up short.

Adalaide Byrd and Dave Moretti scored the fight 118-109, and Stanley Christodoulou had it 117-110 all in favor of Martinez, who was the aggressor for virtually the entire fight and had bloodied Chavez with a series of jabs and other punch combinations.

But, in what is already being classified as one of the best final rounds in the sport’s history, Chavez Jr. has nothing to hang his head about. Sure, he lost for the first time in 49 career fights, but he finally showed the grit and toughness several thought he lacked.

Of course, one of Chavez Sr.’s signature victories during his legendary career came on a last second knockout against Meldrick Taylor in 1990 when Chavez Sr. was significantly behind entering the final round.

His son nearly duplicated the finish. It's the type of performance several would not have expected from the younger Chavez — who several say used the family name to advance this far and doesn't have the passion for the sport of his father. One round Saturday changed that.

“I was 20 seconds away from knocking him out. I tried to knock him out, but he keep holding on,” Chavez said in the ring after the fight. “I started (fighting) too late. I started in the eighth round.”

Seconds after the dramatic finish, several were already talking about the possibilities of a rematch. Both fighters seemed open to the idea.

“We are two professionals and if Julio wants a rematch, and if the public wants a rematch, we’ll do a rematch,” Martinez said in the ring.

Check back later for more on this fight.

Sergio Martinez two rounds away from winning middleweight title against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

At times, it appears every punch Sergio Martinez throws lands somewhere on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s body — especially his face.

He’s been that dominant in the WBC middleweight championship bout, leaving Chavez will a bloody nose and swollen face as we head into the 11th round.

For Chavez to win, he’s going to need to record a knockout. With the exception of the sixth round, every round has arguably been won handily by Martinez.

Martinez, 37, doesn’t show any sign of aging in the ring. Chavez has been unable to match his speed all night, also falling victim to a stiff jab and several other combinations.

Two more rounds are left. Chavez is going to need to dig deep to find some motivation.

Sergio Martinez punishing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. through six rounds

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s face tells the entire story through six rounds at the Thomas & Mack Center for the WBC middleweight title fight.

Chavez Jr., who typically starts slow and finishes strong, has dug himself a big hole against Sergio Martinez and trails 59-54 on my card. The good news for Chavez, with blood dripping from his nose and swelling near his right eye, is that he came on strong to take the sixth round.

Martinez said earlier in the week that he planned on punishing Chavez, beating him up before knocking him out. It looks like he is doing just that.

With the exception of the sixth round, Martinez has controlled the pace all night and done most of the damage. Whether it’s his jab or counter-punches, everything seems to land.

I’ll keep everyone posted as the fight progresses. Don’t expect Chavez to rally — even though he has the reputation for coming on strong at the end. This is Martinez’s fight to lose.

Sergio Martinez toying with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., likely ahead 40-36 after four rounds

The most significant punch of the WBC middleweight championship fight was landed by Sergio Martinez squarely to the face of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the end of the fourth round. The blow snapped Chavez’s head back, putting an exclamation mark on what could be viewed as a dominating open four rounds by Martinez.

Martinez’s style is rather unorthodox — he keeps his hands down while dancing around the ring. But when he swings, he’s been landing several combinations through the first four rounds. You could easily have Martinez ahead 40-36. I do.

Chavez hasn’t backed down and has connected on his far share of punches. None of them, however, have seemed to hurt Martinez. The pro-Mexican crowd at the Mack — about 70-perecent of the 19,156 fans — have slowly started to silence. Maybe yet another sign Martinez is having his way.

Sergio Martinez throwing, landing more punches in initial two rounds against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The first two rounds are in the books here at the Thomas & Mack Center for the WBC middleweight title fight between champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez.

The first round produced little action as the fighters got a feel for each other. The second round, however, was much different.

Each fighter landed several blows as the action went back and forth. At one point during the round, Chavez laughed and shook his head to signal he wasn’t hurt by a Martinez punch. Regardless Martinez, who was a -170 betting favorite, has won the initial two rounds on my scoring card. He is simply landing and throwing more punches.

In the slow first round, Martinez was able to land a few clear punches. In the second round, he was on the attack and landed some body shots. Chavez landed some cleans punches, too.

Looks like we are in store for a classic.

Sergio Martinez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. ready to square off in front of vocal sellout crowd

No Floyd Mayweather Jr. No Manny Pacquiao. No problem for boxing.

Well, at least for Saturday night.

Simply step one foot into the Thomas & Mack Center for tonight’s WBC middleweight championship fight between Argentina’s Sergio Martinez and Mexico’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and you’ll realize the star power of Mayweather and Pacquiao aren’t needed to bring excitement to the squared circle.

Two hours before the tonight’s fight was scheduled to begin, a half-full arena of fans were already into the cheering spirit. They waved flags and sung patriotic chants virtually nonstop in creating an energetic buzz that will surely carry over to the main event.

A sellout crowd of 19,165 fans is expected and the upper bowl of the Mack is already about 80-percent full. You can easily argue there is more anticipation in the minutes before this fight than any of the recent Mayweather or Pacquiao bouts.

There is no love lost between Chavez and Martinez.

Martinez, whose rise from the streets of Argentina to boxing greatness is much-documented, hasn’t hesitated in calling out Chavez for his privileged upbringing and perceived lazy training tenancies. Chavez, of course, is the son of legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., and was shown multiple times during the HBO 24/7 documentary missing workouts.

Martinez is about a -170 betting favorite ($170 wagered wins $100), but the general consensus is the fight could go either way. If the fighters stay true to their prefight words, there’s going to be plenty of action.

And, if there isn’t, no worries — another card is two miles up the street at the MGM Grand featuring Canelo Alvarez and Josesito Lopez. The Sun’s Case Keefer will be live blogging out of that fight all night .

I’m predicting victories by Martinez at the Mack and Alvarez at the MGM. The Argentina fans, most of which are sitting on the lower bowl, could be difference makers.

I’ll check back in with everyone once the fight begin. Until then, I’m going to continue to enjoy the festivities.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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