By: Marc Livitz at ringside: In front of an announced crowd of 14,210 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX., Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. retained his WBC Middleweight title as he ground and slugged his way to a unanimous decision win over Marco Antonio Rubio. The pro-Mexico and somewhat half pro Chavez, Jr. turnout was treated to a great display of will and guts. Rubio (53(47)-6-1) did his best to hurt the undefeated Chavez, Jr. (45(31)-0-1-1), but simply could not do enough to accomplish what had been seen as a plausible yet not as probable feat. Rubio and Chavez, Jr. matched jabs in the opening stanza and each landed a few crosses of their own. As would be the story throughout the contest, Chavez was consistently the harder puncher. The Culiacan, MX champion would land combinations to the head and body of his Durango, MX compatriot, after which Rubio would at times respond, just not with the same "thud" that excited the crowd.
Rounds three through five all followed a similar pattern. Chavez, Jr. would attack the body of Rubio with greater pace, after which Rubio would fire back, but off of his back foot while in slow retreat. Each would be cautioned by the referee for headbutts. Chavez controlled round five. He would occasionally backpedal, but then catch Rubio to the head while countering. A fight in the stands briefly took some eyes away from the fight in the ring as the midpoint of the bout began. This would be one of the few rounds where Rubio could make a case of winning. Chavez flurried to end the sixth. By the seventh, Chavez, Jr. began to lean a bit into Rubio in an attempt to slow the pace. A captivating back and forth exchange on the ropes between the two pugilists brought the crowd to its feet.
Three of the five remaining rounds were less than eventful. Rounds eight, nine and ten would see Chavez, Jr. employ an effective jab, after which Rubio would land a power shot of his own. The problem would be that Chavez, Jr. was able to walk right through whatever Rubio threw his way. Chavez, Jr. used his elbows to separate himself from Rubio during a few grinding exchanges. Round eleven was a different story. Marco Antonio Rubio caught Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. with two quick uppercuts which temporarily staggered the undefeated champion. He was quickly able to regain his balance. At this point, Chavez, Jr. was the clear aggressor. Brief exchanges between the two took place on three of the four sides of the ring as well as in the center of it.
The twelfth and final period opened with a quickened pace, but then slowed. Both fighters appeared fatigued, however they both showed the hearts of Lions which turn boxers into legends in Mexico. Each boxer raised his respective hands in victory. Chavez, Jr. earned the one that counts, while Rubio was left with the moral side of one. The judges scorecards read as follows: 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113. Chavez, Jr. wins by unanimous decision.
Donaire Tops Vazquez, Jr.
Nonito Donaire claimed the vacant WBO World Junior Featherweight title by way of a split decision over Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. In his first fight in the division, Donaire needed to work a bit of overtime before his brief yet effective flashes of ring magic helped seal the win. This particular world title oddly enough was made vacant by Jorge Arce of Mexico, who defeated Vazquez, Jr. in May 2011 after Arce elected to move back down to Bantamweight. Vazquez, Jr. attempted to win over the mostly pro-Mexico crowd by making his walk to the ring with the Mexican flag as well as the banner of his native Puerto Rico. The opening round was much a case of each fighter surveying the landscape. Much had expected the two boxers to come out all-guns-blazing. The past few days most certainly had its share of social media drama and gossip, much in part due to the ongoing Twitter war of words between the respective wives of Donaire and Vazquez, Jr.
Round two saw plenty of shoving, taunting and verbal jabs as well as the meeting between leather and face and body. Donaire slipped to the canvas in the opening minute, but quickly rose and thereafter landed a rapid combination to the head of Vazquez. The round ended after a clash of heads temporarily halted the action. By round three, Donaire abandoned his orthodox stance and fought with both hands held down at his waist. He relied on his speed and quick foot movement. The overall aggression level picked up in the round. The "Filipino Flash" continued with his hands down and feigned at will. The power of Donaire’s left hand sent Vazquez into a corner with less than a minute remaining. The Puerto Rican slugger fought his way out of it. Round four opened with Nonito Donaire adopting a new tactic. He bobbed and danced around the ring in an effort to confuse Vazquez, Jr., who caught Donaire at round’s end, which required the two fighters to be separated by referee Rafael Ramos. The consistent left jab of Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. eventually led to Donaire’s right eye being bloodied up for the remainder of the contest. The fifth and sixth rounds consisted of the Puerto Rican fighter forcing the Filipino boxer a bit off of his usual rhythm. Vazquez, Jr. was countering well throughout the two periods.