Chavez Jnr stops Manfredo to keep middleweight title
Unbeaten Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr kept his World Boxing Council middleweight crown on Saturday by stopping US challenger Peter Manfredo in the fifth round.
Chavez landed a stunning right to Manfredo's head and followed with 30 unanswered punches as the American tried in vain to evade the champion's blows before referee Laurence Cole halted the bout one minute and fifty-two seconds into the fifth round.
"I've been working at it a lot, trying to box instead of fight. It took me a while to get into it but it worked out well," Chavez said.
"In the long run we were going to fight, we were going to roll."
The son of legendary fighter Julio Cesar Chavez improved to 44-0 with one draw with his 31st victory inside the distance, the first defence of the title he won last June with a 12-round decision over Germany's Sebastian Zbik.
Manfredo fell to 37-7, ending a six-fight win streak in what he said might have been his final bout.
"It didn't go my way. But he caught me with a good shot. He won," Manfredo said. "I'm trying to make him miss, trying to grab on, but (the referee) stopped it."
Chavez, the larger fighter, connected on solid power punches throughout the second round and both men landed solid straight right hands to the head in the third.
Manfredo bloodied Chavez's nose in an aggressive fourth round performance but Chavez responded in the fifth with his stunning blow and pressed the attack to the finish.
Chavez, whose strong support from Mexican fight fans makes him the top moneyspinner in his weight class, said he has no preference regarding his next opponent.
"I want to fight the best," he said. "I fear no one."
HOUSTON – Three quick thoughts from Julio Cesar Chavez’s fifth round knockout win over Peter Manfredo Saturday night.
Chavez looked good. Chavez takes a lot of heat for a soft rťsumť and an inflated profile thanks to his famous father. But Chavez was impressive Saturday night. After a slow first round, Chavez turned it on, tagging Manfredo with clean, thudding combinations. In the fifth round Chavez rocked Manfredo with a straight right hand. When Manfredo stumbled back into the ropes, Chavez closed brilliantly, swarming Manfredo with a flurry of punches until the referee stepped in. Manfredo wasn’t happy with the stoppage but he had a chance to take a knee, recover and fight on. It was a tactical mistake by Manfredo and you can’t blame Chavez for taking advantage of it.
What’s next for Chavez? Everyone wants to see Chavez against Sergio Martinez. That’s not happening. Bob Arum told me he would like to see Chavez fight one or two more times before considering a Martinez fight. I don’t blame him. Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, doesn’t blame him either. Chavez is still an unfinished product. DiBella would like to make Chavez-Andy Lee early next year. That’s a decent fight. The big money fight is Chavez-Saul Alvarez, an all-Mexican showdown that would do big business south of the border. Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, says he would make the fight at a catchweight of 156 pounds. Arum says he will do 158. If the two can get together, that fight would be a war.
Manfredo retires. After the fight, Manfredo, 30, announced his retirement. Manfredo has nothing to hang his head about. He carved out a solid career for himself. Best known as the runner-up on the first season of The Contender, Manfredo (37-7) fought for world titles against Chavez and Joe Calzaghe and made a name for himself in a business that chews journeymen fighters up and spits them out. He could have stuck around, fought in small shows and made a few bucks. But he walks away with a $100,000 payday and his faculties intact.
“He had two shots at a world title, he stood their toe to toe with everyone and he had a great career,” said Manfredo’s promoter, Lou DiBella. “He represented himself and Providence very well. His nose may look messed up but his brain isn’t. He has beautiful kids and a beautiful wife and he can have a great life.”
by Chris Mannix
Chavez Proves Too Much for Older Manfredo in Five Rounds: Fan Take
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. has only to look to his father for boxing inspiration. The middleweight champion retained the WBC belt for his weight class with a 5-round TKO of Peter Manfredo, Jr. The Boston Herald reports Manfredo said this would be his last fight should he lose.
Chavez was younger, faster and clearly the better boxer. Manfredo is 30 years old and trying to come back into the ring. Before the bout, he said he would "beat this kid" knowing full well he was against a younger and possibly better opponent.
Manfredo dropped his seventh professional bout. Chavez is undefeated at 44-0-1 with 31 knockouts. His father is the most decorated Mexican boxer in history. When he retired, Senior was 107-6-2 over a professional career that spanned over 20 years.
Manfredo started out looking like a man possessed. After three rounds of Manfredo showing he was back, then the fight started to change. He had backed Chavez into a corner midway through the decisive fifth round. Unfortunately, he let Chavez get in two punches that proved critical. His hard right hand followed a blow by the left that suddenly put Manfredo up against the ropes and clearly reeling. After that, it was only a matter of time for the champ to finish off the challenger.
After the fight, Chavez verbally challenged Sergio Martinez and Canelo Alvarez to fights later on. His next bout has yet to be determined. The Alvarez draw would likely be more exciting. He is undefeated at 38-0-1 with 28 knockouts even though he is shorter and stockier than Chavez. Alvarez is also younger at just 21 years old. Martinez is undoubtedly more experienced but is 11 years Chavez' senior.
I would look forward more to an Alvarez-Chavez fight. It would be akin to a Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier bout with two titans in their weight classes going at full tilt. Their youth would be a good match for each other. On the other hand, Chavez' promoters may want him to have a somewhat easier time against an older opponent. It depends on what the fans want.
Sports Illustrated reported Chavez is mandated by rules to defend his title against the world's number one middleweight boxer. That means one of his next bouts will be against Martinez sometime in the next year.
Reliant Stadium in Houston hosted the Chavez-Manfredo fight. If this bout was any indication, the next one will be a big seller as well.
William Browning has been a boxing fan since the days of Sugar Ray Leonard in the 1980s.
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