From the moment Sergio Martinez and Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. agreed to fight each other until moments before the final round was due to begin, the only negative from the entire event was that Chavez Jr. is not quite the finished article.
However, the 12th round turned a very good event into a great one. The shock when Chavez Jr. put Martinez down hard in the final round was one of the great boxing moments of recent history.
The classy Argentine had been so dominate the only question seemed to be when he was going to finish off his younger opponent. But for all the talk of silver spoons, Chavez Jr. showed he does carry quite a bit of his legendary fathers fighting spirit.
You’ll have read several fight reviews, so I won’t bother with that. Rather i’d just like to highlight the fact that despite Chavez Jr. being comfortably handled for the majority of the fight, there were no losers on the night.
The crowd of almost 20,000 at the Thomas & Mack Center were delirious with excitement, boxing fans were treated to a big occasion which lived up to expectations, and both fighters are much bigger stars today then they were yesterday.
Two promoters, Bob Arum and Lou DiBella, brought marquee fighters together. One added a win to his record, and one a loss. Both gained respect and are now in higher demand then ever before. They made a lot of money, and will make even more from a rematch.
Boxers avoiding the best possible opposition for whatever reason is a long term wasteful objective.
The UFC, by forcing the best to fight the best in each division, have proved that fans could care less about an ‘0’ on the record. We will happily pay to watch a meaningful contest.
Did a loss hurt the legacies or earning power of Sugar Ray Leonard, Mohammed Ali, or Mike Tyson? No.
Move down a level or two. The tough fights Arturo Gatti always put his hand up for made us want more of him, not less.
Why do some promoters and boxers refuse to see the obvious? Fighting the best makes you rich and famous. Isn’t that what the modern athlete wants?