We are a month removed from the September 15th date in Las Vegas which saw the best middleweight in the world Sergio Martinez, defeat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the Thomas and Mack Center. The fight; while entertaining was mostly one sided, in Sergio Martinez’ favor. Martinez used his footwork, speed, and his jab to keep the stalking Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. frustrated for most of the night. While Chavez was frustrated, he was not deterred and keep pushing forward and that paid off in the 12th round.
In what was one of the most dramatic 12th rounds in recent memory, Chavez hurt Martinez and knocked him down. The crowd at Thomas and Mack went into frenzy and was one of the most terrific boxing moments I’ve ever witnessed live. Almost reminiscent of what his father did years ago against Meldrick Taylor even had the commentator that night, HBO’s Max Kellerman to say, “Shaded of Chavez-Meldrick Taylor 1!” Martinez got up, fought back, and survived the last round winning a lopsided unanimous decision on the scorecards.
Soon after this fight the debate was on whether the 12th round of the Martinez-Chavez fight warranted a rematch. ThaBoxingvoice.com caught up with the same Max Kellerman who was there live at ringside to see how he felt about the debate.
“I understand what people are saying, oh but Martinez kicked Chavez’ butt around for 12 rounds and just because he had the 12th round (pauses); just because he has the great 12th round? You mean the 12th round where he knocked Martinez out. You all saw it, I was ringside and saw the shocked look on Martinez’ face; he was shocked,” Max Kellerman told ThaBoxingVoice.com
Kellerman continued his reasoning based on the fact we all thought Martinez was going to get stopped. “We were like oh my God, he’s not going to make it out of this round because he’s staying and fighting with Chavez. We all thought Martinez was about to get knocked out. Let’s not forget what you were thinking at the time you were watching that.”
Kellerman understand the other side of the argument but feels that with what Chavez did in the 12th round and the punishment he took and dished out is a no brainer for a rematch. “Chavez kept pressuring him the whole fight and Martinez kept moving, keep a very busy pace. I know they’re going to say: oh it’s only because Martinez was tired or broke his hand. Well who did he break his hand on, on a hardheaded Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.!”
Another reason against a rematch was the slow start Chavez produced that night. Kellerman’s rebuttal to that was, “They’re going to say he should have started punching earlier and it was a bad fight because he started late. Martinez kept his right foot outside of Chavez’ left foot and was a step ahead of him the whole fight, the more you punch the more damage you take if you’re not in position to throw good punches.”
Finally Kellerman feels both men should get credit for a great night of boxing and feels the most important reason for a rematch was what transpired in the 12th round and the aftermath it has created. “Instead of taking credit away from both guys, give credit to both guys because it was that type of fight. And now heading into the rematch, both guys know one thing; Chavez can hurt Martinez and Martinez can’t hurt Chavez, and how will that play out into the rematch psychologically?”