The day the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada literally shook was on September 15th, 2012. On the famed Mexican Independence Day, the son of a Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. took on the recognized middleweight champion of the world, Sergio Martinez.
The sold out Thomas and Mack Center saw what was pretty much a one-sided boxing lesson handed out by Martinez. The Argentine moved, pot-shotted, and eluded many of the younger Mexican’s attack. However, Chavez never gave up and continued to press the action, coming on as strong as he did in all of the fight in the 11th round, where HBO’s Max Kellerman stated, I think he’s found something here in the 11th round.” That set the stage for the 12th round.
Chavez’ chin and will to keep pushing gave him a shot to hit the long ball in the 12th round. Chavez feeding off with the success he had in the previous round began stalking Martinez. With less than two minutes to go, Chavez landed a huge right hand that wobbled Martinez; Martinez showed his heart and threw back. Chavez landed a left that forced Martinez’ head in between the ropes, and threw two more punches. Martinez finally fell, and that’s when the Thomas and Mack center shook.
I was in attendance as a spectator and I felt the place move; the Mexican part of the crowd screaming with excitement, the Argentine part of the crowd tense and worried. Martinez got up to his feet, still hurt, but deciding to fight on. Chavez landed and with less than a minute left, Martinez slipped. The crowd in my section saw referee Tony Weeks signal his hands as if he had called the fight from their view and went nuts. Only to find out he had waved his hands at a slip and not a stoppage.
Martinez didn’t hold, didn’t run, and fought on to get to the end of the bell earning himself a much deserved decision victory and winning the WBC middleweight Title, maintaining his status at the recognized Middleweight Champion of the world.
Round 12 of Chavez-Martinez was our round of the year because it brought much excitement to what was a Martinez whitewash. It electrified the crowd and pretty much was the talk of Vegas with another boxing event happening a mile away.
It was our round of the year because to a lot of people, it justifies a rematch, a rematch that some feel Chavez can win. One of those people is HBO’s own Max Kellerman. In an interview with us this year, he stated, “Are you kidding me? Who wouldn’t want to see that again? Going into the rematch, we all know something. That something is Martinez can’t hurt Chavez and in the 12th round we found out that Chavez can hurt Martinez. How will that play out in a second fight? I’m dying to find out.
Others Receiving Votes:
Pacquiao-Marquez 4 (Round 5): There have been many classic rounds in one of the best rivalries in boxing. In the epic 4th fight, this was probably the best one. Pacquiao came back from being dropped hard from a right hand that Marquez delivered, the first time Pacquiao had been dropped in their rivalry in the third round. He answered with a knockdown of his own, sending Marquez to the canvas with a straight left in the 5th. Marquez was hurt and it almost looked like Pacquiao would stop him in the 5th. However, Marquez fought back. There wasn’t a clinch seen in the final 40 seconds or so in that fight, where Marquez survived the only way he knew how, punches. Had he not fought back, the knock out heard round the world would be something we wouldn’t even fathom.
Rios-Alvarado (Round 5): The fight that lived up to the hype is what we should call Rios-Alvarado. Boxing fans were treated to beautiful violence between these 2 warriors. Round 5 of this classic to some of our staff was the best round in the fight. In the last third of the round, Alvarado snapped Rios’ head back repeatedly with an uppercut and huge right hands. Rios, bobbling head and all, ate those punches and flurried with monstrous combinations of his own that Alvarado took well. That round may have turned some fans into boxing fans that night. Heck, this whole fight should have.
Lopez-Salido 2(Round): Wasn’t this round not the early leader for round of the year? This fight for fight of the year? As boxing fans we can’t forget the violence displayed in this fight. Both these warriors traded massive shots in what was an all action rematch, that Salido won again by stoppage. Both fighters showing the wear and tear from a grueling fight went balls to the wall and exchanged plenty in round 9. Just beautiful!
Pacquiao-Marquez 4 (Round 6): This round received a vote and while it might not be the most back and forth action in a fight, it was quite possibly the most important boxing round of the year. Pacquiao seemingly winning the round, jumped in trying to land a right with one second left in the round. Marquez slipped, landed his own right hand, sending Pacquiao to sleep. It was the punch and round that changed the course of boxing, all in one second.
Others Worthy of consideration: Garcia-Khan (4th round), Viloria-Marquez(Round 5), Kim-Beltran (1st round), and Berto-Guerrero(Round 7)