All the talk, all the promoter BS, all the sanctioning shenanigans are done. It's time.
Pound-for-pound stalwart and reigning lord of the middleweight division Sergio Martinez, after more than a year of pursuit, will finally get a crack at the unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. TONIGHT (Sat., Sept. 15, 2012) at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. No more nonsense, folks, this fight is happening.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE coverage of the bout, starting with the HBO broadcast at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Also on the card, unbeaten Cuban superstar Guillermo Rigondeaux will face prospect Robert Marroquin in a super bantamweight title bout, while Roman Martinez takes on Miguel Beltran, Jr. in a super featherweight title affair. Matthew Macklin will be in action, as will Notre Dame's Mike Lee in a four-round fight.
Quick results and play-by-play after the jump.
Middleweight Championship: Sergio Martinez def. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. by unanimous decision (117-110, 118-109 x2)
Super Bantamweight Championship: Guillermo Rigondeaux def. Robert Marroquin by unanimous decision (118-109, 118-108 x2)
Super Featherweight Championship: Roman Martinez def. Miguel Beltran, Jr. by split decision (111-116, 114-113 x2)
Middleweight: Matthew Macklin def. Joachim Alcine by TKO at 2:38 of Round One
Light Heavyweight: Mike Lee vs. Paul Harness
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez
Round one: Sergio has a habit of taking the early rounds off; probably a bad idea against a body puncher. Let's see what happens.
Martinez extending the left hand, but not committing to anything yet. Chavez tentative. Jabs from Martinez the only action as we hit the middle of the round. More. Swiping right falls short. Chavez tries to get him into the ropes or corner but is denied. Martinez has his hands down and eats a right. Nice one-one-two by Sergio. Martinez by output. 10-9.
Round two: Chavez again tries to bully Martinez, but gets tied up before he can get anything off. Martinez with the straight and hook, thumping away at Chavez's guard. Julio waves him on. Body blows by Chavez; Sergio is keeping up a steady output of jabs and straights to keep him at bay. Good right by Sergio. Sergio now in the corner and eats a few body shots by Chavez. Again. Sergio banging away downstairs with his own left. One-two by the Argentine and a left to the gut. Chavez had a good stretch, but Martinez had him at arm's-length all round and landed some shots of his own. 20-18 Martinez.
Round three: Sergio's jab is doing a great job of keeping Chavez out of rib-roasting range. Sergio clowning as he dances. Left to the breadbasket. A lot of Martinez's punches are glancing off, but Julio can't punch when he's blocking. Bolo punch from Sergio. Nice left to the body and right upstairs. Hard left straight as Julio moves in. Good left high and low by Julio and another good left downstairs. He needs more of those and he needs them now. Sergio to the body. One-two Martinez, Julio slips in a left to the gut. Hard left uppercut jacks Julio's jaw. All Sergio so far; Chavez can't get inside enough to wear him down. 30-27 Martinez.
Round four: Sergio's hands are at his knees; he's running circles around Chavez and nails him with a pair of lefts. Nice left hook inside by Chavez. Uppercut from Julio and he lands a couple up close. Sergio connects on a pair of jabs. Chavez body blow answered by a left. Martinez trapped against the ropes, but Junior doesn't land anything significant before he gets away. Some jawing from both men. Martinez again against the ropes, but clubs him with some nice uppercuts to answer the body shots. Nice left hook downstairs by Sergio and a brutal one-two at the bell. Closer round, but still Sergio's show. 40-36.
Round five: Chavez slow to get off his stool; not sure how happy he is to be in there.
Jabs from Sergio tearing through Junior's guard. Body shot by Sergio; not every left is lending, but Julio has no answer. More one-twos and jabs from "Maravilla." I don't think Junior has thrown five punches this round. Julio finally gets him to the ropes and lands some solid shots low and high, but Sergio escapes and seems fine. Sergio has Junior reacting to feints; not a good sign. More body shots by Martinez as he waves Junior in. All Martinez. 50-45.
Round six: Again and again and again, Sergio with jabs and straights. It's like watching a man with a sledgehammer try to beat up a swarm of bees.
Chavez still moving forward and lands a couple on the ropes. Martinez in the center again. Left and right from Martinez. Hard right up close by Sergio, but Junior lands a couple on the ropes. Flurry from Sergio backs Junior up. Left to the breadbasket by the Argentine. Junior is cracked with a left before the bell. He's running out of time to get that body attack going and I don't think he'll be able to. 60-54 Martinez.
Round seven: Julio again kept at bay by the long punches of Sergio. Chavez's nose is busted. Chavez on his back foot as Sergio chases him with stiff jabs. Hard left upstairs. Junior's dropping his hands when Sergio hits the body and that may cost him. Another big left up top. Another one has Junior backpedaling. Sergio on the attack and thumping away to the head and body. Chavez finally lands a left and right against the ropes, but he's paying for it. I don't think Junior lasts three more rounds. 70-63 Martinez.
Round eight: More snapping jabs from Sergio. Left hands from Martinez. Counter right as Junior tries to get him to the ropes. Junior cracks him with a right, but Sergio shrugs it off. Again to the body with that left straight. Junior gets him to the ropes, but can't land. Sergio with more potshots. Junior didn't lose the round as badly, but he needs a miracle. 80-72 Martinez.
Round nine: Sergio is cut now, but it doesn't look bad. Nice two-one connects for Martinez. There's still fight in Junior, but he there's nothing he can do right now. More jabs from Sergio keeping him back. Again and a hard left to the body. Nice right hand upstairs. Chavez puts his hands down but gets stung with a one-two. Sergio again to the body. Left hook by Junior at the bell, but another Sergio round. 90-81.
Round ten: I can think of maybe one minute total that Julio has won in this fight. He's so slow and plodding compared to "Maravilla." Nice body shots by Martinez. Questionable low blow. Clash of heads. Sergio making it look easy with that piston jab. Rapid-fire combinations from Martinez at the bell as he pumps up the crowd. 100-90.
Round eleven: A right kicks off a solid four-punch combo for Junior. More good work inside by Junior, but he can't keep Martinez there long enough. Left hook by Junior amidst the hailstorm. Hard right by Junior and Sergio fires back. There's no quit in Junior and he lands another good right. Sergio whacking him everywhere in response and backs him up. Sergio walks him down with long punches at the bell. Julio landed his best punch of the fight and this was probably his best round, but Sergio is still owning this fight. 110-99.
Round twelve: Junior can't get past the jab. Sergio just whipping it out and an equally-quick lead left. Good right from Chavez prompts Sergio to fire back and clock him. Chavez gets Martinez to the ropes and DROPS HIM WITH A COMBINATION! Sergio is up but Junior isn't stopping! Sergio slips but he's back up! Martinez slow against the ropes; he only needs to last thirty seconds. Sergio still throwing as Junior walks him down with bombs. Ten seconds. Five. Martinez makes it to the bell after an amazing last-ditch effort from Chavez. Wow. 118-109 Martinez.
There's a lot I don't like about Junior, but he never said "no mas." I can respect that.
Final Result: 117-110, 118-109, 118-109 for Sergio Martinez
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Robert Marroquin
Round one: Both fighters poking at one another with their lead hands. Thudding left to the gut from Guillermo. Nice little combination from Marroquin, but doesn't look like anything was more than glancing. Guillermo trying to time the left as a counter but only getting close so far. Counter left hits in the body; Rigondeaux now has Marroquin tentative at the end of his jab. Nice left from Guillermo, then an uppercut. 10-9 Rigondeaux in a relatively slow round.
Round two: Marroquin comes forward, but doesn't make much contact. Right hook from Guillermo connects. Straight left from Guillermo lands upstairs. Beautiful head movement from Guillermo, who lands the counter left again. Despite his height, Marroquin just can't reach him and eats another left downstairs. 20-18 Guillermo. Marroquin needs to commit to an attack or otherwise change his strategy; he's just not connecting.
Round three: More great head movement from Rigondeaux as Marroquin tries to get some offense together. Left to the body by Guillermo. Nice counter left and right from Guillermo. Left hook from Marroquin finally lands and wobbles Rigondeaux! Marroquin attacking but Guillermo is staying calm. Clubbing rights inside from Marroquin, but Guillermo is steady again and the Robert disengages. Right straight by Robert, straights low and high from Rigondeaux. Did not expect something like that in this fight. 29-28 Rigondeaux.
Round four: Right hook connects for Guillermo. Savage body combination by Guillermo. The Cuban is a lot more mobile this round and lands his straight left before ripping the body again. Marroquin surprisingly sedate this round. Guillermo is doing a good job of dodging and popping him with his jab as Robert comes in. Hook by Guillermo and the straight left. Two more lefts connect. That hook in the third seems to have woken Guillermo up. 39-37 Guillermo
Round five: Nice counter jab from Guillermo. Robert steps in and the Cuban's counter left straight finally hits flush and gets Marroquin's glove to touch canvas. Robert back up and looks alright. Rigondeaux with a lot of funky movement, staying out of harm's way and chipping away at Marroquin's guard. Nice left to the breadbasket. Robert chases him halfway around the ring with punches but can't connect. Rigondeaux is starting to take over; 49-45 Rigondeaux.
Round six: Marroquin is apparently cut over his right eye, ostensibly from the storm of left hands Rigondeaux has landed. Both men land their right simultaneously. Guillermo has got his counter jab working well, though Marroquin sneaks in a left hook. Straight by Marroquin lands and leads to a clinch. Pace slows down as we reach the two minute mark. Marroquin storms in with four punches, but can't land and eats a left to the breadbasket for his trouble. Good rights from Guillermo sandwich a Marroquin left. Still all Rigondeaux. 59-54 same.
Round seven: Left to the gut lands for Guillermo. Another. A third. Marroquin tries to move in and gets tied up without landing. Rigondeaux focusing on single shots to the body, lands the left there two more times. Good jabs and right hook by Guillermo. Right hook downstairs; Marroquin attacks again and gets tied up. Right straight lands for Marroquin after Guillermo's left falls short. Robert can't land clean; if he's content to just not eat that monster left hand, he's going to lose this decision big. 69-63 Rigondeaux.
Round eight: Marroquin looks a bit bewildered in there, and for good reason. His punch output has dropped significantly. Rigondeaux not punching much, either, though. Marroquin starts putting punches together, but they're all falling short. Left upstairs by Guillermo lands and another to the body. Robert comes in hard and Guillermo just shrugs him off. Good counter right hook by Rigondeaux. Solid combination by Guillermo, who has his hands down and is just having fun at this point. 79-72 Rigondeaux.
Round nine: Rigondeaux is content to just dance around, not get hit, and pop Marroquin's guard. He gets a little too relaxed, though, and Marroquin lands that left hook again and stuns him. Guillermo ties up and he's alright. Rigondeaux goes right back to hanging out on the outside, but he seems a bit more cautious. Good jab by Rigondeaux. Shame this hit didn't light a fire like the last one did; uneventful latter half of the round. 88-82 Rigondeaux.
Round ten: Rigondeaux working behind his jab, both as a lead and as a counter. Right hook Rigondeaux. Nice left and right from the Cuban. Few power shots from either man this round. Nice one-two by Guillermo, who deftly avoids two retaliatory punches. Rigondeaux starts to pick things up at the end of the round and go back to some of that weird movement; Marroquin isn't punching enough. 98-91 Rigondeaux.
Round eleven: Nice jabs from Rigondeaux early and he snaps Marroquin's head back with a left. More jabs from Guillermo and a counter left straight. Lead left now. Rigondeaux has his hands down again and is taking potshots through the guard. Marroquin pops Guillermo with a right, but keeps on eating jabs. Left straight up and down by Rigondeaux, who is back to just enjoying himself in the right. 108-100 Rigondeaux.
Round twelve: Marroquin's nose is broken; kinda surprised it took this long. BIG counter left hand and right crumple Marroquin! Robert went down bad but he's back up and they keep going. Rigondeaux with staccato jabs and is now completely on the attack. Marroquin fires back on the inside and lands some solid hooks. Guillermo slows back down in the last minute. Nice straight punches from the Cuban. Nice work from Guillermo; 118-108 same.
Final Result: Rigondeaux def. Marroquin by unanimous decision
Roman Martinez vs. Miguel Beltran, Jr.
Round one: Ah, buggery. Russell Mora is the ref. This does not bode well.
Alright, guys, wrap this up quick so I can get back to watching Maidana and Soto-Karass kill each other.
Good right hand by Beltran to start things out. Another. Beltran looks like the faster of the two. Neither man is committing to anything yet. One-two from Martinez is met by a counter right. NICE right hand by Beltran sparks Martinez. Another one and a left hand. Left hook from Beltran wobbles him again. Early prognosis is not good for Martinez's well-being. 10-9 Beltran.
Round two: Beltran's hands are mighty quick. Both guys hesitant to throw early on. Right downstairs and stiff jab by Martinez. Good flurry from Martinez with Beltran on the ropes. Betran has thrown heat this round but so far hasn't connected. Clinch. Body shot from Martinez leads to another clinch; Beltran lands his own as they break. Much better round for the Puerto Rican; 19-19.
Round three: Good body shots by Beltran as Martinez tries to bully him into the ropes. Clinch. Nice left hook by Martinez, who also avoids the counter well. Pawing jabs by Beltran, who eats two of a four-punch combo. Left hook by Beltran lands. Lead right leads into a left hook by Martinez, both of which connect. Big punch lands for Beltran and they club each other in close in the clinch. Right by Martinez; Beltran is letting himself get led into the ropes way too easily. 29-28 Martinez; Beltran had his moments, but he got controlled that round.
Round four: Martinez stung with two good rights off the bat. Another. Jab by Beltran. Beltran avoids a blow and forces Martinez into the ropes, landing a few good body blows before Martinez escapes. Beltran now against the ropes, but Martinez only gets one clean blow in. Nice combination by Martinez. Beltran again on the ropes, but he lands a good right and gets out. BIG right hand has Martinez wobbly, but "Rocky" avoids the next few shots and talks some trash. Both men firing at the bell; great round. 38-38.
Round five: Damn, that right looked nasty on the replay. Nice chin on Martinez.
Counter jab from Martinez is the first landed punch of the round. Nice left hook from Martinez with Beltran on the ropes. Body work from the Puerto Rican as he avoids Beltran's blows. Good body shot and right by Martinez; Beltran needs to stay off the ropes. Betlran gets out and they trade in the center. Beltran on the ropes again as Martinez works. Nice uppercut from the Mexican is met with two blows from Martinez. Beltran stings him with a right and they trade some crazy punches in close against the ropes. Martinez clubs him hard but Beltran staggers him with a right and they go crazy again. Damn. 48-47 Martinez.
Round six: Martinez moving forward, but he eats a big right hand from Beltran. These are mean punches from both men. Beltran again on the ropes while Martinez flurries. Clinch in center ring. Ropes, flurry, etc. Cut on Beltran, who barely misses a huge right before eating three or four punches. Jabs from Martinez; big uppercut in response. Right by Beltran met with a right by Martinez. Martinez dazed again with Beltran's right hand and gets forced into the ropes. himself. Both men chin checked with lefts and a brutal left hook downstairs from Beltran. Hell of a fight. 58-56 Martinez.
Round seven: Good right hand from Martinez in center ring. Clinch. Lead right from Martinez falls short and they clinch again. One-two by the Puerto Rican. Beltran gets Martinez's back to the ropes and lands an uppercut before they tie up. Left hook and right from Martinez. Nice counter left hook connects for the Mexican. Body shot same. Left hook from Martinez and another body blow by Beltran, who lands a stiff jab. Lovely three-punch combo that featured an uppercut and left to the body by Martinez. Ripping body blow by Beltran is met with a flurry. Another great round. 67-66 Martinez.
Round eight: Both men trade body shots in the first ten seconds. Martinez is now the one on his back foot; neither man landed clean yet. Right hands connect from both. Clinch. Good jab at the end of a combo by Martinez, who gets thumped in the body. Beltran storming forward as they exchange. They both look a bit tired at this point; Beltran is starting to focus fire on the body. Left hooks from both. Close round, but Martinez was the more active, back foot or no. 77-75 Martinez.
Round nine: Good three-piece combo by Martinez; Beltran answers with a left. Nice left hook at the end of a combo by Beltran. Beltran walking Martinez down and smacks him with a left hook. Martinez connects near Beltran's cut; he's throwing hard and often on the retreat. Right and uppercut for Beltran. Beltran with his back to the ropes again as Martinez flurries. Martinez rips to the body in close, but gets an uppercut and body hook for his trouble. Martinez gets him to the ropes again and unloads. This is a mighty fine fight. 87-84 Martinez.
Round ten: Beltran doubles up the left hook; Martinez doing a good job of getting licks in as Beltran moves forward. Rights from both. Good combo from Beltran and they tie up. Solid left hook by the Mexican. To the body. Another; Martinez may be running low on gas; he's connecting, but there's no oomph in his punches. Beltran waling through fire and landing hard. Combination by Martinez. Heavy exchange against the ropes. They end the round clobbering each other. 96-94 Martinez
Round eleven: Barrages from both in center ring. BIG left hook by Beltran. Clinch. Rabbit punch from Beltran in the clinch and Mora takes a point; that could be the deciding factor. Clinch. Again. Martinez circling quickly and landing potshots. Clinch, Martinez works the body. Beltran forces him into the corner and they swing hard to end the round. 106-102 Martinez, but there are plenty of rounds that could have gone either way.
Round twelve: Good left hook by Beltran. Slapping body shots from Martinez inside. Beltran is still moving forward, but he's not punching as much. Good jab from Beltran. Now Beltran fires and hits low and high. Both men lend near the ropes. Beltran is getting the better of it now. Martinez still punching. Flurry from Martinez lands with Beltran on the ropes. Both men swing hard to the end; 115-112 Martinez, but either man could have won that.
Final Result: 116-111 Beltran, 114-113 Martinez, 114-113 Martinez. Martinez def. Beltran by split decision
Matthew Macklin vs. Joachin Alcine
Round one: I don't know when things are happening anymore.
Alcine moseying around the ring while Macklin targets the body. Nice low-high two-punch combo from Matthew. Clinch, Macklin lands a couple of short shots. HUGE right hand from Macklin gets around the guard and flattens Alcine! Alcine back on his feet, but Macklin is all over him. Alcine goes down again! Macklin is not going to let him escape the round. Macklin explodes on him against the ropes and the referee stops it; Alcine was firing back but he was getting walloped. Wow.
Final Result: Macklin def. Alcine by TKO
Mike Lee vs. Paul Harness
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