LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 15: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (L) and Sergio Martinez trade punches in the second round of their WBC middleweight title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on September 15, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
That boxing, it sure is dead, huh?
The highly anticipated WBC middleweight title bout on HBO pay-per-view (PPV) pitting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, reportedly pulled some respectable numbers. Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports got the word:
Just spoke to Mark Taffet at HBO PPV. Said Chavez-Martinez sold 475,000 PPVs. About $24 million in revenue. #boxing
Despite his reputation in the boxing world, Chavez Jr. is a legitimate star and the fact that he was battling a man widely considered to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world led to plenty of combat sports fans starving for action to purchase the show.
It was worth every penny.
Martinez spent 11 full rounds just having his way with Chavez Jr. Every time the Mexican star attempted to come back with a flurry of punches against the ropes, "Maravilla" responded even bigger and stronger than before.
That was until the final round when, realizing he needed a knockout to win, Chavez Jr. unloaded with everything he had. The blitz produced a knockdown, blowing the roof off the arena in "Sin City." Ultimately, Martinez would gut his way through to the final bell and win on the judges scorecards but it was the most thrilling round of action of the year, in either boxing or mixed martial arts (MMA).
To put that in perspective, this fight did better on PPV than UFC 149 and 150 combined and outdrew all but three 2012 UFC PPVs (145, 146, and 148). It's the best selling PPV for boxing this year not involving Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. The three major PPVs by HBO in 2012 (this card, Mayweather/Cotto, and Pacquiao/Bradley) have done a combined 2,875,000, which is a benchmark the UFC didn't even reach until it's 7th PPV of the year, UFC 148.
Pretty impressive, no?
Unfortunately, the incredible fight was marred by the fact that Chavez Jr. failed his post-fight drug test for marijuana. That also surely puts a damper on his unbelievable comeback bid in round 12, though it doesn't make it any less exciting.
But hey, he's been here before. Like Nick Diaz before him, this is the second time he's failed a drug test in the state of Nevada.
So, ultimately, the show was amazing but an immediate rematch is no longer an option, one of the two participants will be out of action for a while and the thought process among certain boxing analysts we trust (cough Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook cough) is that Martinez's star power didn't grow all that much coming out of this bout.
This was a success, though, and should definitely be lauded for as much.
For a complete wrap up on the Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez fight click here.