Unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez Jr retained his World Boxing Council middleweight title on Saturday with a 12-round unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Rubio in San Antonio, Texas.
Chavez, son of Mexican boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez — who looked on throughout from ringside at the Alamodome — overcame his difficulties making the middleweight limit to claim the victory by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113.
Chavez said that his trouble making weight took a toll, but he successfully fended off the determined challenge of Rubio, who just did not have enough power to really hurt the champion despite his willingness to go toe-to-toe with him.
Rubio, also Mexican, signaled his intentions with a straight right late in the first round and he rattled Chavez late in the fourth with a combination.
However, even though Chavez was tiring in the latter stages, he had too much power for the smaller challenger.
“I had a little problem with the weight. After the seventh and eighth rounds, my legs, I started to feel them,” he said. “I was paying the price. Fortunately, he doesn’t hit that hard.
“I don’t want to battle again with the weight like I did,” added Chavez, who was making the second defense of the title he won with a 12-round decision over Germany’s Sebastian Zbik in June last year.
Chavez followed that with a fifth-round stoppage of Peter Manfredo in November and is now unbeaten in 46 fights, with one drawn and 31 knockouts. Rubio fell to 53-6-1.
After the bout, Chavez said that he still had no interest in moving up in weight, and that he was eager to take on the best of the middleweight ranks — Argentina’s Sergio Martinez, Mexican Antonio Margarito or Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto.
He said that he would need to improve against the likes of the explosive Martinez.
“If I fight like I did today, he would win, but I know what I’m capable of and I will prepare and I will win,” Chavez said.
DONAIRE VS VAZQUEZ JR
AFP, LOS ANGELES
Nonito Donaire knocked down Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in the ninth round en route to a split decision over the former champ on Saturday in a super bantamweight title bout in San Antonio, Texas.
Donaire, a former International Boxing Federation flyweight and World Boxing Council bantamweight title holder, claimed the World Boxing Organization belt in his first foray at super bantamweight.
The 12-round bout was on the undercard of the World Boxing Council middleweight title fight between unbeaten champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Marco Antonio Rubio at the Alamodome.
Donaire, of the Philippines, brought plenty of his power with him into the heavier weight class, dropping Vazquez in the ninth with a left uppercut followed by a left hook.
Donaire had rocked Vazquez in the third round and appeared in control until the Puerto Rican began to assert himself in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Despite the tenacity of Vazquez, Donaire said he was surprised that judge Ruben Garcia scored the bout 115-112 for the Puerto Rican.
Judges Levi Martinez and Don Trella both saw it 117-110 for Donaire, who said he hurt his left hand early in the bout and displayed what appeared to be a bloodied hand wrap when he removed his gloves after the fight.
Donaire said fighting a bigger opponent “was tougher than I expected.”
“I couldn’t find my rhythm and I hurt my hand somewhere between the second and fourth rounds,” he said. “I could only move it a little bit.”