The 12th Round: Sergio Martinez vs Julio Chavez Jr
Sergio Martinez vs Julio Chavez Jr round 12 could be up there as one of the best final rounds in recent championship boxing history.
“Martinez is gonna make it! He’s gonna make it through!”
– Jim Lampley in the 12th round of Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Chavez Jr.
It was the 12th round of a highly anticipated fight that looked like Sergio Martinez would have to do everything in his power to give away.
Martinez had been punishing Chavez Jr. all night, doing exactly what he wanted to, when he wanted to, and most notably, how he said he would.
Martinez promised to humiliate Chavez Jr. and was keeping his promise until the 12th round.
His weapons of choice were a right jab and a straight left hand to the body and head. Martinez constantly teed off on Chavez with little to nothing in return.
But in the rare instance that it looked like Chavez would steal the moment from Sergio, he quickly backed up Chavez Jr. and regained the pace of the fight.
The lead up to the fight was extremely personal and hostile, mostly from the side of Martinez, and perhaps rightfully so.
Martinez even resorted to antagonizing Chavez Jr. throughout the buildup to the fight by referring to him as simply “Junior”, an insult constantly made by Martinez that he was nothing like his legendary father Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
To make a long story short, Martinez was a victim of infamous boxing politics.
After defeating Kelly Pavlik and picking up the WBO, WBC, and The Ring titles, Martinez was forced to choose between the WBO and WBC belts.
Martinez would opt for the WBO and his WBC strap would go on to be contested by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sebastian Zbik.
Chavez Jr. would go on to win the belt. The WBC would ultimately drag the fight out past it’s originally agreed upon date, but eventually get it made.
In the 12 round it seemed that Martinez would take the unanimous decision and continue his reign in the middleweight division.
Not so. Chavez Jr. landed a right hand that created drama comparable to the second fight between Rocky and Ivan Drago.
After following up the right hand with more punches, Sergio Martinez ended up on the canvas for the first time in the fight.
He would get off the canvas and fight for his life, taking more shots but firing back and getting his respect from both Chavez Jr. and boxing fans in the process.
He would fight Chavez Jr. off long enough to take the victory, but not without a cost. It was revealed shortly after the fight that Martinez would need surgery to repair a minor tear in his knee.
Martinez would go on to fight again, but nowhere near his elite level fans had gotten use to.
He would go on to win a very debatable unanimous decision over Martin Murray and retire on his stool vs. Miguel Cotto after the 9th round.
Martinez would go on to permanently retire, but not before giving fans some of the finest performances of his career.
Now, lets take a look back at that epic round 12 in Sergio Martinez vs Julio Chavez Jr: