By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. tops Peter Manfredo
Obviously, HBO must like Chavez, Jr. because, not only did the network giant televise his title-winning effort against an unknown Sebastian Zbik to claim the WBC middleweight title in June, but also aired his first title defense.
Chavez, Jr., (44-0-1, 31 KOs) in front of a packed house at the Reliant Stadium, the home of the NFL’s popular Houston Texans, scorched Rhode Island native, Peter Manfedo, Jr. (37-7, 20 KOs) at 1:52 seconds of the fifth round last Saturday to retain his 160-pound belt.
Chavez, Jr. appeared much too powerful a puncher for Manfredo, a popular fighter from Rhode Island, who never really took his career to the next level as a serious contender in the sport. Manfedo has previous opportunities in recent years but was blown out by a now-retired Joe Calzaghe, knocked out at home by world title challenger Sakio Bika. Also, former world champion Jeff Lacy beat Manfredo with basically one arm when they fought.
Manfedo served his purpose for a young fighter like Chavez, Jr. He was a recognizable name for Chavez to have on his record. He also stood toe-to-toe, testing Chavez, Jr.’s punching power and slowlyu improving boxing skills under trainer Freddie Roach. Manfredo’s straight-ahead punching style was perfect for Chavez, Jr. to look good against.
Not only did Chavez, Jr. look good, but he also excelled. Chavez, Jr. displayed a good boxing technique of jabbing, moving, and allowing Manfredo to walk straight into powerful combinations that he couldn’t withstand.
It was a one-sided beating from the start to finish, as Manfredo was simply overpowered.
Although Chavez, Jr. is the WBC 160-pound titlist, no one will consider Chavez the true world middleweight champion until he (or someone else) beats Sergio Martinez. Martinez is the uncrowned world middleweight champion. He was the unified WBC/WBO kingpin having beaten the man (Kelly Pavlik), who beat the man (Jermain Taylor), who beat Bernard Hopkins, who established a record 20 consecutive world middleweight title defenses.
Martinez never lost his world titles in the ring. Martinez is riding a consecutive bout win-streak and his performances have been nothing short of spectacular. His knockout victories of Paul Williams and Darrin Barker are amongst his career-best.
There are other fighters in a somewhat increasingly loaded middleweight division. Longtime WBA champion Felix Sturm, IBF titlist Daniel Geale, prospects “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin, and Matthew Macklin are very good fighters. However, their resume’ or their boxing skills doesn’t spell Sergio Martinez.
Macklin eyes HUGE 2012, Sergio Martinez
Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) is currently the No. 4-ranked middleweight according to the WBA’s rankings. Macklin made a strong showing for himself having lost a “controversial” decision to Felix Sturm, the WBA middleweight champion, on une 25, in Germany.
Macklin, under boxing promoter Lou DiBella, is looking to establish a big name amongst the Irish communities in the New York area. Hopefully, Macklin can secure a big fight at 160 pounds.
“I’m enjoying life in New York,” Macklin stated. “I felt it was important to move here so that I can build a fan base if I am going to fight here on a regular basis. I’m determined to give the city and the huge Irish community here a fighter to be proud of,”
Macklin has high hopes of a big fight. Namely against Sergio Martinez, the uncrowned former WBC/WBO middleweight champion, who never lost his titles in the ring. To be considered “the man” at middleweight, Macklin must beat THE BEST – Martinez.
“I have a lot of respect for Martinez,” Macklin added. “What he’s done after taking up boxing so late is remarkable, but he’s really a natural light middleweight and I’m a big, strong middleweight. I believe that my size, strength and power will be too much for him. I think Darren Barker did better than people expected but I also think that Sergio underperformed that night. Maybe subconsciously he thought he was in for an easy night against Barker and wasn’t at his best because of that.”
Macklin added: “On that performance, he was lucky he wasn’t in the ring with me because I would have knocked him out. He’ll have to up his game tenfold if he wants to hear the final bell against me, but I would expect him to and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want to beat Sergio Martinez at his very best, with no excuses.”
DiBella’s prospects kickoff 2012 season
The 2012 season of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights will commence on January 6, at Mallory Square, in Key West, FL. WBC/WBA No. 9-ranked Dyah Davis (20-2-1, 9 KOs) will battle Alfonso Lopez (22-1-, 17 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout. The telecast begins at 9 PM/ET on ESPN 2.
Dyah Davis, a Florida native, is the son of former U.S. Olympic gold medal champion Howard Davis. Davis, who has key wins against previously unbeaten Marcus Johnson (20-0, 15 KOs) and Darnell Boone, is optimistic that a win on Jan. 6, will lead him to a world title fight.
Also appearing on the show is a very interesting junior middleweight clash between unbeaten three-time New York Golden Gloves and 2008 National Champion, Steven Martinez (11-0, 9 KOs) and undefeated, former Golden Gloves titlist, Johnathan Cepeda (110, 10 KOs). That bout is scheduled for eight rounds.
“January 6th begins ESPN’s 2012 season with a bang,” DiBella said. “You have two huge punchers in the Martinez-Cepeda match-up, and someone’s ’0′ must go. This is a terrific opener almost guaranteed to be explosive. In the main event, Dyah Davis looks to continue his climb toward a world title shot against emerging contender Alfonso Lopez. This is a helluva way to kick off the new year.”
Martinez is a three-time New York Golden Gloves Champion. He also won a National Golden Gloves title back in 2008. Martinez was recently a lead sparring partner for Sergio Martinez in preparation for his 11th round knockout of Darrin Barker in October.
Mares vs. Agbeko 2 on December 3, SHOWTIME
As a reminder, the highly anticipated rematch between undefeated IBF bantamweight champion Abner Mares (22-0-1, 13 KOs) and Joeph Agbeko (28-3, 22 KOs) will commence on Saturday, December 3, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
SHOWTIME will televise the event beginning at 9 PM/ET.
Mares-Agbeko I ended in controversy this summer on August 13, when Mares wasn’t penalized a single point for landing repeated low-blows. One low-blow that sent Agbeko to the canvas was ruled an official knockdown. Those watching in attendance were outraged.
The IBF ordered a mandatory rematch. SHOWTIME picked up the option and we are going to have another amazing night of boxing action.
Also, former Undisputed World 115-pound champion, Vic Darchinyan challenges Anselmo Moreno for his WBA bantamweight title.