Chavez follows his dad to a title

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: June 6, 2011

Like father, like son

Like father, like son

IOWA CITY, IOWA–Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. faced Sebastian Zbik for the WBC Middleweight division in the boxing after dark special. Chavez has fought under the shadow of his famous father, who is about to be inducted in International Boxing Hall of Fame and now he had his chance to set his own legacy as he went for his first title.

In the opening bout Miguel Angel Garcia fought Rafael Guzman. Guzman came into this fight with just three day notice but he was in shape as he was schedule for a fight next week. Garcia used his jab to set the pace but Guzman did manage to land a few blow in the first round. Both men exchange blows over the final twenty second and Guzman actually stunned Garcia with a solid left hook that might have won him the round.

During the second round, Guzman trapped Garcia in the rope but Garcia nailed Guzman with a left hook that forced Guzman to retreat and Garcia managed to land some solid blows that cut Guzman over the right eye. Near the end of the round, Guzman attacked but his wild blows hit air and before that, many Garcia punches hit Guzman’s face.

At the end of a third round, a Garcia right sent Guzman head spinning and if there was more time, the fight might have ended right there. Garcia own jab against the taller Guzman, neutralized Guzman’s reach and jab. Garcia continued to attack in the fourth round and with a minute left, a Garcia’s jab nailed Guzman and a split second later, a Garcia right hand sent Guzman down. Guzman did not get up and Garcia stayed undefeated.

Chavez walked out accompany by his dad but while his dad is the legend, this night belonged to junior as he faced the defending undefeated WBC Middleweight champion Zbik. Zbik started quickly as he unleashed combination as he forced Chavez to retreat but Chavez did throw those classic Chavez left hook to the body. Near the end of the round, Chavez landed some nice combination, forcing a hasty retreat by Zbik as he started to penetrate Zbik defenses.

The second round was one of those rounds in with ebb and flows as both fighters took turn dominating. Zbik threw quick combinations but Chavez started to abandoned his long range fight plan and fight inside.

With a minute left in the third round, Zbik struck Chavez with left right combinations twice but Chavez didn’t flinch and threw his own combinations as the bell rang. Zbik set the pace throughout most of the round but when Chavez connected, the crowd went wild.

Zbik continued to force Chavez back but when the both stood toe to toe, Chavez landed some solid body shots but like in the third round, Zbik quicker hands often beat Chavez to the punch.

Zbik continued to school Chavez with his combinations but in the fifth round, Zbik stayed inside, giving Chavez a shot to use his left hook to Zbik’s body. While Zbik kept building up the lead on the scorecard, Chavez hope was to wear the smaller Zbik down for the second half of the fight. At the end of the fifth round, Chavez threw his best combination at this point in the fight when he stunned Zbik with a lead left hook and right hand. Chavez looked like he succeeded in turning the fight into trench warfare and both fighters stayed in toe to toe throughout the sixth round; Zbik looked fatigued as his hand speed slowed down.

Going into the second half of the fight, Chavez may have been behind but the fight was turning in his favor as he was fighting a Chavez fight, inside with devastating body shots and turning the affair into a rugged brawl. Toward the end of the seventh round, Chavez unleashed body shots, forcing Zbik to retreat back to the rope where Chavez nailed with a right hand. In the eighth round, Zbik threw combinations that connected and out punched Chavez even though at the end of the eighth round, Chavez moved forward to push Zbik back to the corner.

In the ninth round, Zbik boxing skills allowed him to connect on three times as many punches as he outworked Chavez. In tenth round, both fighters fought a close in tight and both fighters had their moment. Zbik landed a sharp left hook that sent Chavez briefly reeling but in the last thirty seconds, a Chavez right took some wind out of Zbik.

In the eleventh round, Chavez body attacks made Zbik winced as Chavez took control of the round. Chavez continued his attack as Zbik looked tired and his punches lacked steam; Zbik look vulnerable for the first time in the fight. Zbik wobble slowly back to his corner and now Zbik hold of the title looked in jeopardy.

Zbik came out throwing punches for the first thirty seconds but Chavez forced Zbik in the corner with more of body shots. Zbik attempted to counter with quick head shots to slow the Chavez body onslaught. Over the last minute, both fighters delivered solid shots while fighting in total exhaustion and leaving the fight in the judges’ scorecards. This was a fight difficult to score as there were many rounds that Zbik outworked and out punched Chavez but Chavez’s punches had more power and he forced Zbik to fight his fight; inside brawl.

Michael Buffet announced the decision, “114-114, 115-113, 116-112, winner by majority decision, Julio Cesar Chavez!” This was a decision could have gone either way as Zbik was the more accurate but in the end, this was Chavez’s fight; an inside brawl that won the fight. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. won his first title, fighting the way his dad did; but delivering tough body shots to wear his opponent down.