Martinez vs. Chavez Jr.: Why Chavez Wasn't Ready for Title Defense

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

Chavez got stung regularly by the jab of Martinez.
Chavez got stung regularly by the jab of Martinez.Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was on the wrong end of too many punches for the first 11 rounds of his Saturday night fight with Sergio Martinez.

He was hammered throughout the fight by Martinez and his face was battered and bruised. He was clearly losing his middleweight title—but in boxing, you never know.

Chavez was not counting on any judging weirdness to turn the fight around. He managed to rev up his motor and take it to Martinez during Round 12. He was powerful, nasty and determined. Chavez knocked Martinez down and he appeared to be just a few seconds away from knocking out his opponent.

But the bell came, and the reality of losing 10 of the first 11 rounds came to fruition as Martinez (50-2-2) earned a one-sided decision and regained the WBC middleweight title.

If Chavez (46-1-1) had been at his best prior to the last round, he would have made a much better fight of it. But he was not at his best.

His defense was poor and he had few answers for the jab that Martinez landed with consistency. Chavez appeared to be content to clown and indicate that Martinez's punches were not hurting him.

That old "no, no, no" head shake has gotten old in boxing. Whenever a boxer uses that gesture to show he is not being hurt, he probably is getting hurt. It also means he is spending too much time politicking instead of boxing.

In Chavez's case, he did not put his full effort into training for this bout. In one episode of HBO's 24/7 series prior to the fight, Chavez left trainer Freddie Roach in the lurch by not even showing up for one of his training sessions (source:

According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, Roach said that Chavez had missed six training sessions while supposedly in training for Martinez.

It showed in the bout. Martinez was thoroughly professional in the fight. He did not waste his time or opportunities. He came at Chavez with everything he had. His preparation and his execution were thorough.

It's not always that simple in boxing or life, but when you get outworked the way Chavez did against Martinez, the results are not usually going to be positive.

Chavez was nearly able to reverse the results with his monster showing in the last round, but he wasn't quite good enough to match his father's famous last-round knockout of Meldrick Taylor in 1990.

Perhaps Chavez got the message by getting stung so regularly by Martinez for 11 rounds.

Chavez has unconventional training methods and techniques.

He needs to take it more seriously if he is going to be at his best against top fighters in the future.