By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside
Photos by Robert Hughes
“Son of the Legend” Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (41-0-1, 30 KOs) remained unbeaten and proved he’s for real with a twelve round unanimous decision over “Ireland’s” John Duddy (29-2, 18 KOs) as he claimed the vacant WBC silver middleweight belt on Saturday night in front of more than 10,000 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
It was a good action fight, but Chavez was more accurate with his punches and came on strong down the stretch to win by scores of 120-108, 116-112, 117-111.
After the fight, promoter Bob Arum mentioned Miguel Cotto as a possible future fight for Chavez.
“I rocked him in the third round, a really big punch and he was hurt. But he fought and battled back, a sign of a good fighter,” said Duddy. When Bob Arum walked over John added, “…Bob, I only wish I could have given you a better fight.”
Fighting under the Top Rank banner for the first time, Mexican ring legend Marco Antonio Barrera (66-7, 43 KOs) dominated Adailton Dejesus (26-5, 21 KOs) over te rounds in a super lightweight clash. Scores were 100-90, 98-92, 99-91.
“I never retired from boxing,” said Barrera afterward. “I took a year off after getting a bad cut in my scalp against Amir Kahn. I was cut very early in that fight. Tonight I felt good. After the fight DeJesus said ‘I felt your power.’ I plan to work harder, get down to 135 and fight for a world title. I am back because I want to be the first Mexican to win world titles in 4 different weight divisions.”
In a much anticipated clash between local junior bantamweights, Raul Martinez (27-1, 16 KOs) scored a one-sided seventh round KO over Gabriel Elizondo (22-4-1, 10 KOs). Martinez scored knockdowns in rounds five, six and seven before the bout was halted. Time was 2:00. Martinez, who was ahead 60-54 all three cards won the Texas state belt.
“I love San Antonio and I want to be the next world champion from this great city,” he commented. “Gabe Elizondo and I will always be friends here in San Antonio. In the ring he told me he will root for me as I go after a world championship. In the fight I wanted to get my distance, then let him come towards me.”
Featherweight Tomas Villa (23-7-4, 14 KOs) derailed Salvador Sanchez II (19-4-2, 9 KOs) over eight rounds. Scores were 77-75, 79-73, 78-74. Sanchez II is the nephew of former world champion Salvador Sanchez.
Top Rank’s highly regarded super lightweight Jose Benavidez (7-0, 7 KOs) needed just 80 seconds to finish Josh Beeman (4-7-2, 2 KOs) with a body shot.
Middleweight Omar Henry (10-0, 8 KOs) blitzed Hilario Lopez (12-10, 8 KOs) from the opening bell and won a unanimous decision of 40-34 on all scorecards. Henry almost stopped Lopez within the first 20 seconds snapping his head back against the ropes, but somehow Lopez survived the onslaught. In round four, Henry finally put Lopez on the canvas with a beautiful right but Lopez survided the round and the fight.
Jesse James Leija-trained Emmanuel Ledezma (9-1-1, 2 KOs) won a four round unanimous decision over Nelson Ramos (4-1, 2 KOs) who suffered his first loss as a pro. It was a back and forth affair throughout the fight but Ledezma did just enough to win the fight.
Local super lightweight favorite James Cantu (6-0, 4 KOs) won a hard fought unanimous decision over the tough but outgunned Antonio Gamez (3-3-1, 1 KO). Scores were 39-36 twice and 40-35. Gamez was down in round three.
Welterweight Jose Juan Fuentes (6-1, 3 KOs) recovered from two early knockdowns to stop Rogelio Barron (12-7, 4 KOs) in round five.