San Antonio, TX- Those watching Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (41-0-1, 30 KOs) for the first time had to wonder why the son of the legend from Culiacan, Mexico has been the target of such intense criticism over the years. The fact of the matter was that the 24-year old who showed up at the Alamodome to fight Ireland’s John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) was a vastly improved and overall much sharper fighter than the one who would sleepwalk his way through low-level club fighters previously.
Under the guidance of new trainer, Freddie Roach, and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, Chavez Jr. looked to be in the best shape of his career while continuously beating Duddy to the punch.
Duddy was definitely game and had a few good moments in the bout, notably a big shot in the sixth that wobbled Jr.’s legs, but it became clearer and clearer as the fight went on that he lacked the versatility and skill to come away with the win.
Chavez, throughout the 12 round contest, seemed sharper, stronger, and quicker than his rival and exhibited subtle angles to off-set Duddy’s predictable, black and white offense.
Duddy battled through several moments where he seemed to be on wobbly legs and always battled back, providing the fans with an enjoyable fight, but, in the end, he was simply overmatched.
The judges reflected the one.sided nature of the bout: 120-108, 116-112, and 117-111 for Chavez Jr. The BTBC scored it 118-110, also for Jr.
After the bout, Arum stated that a move back to 154 is in store for Chavez and, perhaps, a fight with Miguel Cotto. He also expressed his desire to match Duddy up against former champ, Yuri Foreman, after Foreman heals from his knee surgery.
On the Undercard:
Marco Antonio Barrera (66-7, 43 KOs) won a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision against Brazilian, Adailton Dejesus (26-5, 21 KOs). Dejesus never even tried. Judges scores: 100-90, 98-92, 99-91. The BTBC also had it scored 100-90 for Barrera.
Raul Martinez (27-1, 16 KOs) beat an obviously overmatched Gabriel Elizondo (22-4-1, 10 KOs) via TKO 7 in a battle of San Antonio bantameweights. Martinez started strong and finished strong against a foe who gave him little to worry about.
Tomas Villa (23-7-4, 14 KOs) won a solid 8-round unanimous decision against Salvador Sanchez II (19-4-2, 9 KOs). Sanchez came to the ring wearing the same trunks, robe and shoes as his legendary uncle while sporting the same Mexican-Afro hairstyle, but that’s where the similarities ended. Villa outworked and outclassed Sanchez for the vast majority of the fight earning the judges’ scores of 77-75, 79-73, and 78-74. The BTBC also had it scored 78-74 for Villa.
Well-regarded prospect and Freddie Roach pupil, Jose Benavides (7-0, 6 KOs) stopped Josh Beeman (4-7-3, 2 KOs) at 1:20 of the 1st round with a well-placed body shot.
Another quality prospect, Omar Henry (10-0, 8 KOs) went the distance with Hilario Lopez (12-10, 8 KOs), dropping Lopez twice in the 4-round bout. Judges’ scores were 40-34 all the way around.