Chavez, Jr. Decisions Vanda; Donaire & Arce both win by TKO

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.By Paul Strauss: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. won easily Saturday night over Matt Vanda in the main event of the night at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. The rematch helped Chavez, Jr. explain away his poor showing in their first fight. This time he wasn't going to make the same mistake. From the beginning, he dictated the pace and distance at which the fight would be fought.

Vanda's nickname is the Predator, but he appeared more like the prey. Much of the night, he seemed leery of extending his punches. His trainer and corner man Ron Lyke implored him, "Hit him (Chavez, Jr.), throw your one-two anywhere (..........i.e arms, chest and body)." Vanda did have a few moments, but very few. On occasion, he would mount a bit of an attack, which would include a left hook to the body, and lead rights to the head, but he would not or could not sustain it. Chavez, Jr. easily weathered those momentary flurries.

The rest of the time Vanda seemed content with the fact that he was still standing after Chavez, Jr. would rip off a combination. Those occasions were many, and instead of retaliating during or after the Chavez, Jr combo, Vanda would step back and drop his hands a bit to signify "That didn't hurt me!" The fans and judges didn't see it that way, and Vanda's effort at symbolic toughness meant nothing as far as winning the fight. The judges scored a one-sided victory for Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Richard Houck had it 99-91. Dave Moretti scored the fight 97-93 and Glenn Trowbridge had it 98-92.

When the fight ended, Vanda seemed pleased, and suddenly exhibited a Mayorga type apologetic behavior toward Chavez, Jr., and Julio's corner-men to somehow make up for all of the bad words exchanged during the pre-fight build-up. Undoubtedly, Matt will act the same way before and after his next fight.

Saturday night was probably Matt Vanda's last shot at the big time, but Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. has much more on his agenda. However, did tonight's action establish that Chavez, Jr. has truly arrived at the upper tier of his class? It probably didn't. His win over Vanda, although impressive, was not against someone who posed a real threat. If Chavez, Jr., who is only twenty-two years old gets thrown in with the top dogs in the Jr. Middleweight or Middleweight division, he might take a beating, at least at this point in his career. But, there's no need to rush him. As previously mentioned, he is very young, and will continue to improve and get stronger. Maybe he should think about fighting another Minnesota battler, one who has a good jab and a lot more pop in his right hand. This former contender also has an impressive UD victory over Vanda, and just came off a good win over tough veteran Carl Daniels. Anthony Bonsante would be a good test for Chavez, Jr.

In other action, Nonito Donaire had an unexpectedly hard time with Moruti Mthalane. He finally stopped him at about 1:31 seconds of the six round due to bad (eyelid) cut. The ringside physician took one look at the cut and said it's over!

Right from the beginning the Filipino Flash seemed to have trouble getting into his game plan, and he was depending almost exclusively on his left. He quickly increased the number of hard lefts thrown from both the orthodox and southpaw stances, but the punch output seemed close. However, the power punch total favored Donaire.

Most of Donaire's lefts were hard jabs and hooks, but he started mixing in some uppercuts, and undoubtedly, it was an uppercut that caused the cut. Up until that moment, the fight remained close. Strangely, the fans were booing what was still a very close fight. Apparently, they wanted more action.

A quick look at Donaire in between rounds revealed he was getting bruised up It didn't matter, because the bad cut to Mthalene brought a quick halt to the action, and a TKO win for Donaire. It will be interesting to see if there are any reports forthcoming from the Donaire camp about possible injury to his right hand, as he seemed to grimace when the glove was being removed at the end of the fight.

Jorge Arce also came away with an impressive stoppage; although, he seemed pre-occupied and upset with something or someone on his way into the ring and during the announcer's initial introductions. The distraction seemed to affect his early performance, as he looked sloppy and tentative. But, he quickly loosened up, and started ripping hooks to Isidro Garcia's body, most of which Garcia was absorbing with his right arm.

In fact, it seemed like the left hooks were being wasted, but by the third round Arce started to change the angle of the punch a bit. Instead of trying to reach around behind Garcia's elbow, he shortened the hook, so it went to the bread-basket or solar-plexus. That alteration garnered the result Arce was looking for. One shot on that bundle of nerves was all it took. Garcia went down in extreme pain. He wasn't getting up. It was about forty eight seconds into the fourth round.

During the post-fight interview, Arce called out Israel Vasquez, but his performance tonight didn't really establish him as a serious threat to Vasquez. Garcia is a light puncher, but early on he had Arce backing up and looking sloppy, not something Arce would be able to get away with if fighting Vasquez or Marquez.

Earlier in the night Lamont Peterson seemed to be fed another relatively easy but unorthodox opponent in Lanardo Tyner. Peterson gives off the appearance of being a very good fighter. He has a very good jab, rips off impressive combinations, moves well, and seems strong. However, it is obvious his punches lack power, and he has an irritating habit of sounding off with each punch eh! eh! eh!. That habit serves no purpose, and actually telegraphs what he intends to do, and causes him to expel air in a non-productive manner. It would be a good thing for this Richard Pryor look-a-like to get rid of that annoying habit as soon as possible. Regardless, Peterson has an impressive style, and is a very dedicated fighter. He is a fan favorite, and his one-sided UD Saturday night will help propel him up in the ranks.

Article posted on 02.11.2008

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