Julio Chavez, Jr's 5th Rd TKO of Peter Manfredo, Jr; Plus 1st Installment of Cotto vs. Margarito 24/7

By Paul Strauss: The Pride of Providence did all right for the first few rounds in Houston, Tx, as Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr was trying something new.........boxing. Julio is now under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, and Freddie has been trying to teach him how to do more than just fight. As a result, Julio was moving nicely, shooting out a decent jab, etc., all the while demonstrating that he can block and slip a bit before resorting to his patented left hook to the body.

The first round of the fight was difficult to score, because nothing happened. In the second round, Julio showed a little aggression, and landed a few crisp combinations, but then backed off and boxed again, giving viewers the impression that he remembered the game plan. He did enough though to establish he was in charge, with the faster hands and harder punches. Manfredo's plan seemed to be the often used one of less skilled fighters, and that is one of pressure in hopes of finally tiring out the more talented opponent in hopes of finally getting an opportunity to land something damaging.

In the fourth round, Manfredo landed some good shots, especially to Julio's body. It was his best round. Julio tried to be nonchalant about it, and wave Manfredo in for a bigger exchange, but Manfredo stayed calm, and kept up his normal level of pressure. He did enough to win the round, and it was a good sign that he might have a chance after all to win the fight.

In the fifth round, Manfredo came out executing the same attack, pressing, going to the body, and sneaking through a shot or two to the head. It looked as though he might be on his way to another decent round, and then crack Julio got through a particularly hard clean right hand to Peter's head. Manfredo was in big trouble as he wobbled back to the ropes. Chavez pounced on him, and unleashed punch after punch, with about half of those thrown getting through. Manfredo wasn't firing back at all, and was presenting himself as a big target. Finally, as the urge to hold finally came to him, he reached out to clinch. But, unfortunately for him, the same urge came to Referee Laurence Cole. He also reached out and stopped the bout. It was 1:52 of the fifth round.

In the post fight interview, Chavez said that he is willing to fight anyone, be it Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, or Sergio Martinez. As to his performance, he said it was the first time he ever really just tried to box, so he was satisfied with his first effort. Peter was honest in his assessment, explaining that he guessed he wasn't an HBO fighter, because every time he got his shot at the big time, he came up short. He was referring to his losses to Joe Calzaghe and Sakio Bika.

Prior to the main event, HBO showed video of the Pacquiao vs Marquez III. Manny won again. Opinion Polls of fans and media conducted by HBO came out in favor of Marquez, but that's all they are........opinions. The only opinions that matter are those of the official scorers, and they deemed Pacquiao the winner. Doubtful that will be changed by any protesting mustered up by JMM or Nacho. It was interesting to note that there's a feeling out there now that Top Rank is no longer all that eager to match Manny up against Floyd, and that it might be better to seek a IV fight with between Manny and JMM. Right after the fight, Manny said anytime to the question. JMM was slower to answer, and seemed to be pondering retirement because of his disappointment. Later, he mentioned if there were to be a fourth fight, it would have to be in Mexico.

Prior to all of this, HBO ran its first 24/7 episode of Cotto vs Margarito. Not surprisingly, the majority of the show dealt with the illegal hand-wrap issue. Margarito and his camp still deny any wrong doing. Cotto feels he lost their first fight because Margarito cheated. As evidence of his opinion, he offered a post-fight photo of Margarito's hand wrap which shows a "crack" or "tear". Cotto explains that that is not normal, and it will not occur if the wrap is simply gauze, as it is supposed to be. Margarito's people contend the damaged area was due to a twist of the material, possibly caused by all of the uppercuts he threw? They feel Cotto is just trying to sell the fight with his allegations. This fight might be a hard sell, because many fans and more than a few in the media feel Margarito doesn't deserve the shot. He's never showed any remorse, and he and his former trainer (and Bpb Arum) continue to offer explanations for getting caught red-handed. Cotto seeks revenge, but it seems he is making a mistake taking this fight. He doesn't need it. Most already believe he was jobbed in their first fight. If Margarito manages to come away with a win, then Cotto has given him the platform he needs to lend credence to his contention that he didn't need illegal hand wraps to beat him. He doesn't deserve the chance to do so.

Article posted on 20.11.2011

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