Julio Cesar Chavez Jr wasn't really in it for the first 11 rounds of tonight's fight, but damn if he didn't go out swinging away. Scoring an incredibly dramatic 12th round knockdown that received a deafening roar from the sold-out Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, the Mexican star almost woke up the echoes of his father's 1990 comeback shocker over Meldrick Taylor.
But Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KO) came up just short, and lost the decision to Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO) on scores of 117-110, 118-109, and 118-109.
The fight wasn't particularly competitive -- in fact, Martinez sorely outclassed Chavez Jr for 11 rounds, with Julio having but limited moments of success trying to bang away at the smaller but clearly superior man. And post-fight, the word out of Vegas is that the entire Chavez team -- from promoter Bob Arum to strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza -- is just plain disappointed in his effort.
And that's fair, and it's understandable. And I get fans who don't want to see an immediate rematch, feeling that a single round of high drama is not worth another pay-per-view hit (because there's no way it wouldn't be pay-per-view).
But I'm simply choosing to focus on what made this so memorable and so great. That 12th round was epic. That word is thrown around far too much these days, but if you can't enjoy those three minutes as a boxing fan, and just find something there that is worth saying, "Man, that was fun," then I can't figure you out. I don't particularly feel like I need a rematch either. But I probably won't complain if or when they make one. Who knows? It only takes one moment.