Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. made a career rebound, but not without a pile of scrutiny attached, when he won a unanimous decision over fellow Mexican Marcos Reyes in the main event of the Showtime-televised card Saturday night from the Don Haskin Center in El Paso, Texas. Chavez, who failed to make the agreed-upon 169-pound (later adjusted to 170) catchweight, was much bigger and he bullied Reyes in the corners and against the ropes. In the end, Reyes was too small to compete with Chavez’s superior size.
Chavez patiently stalked Reyes throughout the fight, opting to explode during the times Reyes was stagnant. Chavez did most of his damage when he would walk Reyes into the ropes or a corner and rake his body. Junior relied on power shots to do most of the damage, though failed to stop the pesky Reyes throughout their 10 rounds of action.
Chavez suffered a cut over his left eye in the ninth when they inadvertently clashed heads, which cost Reyes a point. The infraction seemed a bit egregious because referee Guadalupe Garcia hadn’t previously warned Reyes. Still, it didn’t matter because “The Son of the Legend” built a huge lead on points entering the final round. Chavez won via tallies of 97-92, 98-91, 96-93 to improve to 49-2-1 with 32 KOs and one no-contest.
After the fight, Chavez claimed that he injured his left hand, which prevented him from knocking out Reyes.
“In the third round I hurt my left,” Chavez said. “I think it’s broken. This guy is a good boxer, but if I didn’t hurt my hand I would have knocked him out… If that guy wants a rematch, okay, whatever.”
Chavez revealed that he plans on staying at 168 pounds and that he is getting there “little by little.” He said he’ll decide what to do next once his hand is healed. Reyes, who felt as though he was robbed against a light heavyweight, fell to 33-3 with 24 KOs.
In the co-feature, 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian McJoe Arroyo won a foul-plagued 10-round technical decision to claim the vacant IBF super flyweight title with victory over Arthur Villanueva (27-1, 14 KOs). Villanueva was badly lacerated above the right eye in the sixth when the two combatants clashed heads, and in the 10th, the fight was halted when the cut grew deeper.
Villanueva, from the Philippines, had a point taken away in the sixth for what referee Rafael Ramos felt was an intentional head butt, but they two fighters clashed heads dozens of times. The duel was not rife with excitement and in the end, Arroyo (17-0, eight KOs) won via tallies of 97-92 and 98-91 (twice).
In the opening bout of the telecast, ultra talented junior welterweight prospect Amir Imam remained unbeaten with a spectacular highlight reel knockout of veteran Fernando Angulo. Early in the fourth, Imam unloaded a ferocious left jab-straight right combination that instantly rendered the Ecuadorian unconscious. Angulo (28-10, 16 KOs) fell face first and referee Jon Schorle immediately waved it off at 56 seconds into the round. Imam, who improved to 18-0 with his 15th knockout, is reportedly in a world title hunt in his next outing.
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