Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., left, and Sergio Martinez face off during customary… (John Locher / Associated…)
LAS VEGAS -- The Times is ringside for tonight’s World Boxing Council middleweight title fight between champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 knockouts) and former champion Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) of Argentina.
Times staff writer Lance Pugmire will provide live round-by-round updates of the pay-per-view bout here on Sports Now. The main event will start after 8:30 p.m. Pacific time.
The bout at Thomas and Mack Center matches the 26-year-old son of the Mexican legend in his ultimate test against the 37-year-old southpaw Martinez, who was voted the 2010 fighter of the year.
Here's the round-by-round coverage:
Round 1: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. kissed his father, the Mexican boxing legend, on the mouth and then the fight began. Martinez looks to jab. Feeling out, as expected. Couple Martinez jabs sneak in. Chavez covering. Chavez right to body. Martinez clean jab. Martinez wins the round, 10-9.
Round 2: More jabs from Martinez. Chavez ties up and wrestles Martinez. Chavez mocks Martinez, saying punches don't hurt. Martinez keeps hands down, sneaks in left. Chavez unloads rights to the body and a left to head. He's looking to impose size. Martinez jabs. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 20-18.
Round 3: Martinez dips in a left to body, then darts away. Chavez backs up Martinez with a right to the belly. Chavez pounds Martinez's body with left. Martinez ducks and hits. Great jab by Martinez. Martinez's speed is beating Chavez tothe punch. Chavez gets Martinez to the ropes, but he jumps out. Good left, then combination by Martinez, who slides out of pressure. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 30-27.
Round 4: Chavez is slow to rise from stool to maximize rest. Martinez lands a left. Good left by Chavez, but Martinez counter. Martinez jabs, backs up, strikes again. Big right by Chavez, who later complains of a low blow and hit to back of head. Chavez pounds the body with a left. Jab-jab by Martinez. Hard right by Chavez, but Martinez can take his punch and delivers head-rocking left at bell. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez lead, 40-36.
Round 5: Chavez jabs. Martinez jabs four times, goes to body. His activity is a big advantage. Martinez jabs cleanly to face. Then another. Chavez presses Martinez to ropes, he skirts away. Martinez throws a combo at Chavez. Jab to head, left to body for Martinez. Chavez backs away. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 50-45.
Round 6: Chavez tries a jab and a right, gets popped by Martinez with a right. Chavez corners Martinez, throws some punches, but Martinez escapes again. Savvy 37-year-old. Blood coming from the nose of Chavez. Left-right by Chavez is good. Rights to body of Chavez. He's hit hard by a Martinez combination. Right-left by Martinez. Hard Martinez left to face, and he masterfully backs head away to escape a Chavez right. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 60-54.
Round 7: Chavez has bloody nose to deal with and questionable cut men in corner. Nice Chavez jab. Martinez works to body. Left by Martinez to Chavez's face. Two hard lefts to nose and combination backs up Chavez. He's backing up, not faring well. In trouble. Chavez finds resolve and lands solid rights to Martinez's head. Martinez takes it, gets out of corner with left. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 70-63.
Round 8: Martinez jabs, which causes sweat to fly from Chavez's head. Chavez works to body. They trade jabs. Chavez is more assertive now. Martinez jabs, but Chavez finally get the best of a round. Chavez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 79-73.
Round 9: Chavez trades a soft jab for a hard one. Boos fill arena as action dulls. Martinez jabs, Chavez is red under right eye. Martinez stays low, ducks away from a Chavez right. Martinez appears cut over his left eye. They trade jabs, Chavez looks in, but doesn't throw. Martinez's sharpness reveals a plan. Chavez appears plan-less. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 89-82.
Round 10: HBO has it a Martinez shutout. Martinez opens round with a jab and left to head. Chavez aims for body. Martinez counters to body. Referee Weeks tells Martinez to get punches up. Headbutt follows. Martinez remains active, more than the man 11 years his junior. Martinez goes to mat, saying he was pushed. No knockdown ruled. Martinez too fast, begs for response from Chavez. raises his arms to crowd at bell. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 99-91.
Round 11: The Martinez jab is as crisp as he had hoped, if not more. Chavez's left eye is swelling. Chavez glances a right off the top of Martinez's head. Big right to head by Chavez. Martinez answers with hard combo. Crowd roars as action intensifies. Martinez now smacking Chavez from all angles. Chavez backing up, nodding head as if it doesn't hurt. His face is a mess, though. Martinez stays on attack. Chavez walks slowly back to corner. Martinez wins round, 10-9. Martinez leads, 109-100.
Round 12: Chavez's right eye is swollen. Nice jab by Chavez to open round. Hard right and left by Chavez. Hard left-right-left by Chavez knocks down Martinez. People stunned at him leaving himself open. Martinez barely rises by the eight count. He gets knocked down again by a right. He rises and survives massive rights and a left by holding. Bell rings, it's going to the judges. Chavez wins round, 10-7. Unofficially, Martinez wins, 116-110.
Official decision: The judges score it a unanimous decision for Martinez: Adalaide Byrd, 118-109; Stanley Christodoulou, 117-110; Dave Moretti, 118-109.
Martinez wins back the WBC middleweight title.
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