Boxing weekend review: Chavez Jr beats Manfredo Jr
We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing, including Chavez Jr's defeat of Manfredo Jr
Boxer of the weekend
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It is often hard to forge your own reputation if you are part of a famous family, especially when your father happens to be the most famous Mexican boxer of all time. However, on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Chavez Jr showed that he is more than just a brand. Against tough contender Peter Manfredo Jr, the Mexican middleweight used his superior movement and jab to work openings and repeatedly land right hands on his way to a fifth-round stoppage. The victory, the most impressive outing of Chavez Jr’s career, established him as a genuine contender in the middleweight division. With his ability to generate large amounts of publicity, sell thousands of tickets and do well on pay-per-view, Chavez Jr will always viable for the biggest fights. And bar Sergio Martinez, Chavez Jr would have a chance of victory against any middleweight. Boxing needs stars who have the ability to transcend the sport, and in Mexico and increasingly the USA, Chavez Jr is doing just that.
Fight of the weekend
Fernando Montiel v Victor Terrazas. On Saturday night in Guadalajara two Mexican super bantemweights battled for a great 12 rounds. The favoured Montiel was handed a boxing lesson by Terrazas as he was dropped, bullied and cut on his way to losing by a unanimous decision, the judge’s score-cards reading 115-113, 115-112 and 114-113. Terrazas chased and pressured his older opponent around the ring and did not give him a chance to settle into his usual rhythm and fighting style. By the end of the bout it was clear who was the victor: Montiel looking like beaten man, Terrazas ecstatic with his performance. Montiel was meant to be rebuilding his career after losing to Nonito Donaire in 2010, but will now have to consider whether or not he can still compete at the top level. However, Terrazas has just beaten the most established boxer of his career and has now fully recovered from his world title eliminator against Rundell Monroe in 2010.
Knockout of the weekend
Michael Grant. The American heavyweight faced 43-year-old South African Francois Botha in Johannesburg on Saturday night. Behind on the score-cards and dominated throughout by his older opponent, Grant went into the last round knowing that victory could only be accomplished by knockout. And with 37 seconds to go in the final round, Grant dropped Botha with a right hand and won the fight. All Botha had to do was get to the end of the round and all Grant could do was stop Botha – and that is exactly why boxing can be so thrilling. The seemingly impossible can happen and the Rocky movie ending does sometimes occur. Yet despite all this, the 39-year-old Grant no longer has the ability to win a significant world title. The Klitschko brothers dominate the heavyweight division and Grant is no longer even a contender, but that should take nothing away from his latest victory.
Decision of the weekend
Andre Dirrell’s return. After more than 20 months out of the ring, American Olympic bronze medallist and former super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell is scheduled to fight again in December. His absence from the sport occurred after an illegal blow to the head from Arthur Abraham in their Super Six tournament match in March 2010. It’s good for the sport that Dirrell has made a full recovery and can once again entertain fans. Dirrell is charismatic and interesting outside the ring and talented and entertaining inside of it. A tall, fast, switch hitter, Dirrell has the attributes to go all the way in the sport and his return adds even greater depth to the extremely talented super middleweight division, which already contains the likes of Andre Ward, Carl Froch and Lucian Bute.