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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Peter Manfredo Recap, Analysis

By Nick Tywalk

Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones are on the scene in Houston for HBO's Boxing After Dark. We've got just one fight to watch tonight, as the son of a legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. goes toe to toe with Peter Manfredo.

Jimmy Lennon Jr. asks the fans to observe a moment of silence for the passing of famed cutman Joe Souza. A memorial ten count tolls for Souza, who was one of the best in the business for over 40 years.

The tale of the tape finds that Chavez enjoys a 2 1/2" height advantage and just the slightest of edges in reach. Both men weighed in just under the 160-pound limit and re-hydrated to around the same weight for tonight. At 25, Chavez is five years younger than Manfredo.

Manfredo, known as the ride of Providence, makes his way out first. He hasn't fought for 308 days, which is the longest period of inactivity of his pro career. Manfredo is 37-6 with 20 KOs.

A mariachi band plays for Chavez on his ring walk. He is making the first defense of his WBC 160-pound title. Junior's professional record stands at 43-0-1 with 30 wins by way of knockout.

The referee in charge of the action is Laurence Cole. Lennon introduces both fighters officially, and we are ready to go for 12 scheduled rounds of middleweight action.

Round 1

Manfredo tests Junior early with the jab. Chavez responds in kind as Manfredo looks to set up his right hand. Manfredo tries a lead left hook. Chavez walks Manfredo to the ropes and lets him have it with two to the body. Both men work their jabs again. Chavez throws hooks in combination. Manfredo tries the body but eats a left hook upstairs. Chavez's movement looks fluid as he dodges incoming fire. Ineffective jabs fly in both directions. Quiet final 45 seconds to end this one.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Chavez

Round 2

Manfredo lands a hook but quickly finds his back to the ropes. Chavez just misses some big shots with both hands. Manfredo resumes his jabbing. He has to cover up as Junior tries more power shots. Manfredo has to block head and body punches, but some hooks get past the gloves. One-two by Chavez upstairs. Manfredo stalks, but his enemy is doing most of the work. Chavez uses his legs to avoid a combination. He turns counter-puncher for just a moment. Manfredo goes a little low as they trade, and Chavez ends strong with another combo.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Chavez

Round 3

Manfredo's trainer (also his dad) wants more combinations off his jab. Sergio Martinez is in the crowd. Manfredo tries to force an exchange, but Chavez circles away and lands a right hand. Junior connects with several right hands that land flush. Manfredo chases his man across the ring and both men land clean punches. Chavez is just a tad quicker every time they trade. The ref calls time so Manfredo can have work done on his right glove. Manfredo comes out of the timeout looking to load up a right hand. They trade at the bell, and the fans boo because Manfredo looks like he landed a late shot.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Chavez

Round 4

An "a--hole" chant broke out between rounds, directed at Manfredo. The action heats up early with Chavez winning a battle of hooks. Manfredo tries to bull his way in to make it a dogfight. They trade in the corner with Manfredo working the body. Chavez waves Manfredo in after eating head and body punches. Junior loads up some huge hooks. Chavez throws another series of hooks that are mostly blocked. Nice action in that round.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Chavez

Round 5

Harold Lederman gave Round 4 to Manfredo. He definitely looks more confident. Chavez has his gloves very low as he moves around. Manfredo finally lands lefts to the body and head after chasing for about 45 seconds. Chavez fires back with a right hand, and Manfredo is hurt. Cole takes a close look as Chavez fires a ton of punches, but Manfredo is dodging and weaving. Cole ends up stepping in to stop it, and Max Kellerman doesn't like it. Lederman disagrees, saying it's better not to let someone get hurt by taking continuous punishment. The replay shows that it was a left-right combo that first stunned Manfredo, and then Chavez threw so much quantity that some ended up getting through clean. Manfredo was moving but not really blocking or throwing back.

The winner by TKO at 1:52 of Round 5... and still WBC middleweight titleholder... Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Kellerman asks Chavez if that was his best performance to date. Junior says it was his first time really focusing on boxing and defense, and though it took a little while to get into it, he thinks it worked out well.

Max mentions that the fans love him because of his willingness to trade and asks how he can balance that with a more boxing-oriented style. Chavez says his essence will always be to fight, but he boxed a little more because it's better for him to do so.

Asked about the possibility of fighting Martinez or Canelo Alvarez, Chavez says that Martinez is a great champion and Canelo would make for a great fight for the Mexican public. It all depends on what his promoter says, but he fears no one.

Kellerman turns to Manfredo and asks if he is going to stay true to his claim that he would walk away from the sport if things didn't go his way. Manfredo admits he may not be an HBO fighter since every time he appears on the network, he loses. He thinks he was getting closer until he got caught with a big shot.

Manfredo agrees with Kellerman that it was a quick stoppage. Max congratulates him on a good career if this is indeed the end.

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