Martinez survives late scare
Argentinian takes WBC middleweight crown from Chavez Jr
Last Updated: September 16, 2012 9:32am
Sergio Martinez: Made it to the final bell to win WBC middleweight title
Sergio Martinez reclaimed the WBC middleweight title despite suffering a late knockdown against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Las Vegas.
The 37-year-old, considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, claimed a comfortable unanimous points decision victory at the Thomas & Mack Centre.
But the scorecards, which came in at 117-110 and 118-109 twice, did not tell the story of how close Martinez came to suffering a shock loss.
Needing a knockout in the 12th and final round, Chavez caught Martinez with a left hook which sent the Argentinian to the canvas.
Martinez, who until that point had been in complete control, was badly hurt but managed to survive to the bell and escape with the points win after a dramatic finish.
"I think a rematch is justified. I hurt him like no-one else before.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr Quotes of the week
"He caught me with a good left hook and I lost my balance," Martinez said.
Chavez, son of the legendary Mexican fighter of the same name, was making his fourth defence of the WBC middleweight crown, which Martinez used to hold before losing it out of the ring last year.
Chavez said: "I had him hurt, but I couldn't finish him off. I think a rematch is justified. I hurt him like no-one else before."
Despite the late wobble there was no doubt who the winner would be once the final bell sounded, with Martinez landing 390 and throwing 908 punches over the course of the fight compared to Chavez's 178 of 322.
Martinez was enthusiastic about the idea of granting Martinez a rematch, saying: "Of course, I'm ready to start training again."
On the undercard Roman Martinez claimed the vacant WBO super-featherweight title with a split decision win over Miguel Beltran Jr, while Guillermo Rigondeaux retained his WBA super-featherweight crown with a lopsided points victory against Robert Marroquin.