By: William Holmes
Showtime Championship Boxing presented three fights on their network from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas several hours after the PBC presented two televised bouts on CBS from the same arena. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. looked to bounce back from a devastating defeat three months ago to Andrzej Fonfara and it featured three undefeated prospects on the televised undercard.
Chavez’s dedication to the sport of boxing was once again questioned due to the fact Chavez Jr. came in 0.8 pounds overweight last night, and didn’t even both trying to make the contracted weight after failing the first time.
The first televised bout of the night was in the junior welterweight division between undefeated prospect Amir Imam (17-0) and Fernando Angulo (29-9).
Imam was ten years younger than his opponent, and significantly taller and longer than Angulo. Imam’s jab was sharp in the first round and was able to duck under most of the punches that Angulo did throw. Angulo was able to touch Imam with a couple of left hands from his orthodox stance, but Imam did land a hard combination near the end of the round.
Imam started the second round off aggressively and perhaps a bit recklessly, but he was picked apart by the sharp jab of Imam and the occasional straight right hand. Angulo continued to go on the attack in the third round and at times threatened Imam with his back against the ropes, but he was unable to land anything of significance. Angulo did land some hard shots, including a clean straight counter right hand to the nose of Angulo, but Angulo appeared to walk through the punches. Imam ended the third round with a double left hook.
The end of the fight came in the fourth round when Imam connected with a jab cross combination that sent Angulo crashing face first to the floor stiff as a board. The referee did not need to count and immediately waived off the fight.
Amir Imam stayed undefeated with a knockout at 0:56 of the fourth round.
The second fight of the night was between Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo (16-0) and Filipino boxer Arthur Villanueva (27-0) for the IBF Junior Bantamweight Title.
Arroyo was a southpaw and Villanueva fought out of an orthodox stance, and that led to a foul filled bout that featured a lot of clash of heads.
Villanueva was connecting with his straight right often in the first round while Arroyo was able to counter with his left hooks. Villanueva was moving toward the left hand of Arroyo which is considered a technical mistake by most, but the opening round was a close one.
Villanueva came out aggressively in the second round and was able to land several two punch combinations and simply outworked Arroyo. Neither boxer landed at a high rate in the third round, but when they did land it tended to be a lead right cross from Villanueva or a counter straight left from Arroyo.
The fans were starting to whistle the action in the round in the fourth round, but Arroyo was able to land some shots to the body.
They both came out aggressive in the fifth round, but Arroyo landed the best punch of the night with a short left hook. Arroyo could be seen in the fifth round complaining to the referee about a clash of heads. The referee could be heard giving Villanueva a hard warning for clash of heads in the fifth round, but that round was one of Arroyo’s best of the night.
Another clash of heads occurred in the sixth round and the referee took a point away from Villanueva that might not have been warranted. The referee later warned both fighters to fight clean as Villanueva connected with a low blow. There was some confusion if the a point was actually taken away in the sixth round as the announcers stated the commission said no point was taken away, but it was Arroyo who was landing the cleaner shots while Villanueva the more active boxer.
The ring side doctor took another look at Villanueva’s eye in the seventh round and decided to let him continue. Arroyo landed several hard shots to the head of Villanueva in the seventh Villanueva’s right eye had to be looked again by the referee who decided to allow Villanueva to continue again.
Villanueva aggression only seemed to pick up in the eighth and ninth rounds, but Arroyo visibly had more power in his hands and his shots seemed to be affecting Villanueva more.
Villanueva opened up the tenth round with a right uppercut and a straight right, but he was later struck with two counter left hands from Arroyo that sent more blood pouring out of the cut above Villanueva’s eye. The ring side doctor took another look at the eye of Villanueva and told the referee the fight could continue.
At 2:05 of the tenth round the fight went to the scorecards due to Villanueva being a recipient of an unintentional head butt. The scores were 97-92, 98-91, and 98-91 for Arroyo.
The main event of the evening was between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (48-2-1) and Marcos Reyes (33-2). Despite having a famous family name, Chavez was booed by some of the fans in attendance during introductions.
Reyes looked significantly smaller than Chavez inside the ring.
Chavez opened up the first round by not being very active with his punches and circling away from Reyes while staying patient. Reyes went to the body and was able to connect with a few jabs, but Chavez’s power edge was evident immediately and he picked up the pace near the end of the round.
Reyes was consistent with his jab in the second round but was easily backed up by Chavez when Chavez went to the body. Chavez did land a combination that may have included a low blow which Reyes complained about. He was allowed to recover, but Chavez ended the second round with a good right to the chin.
Chavez appeared to be tiring in the third round and Reyes was actually backing up the much bigger fighter with his activity and high volume of punches. Chavez was able to land a hard right hook and several body punches.
Reyes best round of the night was in the fourth round when he began to land combinations at will and took advantage of the moments Chavez decided to rest. Chavez’s guard was ineffective in the fourth and it was a clear round for Reyes.
Chavez came back ferociously in the fifth round by landing right hand bombs and a very effective jab. The jab of Chavez opened up opportunities for his right hand which landed often.
The sixth, seventh, and eighth rounds were similar in that Reyes was more active but Chavez was landing the harder shots. Chavez, inexplicably, went away from his jab after the fifth round but was still able to hurt Reyes in the seventh.
A clash of heads occurred in the ninth round which opened up a small cut above the left eye of Chavez and led to an overly emotional response from Chavez which led to the referee taking away a point from Reyes.
Reyes clearly needed a knockout after that penalty in order to win the fight but he was simply too small and not powerful enough to seriously hurt Chavez.
The final scores were 97-92, 98-91, and 96-93.
Afterwards Chavez claimed he hurt his hand and that he would have knocked Reyes out of he did not hurt his hand, but he still did not look very good against an opponent he should have stopped.