By: William Holmes
The Stub Hub Center in Carson, California was the host site for tonight’s Showtime World Championship Boxing card as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. returns from a year long layoff to compete in the Light Heavyweight division against the tough veteran Andrzej Fonfara. This will be the first time that Chavez has fought since signing with mega manager Al Haymon and leaving Top Rank Promotions.
There were rumors that the promoters were having difficulty selling tickets for this event and were practically giving them away the week of the event, and the attendance at the Stub Hub Center appeared to be lighter than prior recent boxing events held there.
Junior welterweights Amir Imam (16-0) and Walter Castillo (25-2) opened up tonight’s telecast. Imam was a heavy favorite going into tonight’s bout, but Castillo put on a good showing and proved he deserved to be in the ring with Imam.
Both were orthodox and Imam was out boxing him early on and was landing crisp right hands. Castillo was focusing his attack to the body and showed he had a good chin and took Imam’s punches well. The second round was a strong round for Castillo.
Imam went back to his jab in the third round and was pitter pattering Castillo from a safe range. Imam landed a hard right uppercut in the fourth round and a crisp counter left in the fifth round that might have sent most professional boxers to the floor, but Castillo was able to stay on sturdy legs.
Castillo was able to trap Imam in the corner in the sixth round but Imam did an excellent job at countering Castillo when his back was against the ropes. Castillo was lunging for his body punches in the seventh and eighth round and Imam was again able to stay out of harms way.
Castillo went for broke in the final two rounds but he ate more punishment as a result. Imam’s combinations had Castillo hurt badly in the final thirty seconds of the final round, but Castillo was able to survive.
The final scores were 99-91, 100-90, and 98-92 for Amir Imam. The crowd booed the winner and cheered the loser, but that was mainly due to the pro Mexican crowd and Castillo’s great display of heart.
The main event of the night was between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-1-1) and Andrzej Fonfara (26-3) in the light heavyweight division. The crowd was decidedly pro Chavez.
Both boxers fought out of an orthodox and were willingly exchanging combinations in the opening round. Chavez was attacking both the body and head of Fonfara but was inexplicably keeping his hands low and was making it easy for Fonfara to land his punches.
Chavez connected with a good rising left hook followed by a straight right hand in the second round, but Fonfara stayed in the pocket and was out landing Chavez and was landing with considerable more force.
Chavez continued to get pounded with combinations n the third round and was only able to offer up attacks to the body in return. The fight was turning into a highly entertaining bout, but it was Fonfara was beginning to land at a higher rate of punches.
Fonfara’s right uppercuts were snapping the head of Chavez in the fourth round and his tight defense protected his head well. However, Chavez never stopped coming forward and kept his head in the chest of Fonfara, but his face was begging to show the wear and tear of the pounding he was receiving.
Fonfara came out aggressive at the start of the sixth round and was landing telling blows to the body and head of Chavez. Chavez connected with a good hook followed by two uppercuts that got the pro-Mexican crowd on it’s feet in the sixth, but Fonfara again outlanded Chavez.
Chavez’s corner told him to not to worry about the referee before the start of the seventh but it was Fonfara who was deducted a point for striking Chavez with his shoulder. Despite the point deduction the worst Fonfara did was tie the round as he again punished Chavez with hard right uppercuts.
Chavez tried to keep a distance in the eighth round but Fonfara was going for the stoppage and was throwing with more conviction.
Fonfara finally knocked Chavez down in the ninth round with a short left hook. Chavez’s legs gave out from under him and he was in bad shape still when he got back to his feet. Fonfara landed several combinations on a retreating Chavez as the ninth round came to an end.
Chavez’s corner took a good look at him before the start of the tenth and wisely told the referee to stop the fight. The crowd voiced their displeasure by littering the ring with beer, but the corner was right to stop the fight as Chavez was taking some serious damage.
Andrzej Fonfara wins by knockout at the end of the ninth round.