Andrzej Fonfara showed that a good big man beats a good smaller man most of the time as he stopped Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s light heavyweight bid by knockout on Saturday before a near sold out crowd.
With most of the 8,636 fans wearing the traditional Chavez red head bands and screaming support for Mexico’s Chavez (48-2-1, 32 Kos) at the StubHub Center, it was Poland’s Fonfara (27-3, 16 Kos) who shut down the crowd and the blown up middleweight with a dominating performance.
Fonfara showed bigger man talent in the opening round as he fired leather at the crouching Chavez with impunity. Some hard shots landed but Chavez took them and along with some left elbows. He complained and Fonfara was warned by the referee.
“I knew the first time he hit me I knew I was going to win,” said Fonfara. “Chavez didn’t hit as hard as they said he did.”
After three rounds of feeling Fonfara’s punches Chavez took the fight inside and seemed to turn things around in close quarters. Hooks to the body and head could be heard from Chavez’ punches. But Fonfara was able to continue doing his thing inside too.
Fonfara’s shorter punches and combinations gave him an edge. Chavez continued to work the body with pounding shots but it didn’t seem to slow down Fonfara who returned with chopping blows to the head and body.
A pivotal point came in the seventh round when Chavez lowered his head and burrowed into Fonfara who retaliated by using a shoulder block to shove the Mexican fighter back. He was immediately deducted a point by referee Jerry Cantu for the illegal action. It didn’t really matter.
Chavez was more successful inside fighting but despite having better success toe to toe, Fonfara was just too big and strong. He caught Chavez along the ropes and blasted him down with a left hook in the ninth round. Chavez beat the count and tried to rally and lasted until the end of the round but he did not look good. The referee signaled the fight was over at the end of round nine. (TV replays caught what was said in the corner, Chavez told all he was done.) It was the first time Chavez had ever tasted the canvas.
“I wanted to prove myself,” said Chavez. “Fonfara is a good, tough fighter.”
Fonfara said he was a little surprised the fight was stopped, but took it in stride.
“This is a dream,” said Fonfara about winning a marquee televised fight. “I have things to work on.”
The Polish light heavyweight wants to pursue a rematch against WBC light heavyweight titlist Adonis Stevenson, to whom he lost by decision.
Junior welterweight phenom Amir Imam (17-0, 14 Kos) thoroughly dominated Nicaragua’s Walter Castillo (25-3, 18 Kos) for 10 round rounds but a refusal to shake hands and instead spit and utter some seemingly negative words to his opponent at the end of the fight stirred the crowd against him.
“I don’t understand English but I don’t think it was very classy,” said Castillo after losing by unanimous decision 100-90, 99-91, 98-92. “They didn’t give me any credit for my punching. For one judge to score it 100 to 90 I had no chance of winning in this place.”
Imam only had problems when he stayed against the ropes. But when he was in the center of the ring he dominated with his jab and movement and sizzling right hands.
“I was very happy with my performance. I thought I was in control the whole fight. He was a really tough fighter,” said Imam, who also added he wants to fight Terence Crawford next.
Omar Chavez (33-3-1, 22 Kos) won a hard fought unanimous decision over Colombia’s Richar Gutierrez (28-16-1, 17 Kos) after 10 rounds in a junior middleweight contest. Chavez, the younger brother of Julio and son of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., earned a well-deserved win against a former contender. It could lead to top 10 contender status. The scores were 78-74, and 77-75 twice on the judge’s cards.
Mexico’s Moises Flores (23-0, 16 Kos) took the WBA super bantamweight interim title from Colombia’s Oscar Escandon (24-2, 16 Kos) by split decision after 12 rounds. Both fighters won alternate rounds with the taller Flores working his uppercuts and Escandon working his pressure style. In the end two judges scored it for Flores 116-112 twice and one for Escandon 115-113.
Flores fights out of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Argentina’s Fabian Maidana (6-0, 5 Kos) scored a knockout over Cory Von Bauer (2-3) at 31 seconds into round two in their welterweight match. After a first round knockdown it was clear Von Baur wanted to get out of that ring somehow. Finally, his corner stopped the fight in the second round to give Maidana the knockout win. Maidana is the younger brother of Marcos Maidana.
Photo Credit: Ricky Horne
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