Michael Rosenthal

Chavez Jr. narrowly outpoints Zbik to win middleweight title

LOS ANGELES – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. defeated Sebastian Zbik by a majority decision to take the German’s WBC middleweight title – Chavez’s first major belt — Saturday night at Staples Center.

Two judges scored a very close fight for Chavez – 115-113 and 116-112 – and the third had it a draw.

Chavez’s famous father won his first title in the same town in 1984, when he stopped Mario Martinez to win the WBC junior lightweight title at the Olympic Auditorium.

Zbik (30-1, 10 knockouts) was the quicker of the two and landed many punches to the head of Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KOs), although the 25-year-old Mexican was never hurt. The German seemed to win the early rounds.

Chavez never stopped coming, though. He countered with many hard body shots that scored points and seemed to wear Zbik down. Chavez clearly landed the harder punches, although he too couldn’t hurt his opponent.

The fighters, apparently believing the fight could go either way going into the final round, came out firing. Chavez seemed to outwork his foe to punctuate a solid performance.

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