Doug Fischer

Chavez stops Manfredo in fifth, retains WBC middleweight title

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. remained unbeaten with an impressive fifth-round stoppage of Peter Manfredo Jr. in an HBO-televised fight in Houston, Texas, on Saturday.

Chavez (44-0-1, 31 knockouts), THE RING’s No. 5-rated middleweight, retained the WBC title with the TKO victory.

The 25-year-old son of the Mexican legend boxed well against the 30-year-old veteran from Providence, R.I., shooting a sharp jab, utilizing fluid lateral movement and landing accurate combinations that were often punctuated by hard right hands, which was the punch that wobbled Manfredo in the fifth round.

Chavez quickly pounced on his wounded foe, who fought well in the fourth round. Chavez swarmed Manfredo, who did not punch back, along the ropes until referee Laurence Cole stopped the bout at 1:52 of the round. Manfredo (37-7, 20 KOs), a competent boxer-fighter who challenged Joe Calzaghe in a super middleweight title bout in 2007, had won six bouts coming into the fight.

Chavez’s stoppage was similar to the manner in which Calzaghe, who overwhelmed Manfredo along the ropes in a third-round TKO, halted the gutsy New Englander. And that’s saying something. Calzaghe, a two-division RING champ who retired undefeated, is considered by many to be a future hall of famer,

In other words, Chavez has never looked better in a major bout.

“This was the first time focusing on boxing, the first time focusing on defense, and I think it turned out pretty well,” said Chavez, who landed 52 percent of his power punches.

 

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

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