"God preordained, for his own glory and
the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human
race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another
part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation."
It’s unfair to assume Peter Manfredo, Jr is a sinner. After all,
no one can know his heart through an interview or fight. However,
Saturday night at the Reliant Arena in Houston, TX, Manfredo committed a
cardinal sin of boxing when facing a big name son of a legend live on
HBO before a screaming crowd of preordained winner Julio Caesar Chavez,
Jr faithful. When tagged with a good right hand that blew the
retractable roof off the house, Manfredo, 37-7, 20 knockouts, stood on
the ropes and let Chavez, Jr, 44-0-1, 31 knockouts, unload his entire
arsenal with referee Laurence Cole drooling to stop the fight standing
right there. Most likely a compubox record for longest flurry by a man
named after a great fighter named Chavez later and Cole stepped in at
1:52 of the fifth round for a TKO.
The action appeared to be in Chavez’s
favor up to that point with the WBC middleweight titleholder circling
and moving to his left, weighing a hefty 180 pounds on fight night.
Manfredo, a solid boxer lacking the kind of power to give him a fair
chance of getting respect for his bigger opponent, was game. He used his
jab often early, landed a right hand here and there but it was the
bigger Chavez who stayed in control even while eating leather in an
action packed fourth round that seemed to favor Manfredo. Chavez started early in that round,
landing a hard right hand and rocking Manfredo to his heels. But
Manfredo would come back in the middle of the round as Chavez, Jr rested
and begin to land hard shots of his own on the inside. But there was a
price to be paid as the bigger man, though seemingly out landed, got in
the more substantial blows. Manfredo simply had to give up too much to
get his work done. The saving grace was that at this fast pace, Chavez,
Jr who has a reputation for not working quite as hard as he should in
the gym, might tire. Manfredo and the audience never got to
see that question even addressed as he lapsed defensively in the fifth,
ate a hard right hand and the flurry until the ref stops it scenario was
on. With the win, Chavez, Jr successfully
defended his belt for the first time and will likely move on to a
mandatory defense next time out in order to stave a fight with real
middleweight champion and the man whose belt he wears, Sergio Martinez.
When asked about a fight with Martinez or his Mexican rival, Saul
“Canelo” Alvarez, Chavez , jr was emphatic that he would like to fight
them but it is up to his promoter, Bob Arum’s Top Rank. “I fear no one,” said Junior. I imagine he has even less fear of being matched tough anytime soon. In losing, Manfredo now mulls
retirement; A game fighter who also showed up looking to win but who
came up short when he stepped up to elite competition.
“I guess I am not an HBO fighter,"
Manfredo, Jr said afterwards of the quick stoppage that was reminiscent
of his even quicker questionable stoppage loss on the ropes to Joe
Maybe not, Peter. But you gave it your
all and you always showed up to fight. There is never shame in fighting
or losing like that.
You can email Gabriel
at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on
Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch
him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim. You can
also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the
BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com,
Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers
Association of America.