Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (42-0-1) easily did enough to outclass Billy Lyell in Culiacan, Mexico last night. Junior turned in a fairly typical performance, with flashes of skill and substance mixed in with periods of listlessness, but overall he was too big and too good for Lyell. He got the unanimous decision.
Lyell (22-9-0), whose defeats read like a who’s who of the middleweight and junior middleweight divisions, was never in the fight. The Ohioan, who shocked previous JCC Jr. victim and recent retiree John Duddy in 2009, got repeatedly tagged by the Mexican’s right hand.
Junior really is huge for a middleweight (and a Mexican, for that matter) and looked like he was in a different weight class. Lyell, who’s main attribute is his toughness, had a face as red as one of Sinaloa’s famous tomatoes by the end of the 1st round. JCC Jr, in contrast, demonstrated both his good genetics and his lack of fitness by looking completely unmarked but totally out of steam by the end of the bout.
The fight proved much less entertaining than the Mexican covers band playing in the Guadalajara bar I was watching it in. Pink Floyd and the Doors sound pretty amazing in Spanglish. Far from the JCC Jr. mania that I expected, people in the bar seemed disinterested.
Most of them said they were there to watch a soccer match between teams from GDL and Mexico City and that they didn’t care about the fight. They also were pretty neutral on the whole JCC Jr. laziness issue. Unlike the fight, the football match inspired screams of “Fuck your dad” and “What a fag!” And that was just from the ladies.
Junior was already set up for some big fights, and I don’t think that this victory adds to that. He looked good at times, especially in timing his right hands, but had his usual late rounds fade and seemed to be hanging around, waiting for the receipt, after throwing punches. What’s more, he didn’t utilise the jab that he demonstrated against Duddy as much as he should or could have.
All in all, it was a slightly disappointing night. Turns out Mexico (at least inner city GDL) isn’t the boxing paradise that I dreamed of. I hear that other fight between those two guys from that country was pretty disappointing too.