Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Matt Vanda picked up where they left off in July, and the result was virtually the same as in their first match — minus the controversy.
The son of legendary Mexican fighter Julio Cesar Chavez dominated Vanda in front of an announced crowd of 5,414 on Saturday at Mandalay Bay Events Center, taking a unanimous decision in their 10-round super welterweight bout to remain undefeated.
In the co-main event, Nonito Donaire retained his IBF flyweight title with a win over Moruti Mthalane after referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight 1:31 into the sixth round because of a cut on the challenger’s right eyelid.
Chavez (38-0-1) earned a controversial 10-round split decision over Vanda on July 12 in Hermosillo, Mexico, when one of the judges gave Chavez all 10 rounds.
There was no disputing Saturday’s outcome.
Chavez was a minus-750 betting favorite and acted the part. Even when Vanda was able to hurt Chavez, he couldn’t sustain the attack.
“I don’t like to be predictable,” the 22-year-old Chavez said through an interpreter. “I wanted to show I could box for 10 rounds.
“Some people criticized me for taking too many punches. Tonight I proved I can be a good defensive fighter.”
Chavez battled flu-like symptoms in the first meeting. Saturday, he was healthy and a much different fighter.
“I don’t want to make excuses,” he said. “I was sick in Hermosillo. Tonight I was healthy, and it was a much different story. Vanda didn’t know me when I’m 100 percent.
“I don’t like any doubts, and tonight I cleared any doubts that were surrounding this fight.”
The 30-year-old Vanda (38-8) knew he hadn’t done enough to win.
“He’s not a kid anymore. He turned into a man tonight,” Vanda said. “He stayed just out of my range and kept me off balance.”
Donaire last fought in December 2007 and acknowledged he might have been a bit rusty. His timing was off, and Mthalane was able to land some good shots.
But Donaire timed a straight left hand perfectly in the sixth round, opening the cut on Mthalane’s right eyelid. With blood gushing and the challenger struggling to see, Donaire motioned to referee Joe Cortez to take a look at Mthalane.
After the ringside physician examined Mthalane, Cortez stopped the fight.
I used a left and — boom — that was it,” said Donaire, who was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) when the bout was halted. “It was right on the money, and I knew the fight was over. The blood went directly into his eye, and I knew he couldn’t see.”
Mthalane, who was fighting outside of his native South Africa for the first time, dropped to 22-2.
Donaire (20-1, 13 knockouts), said he broke his left pinky in the second round and that the injury might derail his plans to fight in early 2009.
“We’ll see how fast I heal up,” he said. “Right now, I need to rehab my shoulder and my hand. But once I’m cleared, I’ll be back in the gym.”
On the undercard, Jorge Arce retained his WBA interim super flyweight crown with a fourth-round technical knockout of Isidro Garcia, and Lamont Peterson won the NABF super lightweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Lanardo Tyner.
Russian middleweight Matt Korobov made a successful professional debut. The former two-time amateur world champion scored a third-round TKO of Mario Evangelista.