SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. unanimously outpointed Ireland's John Duddy on Saturday night in a 12-round middleweight fight at the Alamodome.
Chavez (42-0-1) dominated the early part of the fight with a steady dose of hooks and jabs, but Duddy (29-2) kept the pressure on and pushed Chavez to 12 rounds for the first time in his eight-year career.
"John is the toughest fighter I've faced so far," Chavez said. "He kept the pressure on and really pushed me farther than I've been to this point in my career. But I knew coming in that he was going to be challenging, and I was happy to walk away with the victory."
Former boxing star Julio Cesar Chavez led his son into the ring to an eruption of applause. The elder Chavez then did color commentary for the pay-per-view broadcast.
The fight was Chavez's first since 10-round unanimous decision over Troy Rowlands in November that was changed to a no-contest after he tested positive for a banned substance a diuretic and was suspended for seven months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The fight also was Chavez's first with trainer Freddie Roach, who guides WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
Chavez returned to the place where he watched his father fight to a controversial 12-round draw against Pernell Whitaker in 1993.
"To fight in the same building that my father did is almost surreal for me," Chavez said. "I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be headlining at the Alamodome."
On the undercard, Marco Antonio Barrera (66-7) unanimously outpointed Adailton DeJesus (26-5) in a 10-round lightweight fight.