It was clear by the end of the round that Lyell did not just come in to cash a paycheck.
Lyell stayed busy, keeping Chavez at the end of his punches, covering up well, with Chavez looking “off” in his plan of attack, unsure of how to keep up the work rate.
Chavez landed the best punch of the fight in the fifth, a jarring uppercut which Lyell easily shook off. It wasn’t a good thing for Chavez, who was not fighting as expected against a tougher-than-expected opponent.
Both fighters entered the sixth showing some swelling underneath their eyes. A right hand by Chavez cut Lyell above his left eye and referee Kenny Bayless called in the ringside doctor to take a look. The fight was allowed to continue, with Lyell finishing the stanza sporting cuts above both eyes.
Two judges had the fight a draw, as announced at the end of the sixth frame via open scoring used by the WBC in Mexico.
Neither man gave an inch in the seventh, knowing the fight was up for grabs in the scorecards.
One had to wonder what was going through the mind of Chavez’s trainer Freddie Roach, seeing how his charge was being hit thus far in the bout, and how he would fare with anyone actually ranked in the top ten.
Lyell kept the foot on the pedal, throwing winding shots and landing occasionally, keeping Chavez from working effectively in the ninth.
Fighting with a sense of urgency, Chavez threw hard combinations at the onset of the round, with Lyell backing up Junior halfway through the round.
Lyell kept up the pressure to the end, with the fight going the distance, Boos came from the crowd, which showed its obvious disapproval of the fight.
Chavez ended up with a slight abrasion below his left eye.
Scores were 99-92, 96-94 and 98-92 all for Chavez.
With the win, Chavez retained his WBC middleweight silver title.
Roman Gets up from Canvas, Stops Medina in Two
In the co-featured bout, super welterweight Saul Roman, 34-8 (29), got a quick stoppage win over Michael Medina, 24-3-2 (19), in the second round of a ten-round scheduled bout.
The first frame went without anything of significance, a study round, if anything.
Both men shook up each other during an exchange in the second, with Roman tasting the canvas momentarily. Medina, the bigger man, unloaded too early, spending himself as the fight renewed. Roman came alive, unleashing a non-stop series of punches, rocking Medina against the ropes.
Seeing Medina lay against the ropes- with Roman being the hometown fighter- gave referee Olegario Madueno a chance to step in and call off the fight at 1:53 of the round.
In this writer’s eyes, the fight was stopped rather prematurely.
Tijuana super bantamweight Jackie Nava, 24-3-2 (11), retained her WBC female title by dominating Fredee Gonzalez, 6-7-1 (2), through ten rounds of action.
The skilled Nava won via 99-91 (twice) and 100-90.