On paper, this Middleweight Championship bout looks to be a damn near toss-up. The undefeated challenger, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, has his own advantages over reigning Middleweight Champion, Sergio Martinez. Chavez is a decade younger, and he’s had less wear and tear throughout his tenure in the sport than Martinez has. Chavez is the significantly bigger man. While Martinez appears to be maxed out at Middleweight, as just a few years ago he was fighting at Junior Middleweight. Whereas Chavez’s build gives the impression that the young Chavez could move past Middleweight, all the way up to Light Heavyweight. Chavez is also the bigger puncher and, like his father, has shown a tremendous beard thus far in his career. With that in mind however, no matter how good a fighter’s chin is a 12 round fight is a 12 round fight. If fighter A with a great chin can withstand the punishment from fighter B throughout the 12 scheduled rounds, it does not make fighter A the victor. This being said, Chavez has established his advantages: Strength, size, power, the ability to absorb punishment better, a terrific body attack, more adept on inside fighting, and youth.
What does Martinez bring to the table? For one, Martinez is more experienced. Not just in bouts fought, but also against higher level competition. If Chavez is the best fighter Martinez has ever fought, it won’t be by a mile, the same can’t be said for Chavez. Martinez also has much faster hand speed. Chavez is no slouch, he’s faster than Antonio Margarito, but in comparison to Martinez, it’s not even close. Martinez is one of the fastest pugilist in the sport. It’s not just Martinez’s dazzling hand speed that makes him a champion either, to say that Martinez is all flash and no substance would be an injustice to the Argentine Champion. Martinez has proved he has guts inside that stomach of his back in 2010 when Martinez dethroned then Middleweight Champion, Kelly Pavlik. Martinez had to rise up off the canvas, and found himself behind on the scorecards. After 8 rounds of Martinez seemingly try to outbox the much bigger Pavlik, Martinez stepped it up like a Champion does. In the final four stanzas, Martinez’s work rate and aggressiveness ratcheted up thus relinquishing Pavlik’s Middleweight Championship. This is a pattern Martinez has shown as of late, the first half of the fight is competitive. In the second half, Martinez’s extraordinary endurance kicks in, as his opponent weakens, and Martinez’s take control of the bout. Evidence of this is his recent late round KO’s. Martinez’s greatest gift however, are his legs. From Middleweight on down, maybe even in the entire sport, Martinez truly has excellent foot movement that is unmatched. Natural abilities such as his reflexes and foot movement allow Martinez to fight through much of the bout with his hands at his waist. Martinez hardly ever allows his opponents to pin him on the ropes or corner. His side to side, lateral movement is astounding and leaves his combatants befuddled. So the advantages for Martinez goes as follows: Experience, hand speed, better skills on the outside, ring generalship, and defense. Also, despite Chavez seemingly having the chip on his shoulder in escaping his legendary father’s shadow, it may be Martinez, the Champion, who has the bigger chip on his shoulder. Martinez is receiving less of a purse than Chavez is and everyone in the sport knows that is absurd. Martinez knows if he can cash in and beat Chavez he will garner more attention that he feels has been long overdue.
It is hard to envision Chavez remaining undefeated. The young man silenced numerous naysayers throughout the years, and he truly deserves credit for that, but the ride ends here. Defensively, Chavez is average; It’s hard to see what he’s going to do ,other than fire back, to keep Martinez from picking him apart leaping in with straight lefts to the gut and head and controlling the distance. Chavez’s only chance of beating Martinez is making Martinez feel his youth, his strength, and his power right from the get go. To warm up would be playing right into Martinez’s hands. In order win he’ll have to pin Martinez down, get his feet set, and then fire away. The problem is, Martinez doesn’t sit and wait for someone to let their hands go for anybody. If Chavez can overnight learn how to punch while moving forward, rather than pinning his opponent in a certain area and then launching his shots, his chances raise much higher. Unfortunately for Chavez, that’s a quality he’s yet to have shown. With that in mind, It seems more plausible that Chavez will for a large part of the fight follow Martinez around the ring, and in the center of the ring Martinez’s skill and speed on the outside will be too much for Chavez. To put it simply: Martinez isn’t going to give the same opportunities to Chavez his previous opponents did. It would take a mixture of significant improvements from Chavez, and possibly a slight decline out of Martinez, for Chavez to dethrone the Champion.
Most importantly, this is a Championship fight where the fans win. Regardless of whom the fan is cheering for, because this has barn burner written all over it The best against the best, marquee match ups.
At the end of Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center. Martinez will still be the Middleweight Champion of the world. Chavez will not be able to pin Martinez down consistently enough to get his effective shots in. Martinez will take advantage of Chavez’s defense and in spurts throw the same kinds of combinations he threw against Kelly Pavlik in their final four rounds. To Chavez’s credit though, he’s shown he’s a warrior thus far. So BRB doesn’t expect Chavez to suffer a 10 count KO, if anything it would be the other way around. If Chavez were to pull of the upset, it would probably be by a KO. That being said, Chavez’s inability to punch while simultaneously moving forward, coupled with his average defense, will leave Chavez befuddled early on by the movement, craft, and speed of Martinez. Then, Martinez will take him into deep waters and drown him. Via a TKO stoppage.
Martinez via late round stoppage.