On September 15, recognized Middleweight World Champion Sergio Martinez will be taking on WBC belt-holder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in one of the years most anticipated fights. Due to their styles, it can't be anything but an exciting matchup. They're definitely going to slug it out and it's going to be great action while it lasts.
However, I for one see this as a mismatch. Martinez is going to blow Chavez Jr. out of the water and is going to knock him out in convincing fashion. Chavez has developed nicely in the last few years as he's worked with top trainer Freddie Roach, but Martinez is in another league and no amount of training by Chavez Jr. will be able to make up for the disparity in ability between the two.
Martinez's Hand and Foot Speed is Overwhelming
Chavez Jr. is big and strong, but to be quite honest he's very slow and plodding. Yes he's a good fighter, but he's never fought anyone remotely as fast with their feet and hands as Martinez is. Martinez's hand speed is world-class. His footwork and agility are excellent. Martinez also has lightning quick reflexes, which for a 37-year old is amazing.
Chavez Jr. has mostly fought against guys who were going to be right there for him to hit. The smart matchmaking done by Bob Arum and company has done Chavez Jr. a lot of favors over the course of his career, but Martinez is an entirely different animal.
Maybe he'll prove my wrong, but I don't think there's any way Chavez Jr. will be able to adapt to Martinez's hand speed. Martinez is going to drill him all night long with straight left hands, and any time his back gets near the ropes or he feels he's in any danger at all, he'll pivot and get out of harms way.
Chavez isn't going to be able to just bang away at Martinez, Sergio is just not going to let it happen.
And Martinez's endurance will allow him to keep these advantages all night. Unless Chavez Jr. can magically find some way to wear out Martinez, who's shown he has insanely deep energy reserves, it's going to be a long night for the young Mexican.
Chavez Lacks the Necessary Experience
When you go down the list of Sergio Martinez's opponents, you can't help but be impressed by who he's fought in recent years. In the last three years, Martinez has fought Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams twice, Kermit Cintron, and Sergei Dzinziruk. All world champions and world class fighters.
The weakest opposition he's fought during that stretch are Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin, who are both solid, quality fighters.
Who has Chavez Jr. fought over that same three year stretch? The best boxer he's fought is probably Andy Lee, which was his last fight about a month ago. Lee is a solid fighter, and was actually leading 58-56 on all three scorecards at the time of stoppage, but he's not in the class of fighters who Martinez has squared up against.
And if Lee was able to win rounds against Chavez Jr., then what is Martinez going to do when they fight in September? That point has been seriously overlooked by a lot of people in the lead up to this fight. Chavez Jr. did stop Lee in impressive fashion, but if a limited southpaw could out-box Chavez Jr. for large stretches, then how could Martinez not dominate this fight?
Chavez's Weight/Size Advantage Won't be Enough
In most of his fights thus far, Chavez Jr. has shown that he likes to get to the inside and just bang away at his opponents head and body with hard hooks. He uses his huge size and weight advantage to bully his opponents and force them where he wants them to go. Chavez Jr. routinely comes into the ring at about 180 pounds, which is absolutely enormous for a middleweight.
To put that in perspective, a fighter who weighed 180 pounds 40 years ago would be fighting as a Heavyweight. That's how big Chavez Jr. is, it's baffling that he's able to make 160 pounds.
However, just being really big is not going to be nearly enough to beat a fighter in the class of Martinez. You can argue this point with me all you want, but there is absolutely no way that Martinez is going to let Chavez back him against the ropes, and then proceed to stand there squared up with his feet planted and exchange punches except in rare instances.
Martinez is just way too skilled and too smart to do that.
The way to beat Martinez is with a strong jab that can disrupt his rhythm. Chavez Jr. can't do that; he doesn't utilize the jab well and only knows how to fight on the inside by using his strength. Take that advantage away from him, and he's got nothing and is really just an average fighter.
Martinez will take the weight out of the equation, and will proceed to dominate Chavez, although it will be an exciting fight because he'll want to give the fans their money's worth, so expect some good exchanges.
Martinez should stop him in about eight rounds. Because at the end of the day, he's just too fast, too smart, and too skilled for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
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