In what is one of the most highly-anticipated fights of 2013 to this point, The Ring and WBC Middleweight Champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez will defend his titles against undefeated Martin Murray of England in Martinez's hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday.
Before they clash in the ring, however, Martinez and Murray will weigh in on Friday morning. While weigh-ins are often nothing more than a formality and a way to promote the fight, they can create some tense moments between rival fighters. There is nothing that would suggest that Martinez and Murray will be disrespectful toward each other, but the stakes are high.
The 50-2-2 Martinez wants to prove that he is still on top of his game at the age of 38, while the upstart Murray wants to remain undefeated and become champion. It all starts with the weigh-in, which promises to be an extremely interesting event in and of itself.
If you're interested in watching the final showdown between Martinez and Murray prior to Saturday's fight, keep reading and learn how you can catch the live stream on ESPN.com.
Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina
When: Friday, April 26 at 11 a.m. ET
Watch: ESPN.com Live Stream
Martinez's Keys to Victory
Martinez is likely confident that he can take care of Murray and keep his positive momentum moving in the right direction, but he has to be wary of his younger challenger. Martinez is coming off a huge upset victory over 27-year-old Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., so Martinez is used to shattering the dreams of his opponents. Martinez won that fight over Chavez as the underdog, so he'll have to deal with being the favorite in front of his home fans on Saturday.
Prior to his unanimous decision victory over Chavez, Martinez actually scored four straight knockouts. Therefore, his power has been evident over the past couple years. Murray has obviously never been knocked out as he has never lost a fight, but he could be susceptible to a Martinez barrage. Martinez's best bet is likely to win on the scorecards, but he should be aggressive and go for the knockout if it presents itself.
Provided Martinez fights to his capabilities, he should win on Saturday. The only real concern is the potential distraction that fighting in Argentina could cause. Martinez hasn't fought there since 2002, so the fans will be extremely excited to see him. Rather than tightening up, Martinez needs to feed off the fans and use them as energy. If he does that, then Murray doesn't stand a chance.
Murray's Keys to Victory
Not many people are giving Murray a chance to upend Martinez, but he is used to being doubted. The Englishman has quietly risen through the ranks over the course of his career and is finally getting his big break on Saturday. Murray doesn't have many big wins on his resume, so it's very easy to dismiss him. Nevertheless, he is tough as nails and won't allow Martinez to push him around regardless of the hostile environment he's sure to encounter.
Murray has underrated punching power, but he's not much of a knockout guy. His best chance to upset Martinez is to take him the distance and win it on the scorecards. Unfortunately, Martinez won't mind doing that as well. Murray will simply have to outbox the veteran. That is easier said than done, but Murray may have the determination to make it happen.
In terms of talent and overall track record, Murray is outclassed by Martinez. Murray has made a habit out of beating the odds and doing the impossible, though, so he shouldn't be counted out of this fight. If Martinez becomes complacent for even a second, Murray definitely has the skill set necessary to capitalize and win.
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