Thursday, 06 September 2012 22:13

Martinez vs Chavez Jr Breakdown

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On April 17, 2010, Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs), the man nicknamed "Maravilla," became the middleweight champion of the world by defeating Kelly Pavlik.

That night, he earned the RING Magazine (or lineal) championship as well as the WBC Middleweight strap. But due to the politics of boxing and the media, Sergio Martinez was eventually stripped of his WBC Middleweight title when he failed to meet the organization's demands.

Initially, the WBC had ordered Martinez to face Sebastian Zbik but HBO refused to purchase Martinez vs Zbik, forcing Martinez to fight then WBO Jr Middleweight Champion Sergiy Dzinzirk, a fight HBO was willing to buy.

By failing to face the mandatory challenger, Sebastian Zbik, the WBC stripped Martinez of its version of the middleweight title.

Ironically, HBO agreed to purchase Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Sebastian Zbik and on June 4, 2011 after an action-packed bout, Chavez Jr was crowned the WBC Middleweight Champion.

But some fans, as well as many in the media alike, felt that Chavez had not earned his WBC belt because he failed to defeat its rightful owner, Sergio Martinez.  And thus, this has been the focal point of Martinez's argument for the last 18 months.


Martinez believes Chavez Jr. is spoiled, protected, and has been handed everything since he turned professional.

In the HBO 'Face Off' interview, Chavez Jr. stated that he was not ready to face Martinez until now.  Today, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr wants the respect of Martinez and those who feel he has not earned his place in boxing.

So on September 15, 2012, Martinez and Chavez Jr. will have the opportunity to find what they are both seeking. Sergio Martinez looks to expose Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (46-0-1, 32 KO) while Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is seeking the respect that he feels he deserves. 

Pictured: 'Face Off' with Max Kellerman: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez debuts Saturday, Aug. 25 at 12:45AM on HBO. The eagerly anticipated middleweight showdown Chávez Jr. vs. Martinez will take place Saturday, September 15, at the Thomas & Mack Center, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.


Keys to Victory

Sergio Martinez

Martinez's primary key to victory is using his upper body movement, footwork, and hand speed to control the distance and not allow the stalking Chavez to pound away in the inside. In the Pavlik bout as well as in his rematch wth Paul Williams, Martinez had his way. "Maravilla" used his hand-speed and excellent lateral movement to set traps and landing thudding shots on Pavlik and Williams, whose styles are quasi-similar to Julio's. He must do the same, without getting punished, on September 15th.

In the Face Off interview Martinez stated that Chavez Jr. is not the caliber fighter of a Paul Williams or Kelly Pavlik.  

Pictured: Sergio Martinez, right, lands a right jab on Kelly Pavlik
Courtesy Naoki Fukuda


Williams, for example, was a more skilled, more active, pressure fighter at that time than Chavez is today. As for Kelley Pavlik, in addition to being a proven champion with a big win over top-tier fighters, was a master at using his long left jab to set up his power right.

In order to win, Chavez Jr must enter the bout with an iron jaw and and put his engines on full steam in order to pressure Martinez and hope to break him down by cutting off the ring.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

The larger Chavez must use his height and reach to his advantage and limit Martinez's movement. He must impose his will on the Argentinian "Maravilla" and get inside and unleash short, brutal combinations.    

Pictured: Andy Lee, left, absorbs a hard right from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
Courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank


Chavez Jr. displayed this ability well against Sebastian Zbik in June 2011. In the first half of their fight, Zbik appeared to outbox Chavez but the Mexican eventually broke Zbik down en route to winning a majority decision. But we all know that Zbik is no Martinez... Nevertheless, Chavez Jr. should look to approach the Martinez fight in a similar manner.

Expect Martinez's superior footwork, hand speed, and overall craftiness to be difference in the bout. He will find openings while not allowing himself to get trapped under Chavez's flying leather.

As a result, I see this fight ending via a majority decision in "Maravilla's" favor.

If Sergio Martinez goes on to defeat Chavez, who wouldn't want to see him fight Floyd Mayweather Jr? At 37, Martinez doesn't have a lot of years left so it would be good to see him land that megafight that fight soon provided he's victorious next week. 

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, on the other-hand, is a young talented fighter who will undoubtedly bounce back if he loses on September 15. Even his legendary father had to face defeat.

Junior will get more respect from losing with dignity than he would have had he continued to duck Martinez. And imagine how popular he'll be if he pulls off the upset?

Video: Martinez vs Pavlik - 2010