Arum Says Sergio Martinez-Chavez Junior Will Fight Sept 15th: Suddenly A Tough Fight To Pick?

boxingBy James Slater: After turning in his most impressive display so far in his ever improving pro career, WBC middleweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez Junior now looks ahead to a big, big fight against “universally accepted best middleweight in the world” Sergio Gabriel Martinez.

After proving way too strong, too vicious and too powerful for a game Andy Lee, 26-year-old Chavez Jr felt confident enough to predict a KO win over “Maravilla.” And you know what? For the first time, I’m looking at Martinez-Chavez as a competitive, tough-to-pick fight. I’m not saying the Mexican star will win; but I wouldn’t in any way call the fight (according to Arum, set for The Thomas and Mack in Vegas on Sept 15th - the same night Canelo Alvarez is to face Victor Ortiz, also in Las Vegas) a predictable win for the Argentine southpaw. I would have done a year or so ago, though.

Chavez, in scoring that ultra-impressive 7th-round stoppage over Lee, looked an absolute beast.. Massive for the weight, possessing a good chin, having genuine power (Chavez’s body shots in particular looking heavy last night) and showing his constantly improving talent for infighting, Chavez Junior looked a million miles away from the fighter who struggled with the likes of Matt Vanda and, more recently, Sebastain Zbik. Since those fights, Chavez has been polished by Freddie Roach and he is now approaching his peak. This could be bad news for 37-year-old Martinez.

For if Chavez, 46-0-1(32) is reaching his physical peak, Martinez, 49-2-2(28) might be a ways past his - even if he is in amazing shape and has awesome reflexes for a man in his mid to late-30s. Martinez may have looked sensational in blowing away Paul Williams in a couple of rounds in late 2010 (and he did indeed look special that night) but against Darren Barker and, last time out, Matthew Macklin, Martinez looked at least a little ordinary. And, begging the pardon of both British middleweights, I’d rank Chavez Jr. above the pair of them.

Chavez certainly had no trouble with Lee’s southpaw stance, therefore the stance of Martinez looks unlikely to bother the Mexican “Son of A Legend.” Of course, Martinez is a far superior, more proven fighter than the Emanuel Steward-trained Lee, yet a number of good judges felt the Irishman would give Chavez a hard night, probably taking him the distance. Instead, in silencing a few more of his fast diminishing critics, Chavez Jr. turned it on and turned in his best performance yet.

Something tells me Chavez will surprise and impress a lot more people if and when the Martinez fight takes place. I’d still make “Maravilla” the favourite, but Chavez is far, far, far from a hyped no-hoper who is where he is simply because of his surname.

Article posted on 17.06.2012

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