Newly crowned WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez will be making his first defense of his 112-lb strap against #7 WBC ranked Jay Harris on February 29 on DAZN on the Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas undercard at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Martinez, 24, recently dispatched Cristofer Rosales by a 9th round TKO in a thrilling shootout on December 20th on the Daniel Jacobs vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card on DAZN in Phoenix, Arizona. Martinez and Rosales stole the show from the utterly disappointing main event fight. There was no comparison. Jacobs-Chavez Jr. was like a car wreck.
Harris will have it tough
Martinez is promoted by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, and he’s got the right idea in putting him on the Garcia vs. Vargas fight. It’s too bad Hearn couldn’t find a better opponent than the 29-year-old Harris, who comes from Wales. Harris likes to box, and move and try and outsmart his opponents.
That’s worked for him at the domestic level against fighters like Paddy Barnes, Phil Smith and Ross Murray. Harris is now taking on an elite level flyweight with excellent speed and punching power in martinez, and that’s going to make it hard for him.
Harris doesn’t pack the punch to keep a talented fighter like Martinez honest, and this fight could play out in a similar way as the Mexican talent’s destruction of former WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards on August 31 in London, England.
Although the fight was ultimately ruled a 3rd round no contest due to Martinez hitting Edwards while he was down, there’s no question who the better fighter was. Martinez pummeled Edwards from start until the bitter finish. Unfortunately, Harris is pretty much the same level fighter than Edwards, but arguably less talented and with the same nonexistent power.
Martinez vs. Harris has mismatch written all over it. Harris hasn’t cut his teeth against the talented fighters at 112, and he’s going to be in with one of the best. It’s predictable that Martinez chews Harris up and spits him out within 3 rounds at best.
Mikey battles Vargas in a 50-50 fight
In the main event, former 4 division world champion Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) will be taking on Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 11 KOs) in a fight at 147. This fight has huge ramifications for Mikey, as well as Garcia. Matchroom promoter Hearn wants to attempt to put together a fight between Mikey and WBA 147-pound champion Manny Pacquiao in 2020. For that fight to have a shot at happening, Mikey needs to beat the former two division world belt holder Vargas. That’s easier said than done.
Vargas is a junior middleweight now with excellent size, and better than averge power. His size alone is going to give Mikey problems, as he’s small for the welterweight division at 5’6″. Mikey moved up to welterweight for bigger paydays, and he didn’t do well in his fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. last year. Spence won every round, and had an easy time in beating the 32-year-old Mikey.
If Vargas was the same size as Mikey, he would be in for a world of hurt, but that’s not the case. Vargas is now a junior middleweight, and he’s going to have big size advantage over little Mikey. As the saying goes, ‘weight divisions were created for a reason.’ It’s all well and good that Mikey wants to get the big paydays at 147, but he doesn’t have the size to compete against the the talented fighters in the weight class. Vargas isn’t even one of the better fighters at 147.
Vargas is a junior middleweight now with excellent size, and better than average power. His size alone is going to give Mikey problems, as he’s small for the welterweight division at 5’6″. Mikey moved up to welterweight for bigger paydays, and he didn’t do well in his fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. last year. Spence won every round, and had an easy time in beating the 32-year-old Mikey.