By Rob Smith: Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO’s) is going to have to make a believer out of WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO’s) and especially his trainer Freddie Roach, who is predicting a knockout victory for the young 26-year-old Chavez Jr. on Saturday.
Roach said “Sergio is a great athlete, but I don’t think he’s a great athlete. He doesn’t have the experience. I think we’ll break him down and knock him out.”
Roach’s confidence in Chavez Jr. stems from his wins over the likes of Peter Manfredo Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Sebastian Zbik and Andy Lee. Chavez Jr. appears to have improved in his last three fights after struggling to beat Zbik last year in June. However, none of those guys would do well against Martinez and probably all of them would be knocked out if Martinez put a lot of pressure on them.
It’s interesting that Chavez Jr. could stop Rubio, because this is a guy that was mowed down by Kelly Pavlik in 2009. Chavez Jr. couldn’t do much with him other than working him over on the inside en route to winning by a 12 round decision last year.
Roach off in his belief that Martinez doesn’t have the experience to beat Chavez Jr. I think Roach has got things twisted a little in his head. If anyone who doesn’t have the experience it’s Chavez Jr., not Martinez. Chavez Jr. hasn’t beaten anyone close to being as good as past Martinez victims Pavlik and Paul Williams.
With Roach you never know if he’s on the level with his comments or is just saying things to try and get in the mind of his fighter’s opponents. He could be just trying chip away at Martinez’s confidence a little to where Chavez Jr. can have a little edge. I don’t think Martinez is the type that will fight below his level based on anything that Roach would say, however. Martinez knows what he has in Chavez Jr. and he’s not going to start treating him as legend just because Roach is building him up.