One of the most anticipated bouts of the year will be taking place this Saturday Sept. 15th when Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Mexico puts his WBC Middleweight Championship on the line against Argentina’s Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas. This is a bit of a grudge match since the WBC stripped Martinez of the title last year due to some technical red tape and more or less handed it to Chavez. This could be a legitimate fight-of-the-year candidate as both boxers don’t mind slugging it out.
Chavez should be entering the prime of his career just about now as he’s 26 years old and currently unbeaten after 47 fights with a record of 46-0-1 with 32 KOs. He’s got decent size for a middleweight at 6 feet and has a 73-inch reach. He’s got a wealth of experience since turning pro back in 2003. The only time he didn’t have his hand raised in victory came in 2005 when he fought to a six-round draw with Carlos Molina.
He’s taken on some good boxers over the years, but not really anybody in the elite class such as Martinez. He’s beaten the likes of Andy Lee, Marco Antonio Rubio, Peter Manfredo Jr., Sebastian Zbik, and John Duddy. He also beat Molina by a six-round majority decision in a rematch. He’s definitely improved over the years and is an action fighter who throws punches in volume. If he had faced Martinez earlier in his career, he probably wouldn’t have lasted more than a few rounds, but at this point, he’s got a legitimate chance of defending his title against him.
Chavez likes to put the pounds back on after the weight in and he often resembles a light heavyweight by the time he enters the ring. His extra weight means he’s usually able to take a pretty good shot since he’s not the greatest defensive fighter out there. However, he could struggle to make the weight and he could leave himself weakened if he does.
Martinez has a fine record of 49-2-2 with 28 KOs, but he’s actually a lot more powerful than his record indicates. The 37-year-old southpaw has one of the best left hooks in the business and it usually causes quite a bit of damage when it lands. He’s just 5-feet-10 in height, but has a couple of inches in reach over Chavez at 73 inches. He’s a former WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion who turned pro back in 1997.
He was stopped in the seventh round by Antonio Margarito in 2000, but nobody knows if Margarito was padding his gloves with illegal substances back then the way he was in 2009 when he was caught doing it against Shane Mosley. He also lost a controversial 12-round majority decision to Paul Williams in 2009. It was his rematch with Williams that put Martinez on the map in North America when he destroyed him with a picture-perfect left hook in the second round.
Martinez has fought a better class of opposition than Chavez and has beaten Kelly Pavlik, Kermit Cintron, Darren Barker, Matthew Macklin, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Alex Bunema, and Adrian Stone. The Argentinean has excellent power, good speed and can move around the ring quite well. He’s always moving and throwing shots from all sorts of angles. He doesn’t really have a weakness in any major area and is always in top condition. On top of that, he’ll be highly motivated to win back his title.
One of the biggest problems he’ll face in this fight is the size of Chavez. If he can’t hurt the champion it might be hard for him to win on points by out boxing him. It’s also hard to outwork Chavez and it’ll be interesting to see if Martinez will be the aggressor or prefer to counterpunch. Both guys are going to get hit a lot in this fight and the best chin could be the key. This is an extremely tough fight to call, but Chavez could bull his way to a close decision win.
The latest odds on sportsbook 5dimes.eu have a Chavez win listed at +175 with a Martinez victory at -210. The odds of the bout going over 9.5 rounds are -275 and are at +235 for the bout ending before 9.5 rounds. Check out our boxing betting page to learn more about the different boxing betting options and then look at our other boxing predictions for this week.
Written by: Ian Palmer