As usual, name calling and other cheap shots were heard during the most recent Chavez Jr/Martinez press tour in NYC. Chavez responded to being called a “chicken” who finally man’d up, by labeling Martinez a ballerina inside the ring. The legendary Chavez sr. even got into the act himself by calling out Sergio, saying his style was one of a coward who only fights for himself by running around the ring with his hands down and wasn’t very appealing to the true boxing fan. Neverless, he guaranteed a victory in favor of his son Julio jr. Regardless of the familiar press tour antics boxing fans are accustomed to seeing, the bout appears to have fight of the year potential. Martinez who’s only real defeat came at the hands of former Mexican champion Antonio Margarito in 2000, has come a long way as a fighter, improving drastically in all areas. His biggest victory against Paul Williams via second round ko solidified his status as one of the best and most dominant middleweights in the world and earned him “fighter of the year” honors. Chavez on the other hand, all though undefeated and the defending WBC champion, is viewed as the one with something to prove. His most notable victories against John Duddy, Sebastian Zbik, and Marco Antonio Rubio have labeled him a good fighter but not yet a great one in the eyes of many so called boxing experts and fans. Like Martinez, Chavez jr has also came a long way as a fighter. We saw the biggest improvement out of the young champion when he hired hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach to help harness his skills and evolve as a dominant fighter. The move also gave him the opportunity to work with one of the sport’s most respected strength and conditioning trainers, Alex Ariza, who has been a huge compliment in Jr’s physical development along the way. The fact of the matter is that both combatants appear to be at their professional peak making this fight so intriguing and very unpredictable in terms of an outcome. What can you expect to see in this fight you ask? Well, expect to see Sergio Martinez using his awkward hands down style to try and frustrate the younger Chavez while using every inch of the ring with his “ballerina” type footwork and constant movement. Julio on the other hand will look to wear down the 37 yr old Martinez with his body attack and relentless pressure. In the end, I have to give the edge to the younger, taller, and possibly stronger Chavez jr. The first 3 rounds will basically tell the outcome of the fight. If Julio is able to walk through Martinez’s punches and manage to get inside the smaller man’s guard, it will just be a matter of time before he wears him down. However, if Sergio is able to withstand the pressure, use his boxing skills, and not be a stationary target, it could also turn into a very easy night for the former middleweight champion from Argentina. Regardless of the outcome, it figures to be a very entertaining bout and will attract a lot of international media attention. My final prediction on this bout? Chavez jr. by late round stoppage!
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Adam Molinar is Co-founder and official sports blogger of MyRevolutionLeagues.com