Martinez vs. Chavez: No Big Mystery

By Ted Sares on July 17, 2012
Martinez vs. Chavez: No Big Mystery
Martinez will stick to his game plan. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? (Rafael Soto/Top Rank)

Given Sergio Martinez’s 37 years of age and recent successes, it’s not likely he will be changing his style when he faces Julio Cesar Chavez Jr…

“My defense… it’s in my legs.”—Sergio Martinez

“The Maravilla strategy becomes clear. His is the comprehensive counterattack of an athlete. He doesn’t simply “duck and counter,” he’s constantly provoking offense to his advantage and using mobility and discordant rhythm to confuse.”—Spring Toledo (TSS, April 26, 2012, “DEPOSING MARAVILLA”)

Given Sergio Martinez’s 37 years of age and recent successes, it’s not likely he will be changing his style when he faces Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September in Las Vegas. We can expect the same athleticism, speed, coordination, stamina, in-and-out movement, and power pot shots that seem to pick up steam as the fight progresses. However, too many observers focus on Maravilla’s athleticism and forget that he also is savvy and skilled often being the matador to his opponents’ more traditional styles.

He was 44-1-2 when he lost to Paul Williams in 2009 in New Jersey when the judges scored the fight 119-110, 115-113, and 114-114. Only Julie Lederman seemed to be awake that night. However, the disgraceful “draw” he suffered at the hand of Kermit Cintron earlier in 2009 should have warned Martinez that Argentineans fighting in the USA are toiling at their own risk.

Since these two tainted fights, he has run off five straight wins essentially using the same Modus Operandi, except in his rematch with Paul Williams which ended in a spectacular knockout victory. Kelly Pavlik was broken down and cut up over the 12-round route, but managed to finish on his feet. Serhiy Dzinziruk was bounded around the ring like a beach ball, and game Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin held tough until Sergio’s power and stamina wore them down at which point they were starched by his documented late power.

When he fights the fast-improving and granite chinned Chavez (46-0-1) on September 9, he will give up two inches in height but retain a two-inch reach advantage. The real issue here, however, will be how much Julio rehydrates, and by extension, whether he enters the ring at close to 180.

Chavez’s run seems to have started with his second win over journeyman Matt Vanda in 2008. Since them he has been well-matched and has looked impressive as someone who is willing to take two to give one—and more often than not that one is a crunching left hook to the liver ala Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Chavez Jr. likes phone booth warfare, but that’s not what he’ll get from his opponent in September. Martinez will stick to his game plan. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

The Question

Articulating the question in this fight is no big mystery to wit: What will happen when Martinez connects flush on Chavez’s chin in the late rounds of their fight? Predicting the answer is quite another story and I’ll save that grist as we get closer to fight time. Suffice it to say that a big, strong guy will try to close the gap on an in-and-out power shooter—a skilled matador vs. a deadly bull if you will.

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HBO Boxing: Sergio Martinez vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk Highlights (HBO)



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HBO Boxing: Kelly Pavlik vs. Sergio Martinez Highlights (HBO)



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  1. Manolo 07:12am, 07/21/2012

    There’s no tomorrow. Is time Chavez shut up all the Blah Blah Blah of Martinez and his fans that do the same blah blah blah . The savings of all my life are available to those that still use the tongue .....no more blah blah blah.

    At the same time I will remind that will be a Mexican heavyweight soon.

  2. the thresher 04:58am, 07/21/2012

    Nope, I hereby declare that Martinez will send Chavez to Carne Asada Dreamland. No double-entendre intended.

  3. Don from Prov 08:23am, 07/20/2012

    But you are hedging, Mr. Ted

  4. THE THRESHER 03:49am, 07/20/2012

    YES, A STEAK FROM ARGENTINA WOULD BE SPLENDID. VIVA SERGIO!!

  5. procopy 11:48pm, 07/19/2012

    Anything for a delicious, tender steak.
    Maravilla should fight very hard for the Thresher. :)

  6. The Thresher 11:26am, 07/19/2012

    OK, I’m not an unreasonable man

  7. Don from Prov 04:09am, 07/19/2012

    No, a win is not a win whether by hook or crook.

    I’ll email you the rules I’d be willing to live by: You can decide.

  8. the thresher 05:58pm, 07/18/2012

    A win is a win—by hook or crook

  9. Don from Prov 02:44pm, 07/18/2012

    As long as we are in agreement, Mr. Thresher that by fold—
    I mean that he doesn’t get knocked out.
    I don’t want to get tangled in semantics: No TKO.  Knocked out.
    But of course I will give you something like a knockdown (or two) and being pummeled such that the ref has to step in as I am a fair sport.  Not runs out of gas and is getting hit too often, no cuts, or retiring for any reason.  Okay?
    I look forward, if you choose to take this mission, to you purchasing me yet another meal.  If not for you, in fact, I may not even be surviving by now.

  10. Gopal 10:30am, 07/18/2012

    I don’t see what problems Chavez poses that Kelly Pavlik didn’t.

    In fact, I think Chavez Jr. vs Pavlik is a more competitive fight than Chavez vs Martinez.

    I don’t think Chavez Jr. will have the stamina to keep up with Martinez after 8 rounds.

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 08:45am, 07/18/2012

    There’s two elephant’s in the room ....Baby Huey being one and the question of how he yoyos his weight to his benefit and the detriment of his foes being the other. One writer on this site intimated that if he wasn’t using PEDS and only resorting to other banned substances (diuretics)....no big deal! F**k yea it’s a big deal…just ask Rubio.

  12. the thresher 08:19am, 07/18/2012

    Don from Prov, you are on!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Restaurant of MY choosing.

  13. Don from Prov 07:51am, 07/18/2012

    Size size size—

    Age!  Bet you a steak that Jr. doesn’t fold under Sergio’s late power.

  14. Tex Hassler 07:51am, 07/18/2012

    It should be an easy win for Martinez and he should score a KO. That is probably the only way he can win as things may be stacked against him in this fight. When Martinez finds Chavez Jr.‘s chin his weight will not help him.

  15. Joe 07:40am, 07/18/2012

    JCCJr might come into the ring at 170 plus.  He’s a big cat but the marvelous one will keep doing what he does best and box him all night.  Should be a good matchup - can’t wait for this one!

  16. procopy 11:10pm, 07/17/2012

    whoa, JCC Jr. is really big for Sergio Martinez. Martinez is one of my favorite boxers and I saw many of his fights and saw how good he is. I dont know much about Chavez Jr. but I have read some articles telling that he’s good. Maybe I’ll watch some of his fights to watch how he would survive the Maravilla. or maybe.. the other way around?

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