Mike Tyson: Chavez Jr. Will Beat Martinez

By Richard V. Powell on July 18, 2012
Mike Tyson: Chavez Jr. Will Beat Martinez
“Chavez is stronger," said Tyson, "and has everything to win on September 15th.” (Ecksel)

One hundred years from now will his name be mentioned along with his father as one of the greatest of all time? Mike Tyson thinks so…

Things have really turned around for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 

Just a year ago the young Chavez was viewed by many as being born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. Pampered and protected by his legendary father, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and family friend Bob Arum of Top Rank, it seemed that the biggest organizations in boxing were behind him, padding his record, crafting his every move to create him in the image of his father. 

Most fans wanted to see Jr. do well because of who his father is but at the same time wanted him do it legitimately. After all the perceived favor he had received, he was seen as soft and nowhere near the fighter his father was. His victory over Sebastian Zbik on HBO in June of 2011 seemed to be the final nail in Jr.’s coffin as many fans and boxing media alike swore Zbik won the fight as he outscored Chavez in 10 out of the 12 rounds. (Chavez Jr. was stronger in the later rounds and landed the heavier punches throughout the fight.)

Rumors swirled that Top Rank had wielded its power to ensure that Jr. won. By all accounts, Chavez Jr. is undoubtedly a cash cow and that’s all that matters to promoters at the end of the day. Unless Zbik actually killed Chavez Jr. in the ring that night it wasn’t likely he was going to win. The message seemed loud and clear: boxing is not a sport, it’s a business and this Chavez kid is a rainmaker.

The backlash was intense as Chavez Jr. was taking shots from all angles. Then suddenly something changed. He seemed to grow a pair overnight. After seeing a cartoon of himself hiding behind an apron worn by Bob Arum, Chavez Jr. apparently had enough and decided to speak up. He angrily stated he was not a boy, he was a man and feared no one—especially Sergio Martinez. He started facing tougher opponents and completed three impressive victories over Peter Manfredo Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio and Andy Lee.

Afterwards, the truth of how Chavez Jr. got his title shot against Zbik emerged, helping his image even more. Martinez had gotten permission from the WBC to ditch his mandatory opponent at the behest of HBO. Seems HBO didn’t find Zbik a big enough name, so, following the money, Martinez shed his WBC belt but was still “Champion-in-Recess.” This left the WBC middleweight belt suddenly up for grabs with Chavez Jr. the first in line with a title shot. 

Since it was perceived that he had done nothing to deserve it, many, once again, believed that someone had pulled some strings on his behalf. A closer look shows that Chavez Jr. had won and defended the WBC Silver belt and had a record of 42-0-1. Once the truth came out fans began to think maybe he did deserve the shot and respect for Chavez Jr. grew.

Over the last year the image of Chavez Jr. with a silver spoon in his mouth has been erased by his spectacular performances. No one doubts his ability and heart and fans now believe that his participation in this superfight against Martinez on September 15th is well deserved. But the question remains, will he rise up to the lofty heights like his father before him? Mike Tyson thinks so.

“Julio Cesar Chavez was my favorite boxer and his son, Chavez Jr., will be the next Mexican idol,” said Tyson at a recent press conference in Mexico. Tyson went on to say that his career was influenced a lot by Mexican boxers, especially by Ruben Olivares and three-time world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. 

Iron Mike believes that Chavez Jr.’s learning curve places him against Martinez at just the right time. “His son learns fight by fight,” he said. “He will become an idol. He will have a tough test against Sergio Martinez who is very skillful, but Chavez is stronger and has everything to win on September 15th.”

When Mike Tyson gives you a ringing endorsement, you know you’ve arrived. Should Chavez Jr. win in a spectacular fashion this could cement his place in the Pantheon of boxing greats alongside his father, while a loss, on the other hand, is almost unthinkable at this stage in his career. 

This fight on September 15th has the makings of one of the greats of all time. More than belts, more than money, this fight possesses the rare ingredients of legacy, family and national pride. 

Certainly this fight is about whether Sergio Martinez can defeat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.  But more importantly it’s about whether Chavez Jr. can ascend to a level in the sport that only a handful of men in boxing’s illustrious history have been able to do. One hundred years from now will his name be mentioned along with his father as one of the greatest of all time? Mike Tyson thinks so.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr v Sebastian Zbik. part 1

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr v Sebastian Zbik. part 2

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr v Sebastian Zbik. part 3

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr v Sebastian Zbik. part 4

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr v Sebastian Zbik. part 5

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Marco Antonio Rubio 04-02-2012

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andy Lee Part 1

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andy Lee Part 2

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andy Lee Part 3

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andy Lee Part 4

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Darrell 06:14pm, 08/26/2012

    I don’t see Jr being in the pantheon of greats if he wins…he’ll have to win a few more to be mentioned in that light.  Personally, I pick Martinez to further enhance his standing in the game with a hard-fought late round stoppage.  Although Jr is always in his opponent’s face, it’ll only be to get hit with both of Maravilla’s fists.

  2. Steve Cearfoss 08:59am, 07/27/2012

    I can see Chavez emerging a winner in this fight only because Martinez has shown signs of deteriorating prowess; he is after all 37 years old. However, and this is a BIG however, Martinez is very clever and still not easy to tag while Chavez can be hit. I wouldn’t put any money on Martinez winning since I’m not sure how much he has slipped, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him outbox Chavez and eventually knock him out.  As the foregoing implies, you can tell that I’m not sold on Chavez. We shall see.

  3. alfred mutale 02:03am, 07/27/2012

    i liked de way tyson fought, too bad to retire in that way.

  4. eddie holloway 12:47pm, 07/20/2012

    Riches for boxing fans, in abundance

  5. richard v powell 08:10am, 07/20/2012

    @Rob- I apologize if I have given you the impression that I am a Chavez Jr fan.  I did not write this with the intent of “promoting” Jr or his potential legacy.  What interests me about his story is that he is a young man who has the potential to become one of the storied few that can achieve lasting greatness in the sport and that process could be unfolding right before our eyes.  I certainly agree with you about the journey his father took to get to sainthood but I promise you Jr will not have to travel the same road just because of who his father is.  The term “Pantheon of Boxing Greats” is also a relative term.  In Mexico he already has one foot in the door.  Since anything is possible, I think it’s safe to say a significant knockout victory over Martinez could bring him into that rarefied air.  It would be unlikely but not impossible.  Thank you for your feedback!

  6. Rob 07:42am, 07/20/2012

    @Mr. Powell - I quoted you correctly (i did write ‘could’ not ‘would’) but that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter if Chavez KOs Martinez in spectacular fashion, that in no way possible can put Chavez in the “Pantheon of boxing greats”; it would only make him a legit MW champ. Do you really think 1 win (no matter how spectacular) can put him with the greats? It would make him legit, yes, but not 1 of the greats of all time. Not even close. Chavez Sr. made a legacy with dozens of fights at the elite level; this is Junior’s first. I get it, you’re a fan. That’s ok, but let him build his legacy, don’t jump the gun. (by the way, I have nothing against Jr. and I’m not a Martinez fan either)

  7. efraim 10:03pm, 07/19/2012

    i think chaves jr will win the fight. Because he can produce more punch than martinez,

  8. richard v powell 02:30pm, 07/19/2012

    Rob - Actually what i said was -  Should Chavez Jr. win in a spectacular fashion this could cement his place in the Pantheon of boxing greats alongside his father, - I said THIS COULD - I DIDN’T SAY WOULD!

  9. Rob 10:27am, 07/19/2012

    @ Mr. Powell. With all due respect do you really think that HBO (or Showtime for that matter) isn’t involved with the sanctioning bodies? Let’s be real for a second, the WBC has made up rules to justify their agenda, like they are doing now again in the JrWW division. And you DID say that if Chavez wins that could, and I quote: “cement his place in the Pantheon of boxing greats alongside his father”. I’m sorry but you didn’t quote Tyson on that one!

  10. richard v powell 09:31am, 07/19/2012

    @Rob - hey, HBO demanded a different opponent for Sergio Martinez because he wasn’t well known at all outside of the inner boxing world.  They accepted Zbik for Chavez Jr because Jr is a huge draw - they can basically use anyone against him and it will sell.  Plus that was a WBC middleweight title fight.

    I never said Chavez will be in the class of his father with this victory - Mike Tyson did.  If you have a problem with that take it up with him! :)

  11. Rob 07:49am, 07/19/2012

    This website is awesome, most articles are dead on and well written. This one, not so much. How convenient that the writer mentions how HBO refused to accept Zbik for an opponent for Martinez and forgets to mention how HBO (in the same year) accepted Zbik for an opponent for Chavez. Do you really think boxing fans don’t notice these things? Oh, and how can Chavez be in the class of his father by only having to fight 1 champ? That’s just ridiculous! The only thing this fight will prove is if Chavez is a legit champ or a real chump, nothing else. The only reason Chavez is currently a “champ” is because he sells. If he can beat Martinez at least he deserves the belt he has had for over a year.

  12. the thresher 05:31am, 07/19/2012

    If Tyson says it, it must be so

  13. Pete The Sneak 04:38am, 07/19/2012

    @efraim..Huh? Pac is best cause he’s….know what, never mind. That’s why you shouldn’t drink when you’re blogging…Anyway, nice article Richard. Really looking forward to this fight. I don’t know about Jr. in the GOAT category, but a win against the very versatile and slick Martinez will certainly ascend him to another level, no doubt. Peace.

  14. efraim 10:29pm, 07/18/2012

    pacquiao is the best because he is a pastor

Leave a comment