The upcoming fight between Sergio Martinez and Julio Chavez Jr. set for September 15 seems to me like an utter mismatch between a world champion and a boxer living on his father’s glory. Nevertheless, Chavez Jr. is coming off some of the best wins and performances of his career, and his worked himself into being the legitimate number 2 guy in the middleweight division. On paper, both fighters seem to look on par with one another, but realistically things may look very different on the night itself.
With that said, let us analyze the 5 keys to victory for each fighter.
5 Keys for Julio Chavez Jr. to defeat Sergio Martinez
- Reach– The taller fighter, Chavez will need to use his reach to keep Martinez at bay. Using this reach will give him a much better advantage against Martinez as opposed to choosing to fight up close like he usually does.
- Composure– As Martinez is an extremely awkward and difficult boxer to fight, Chavez will need to keep his composure and not allow Martinez to frustrate him and get to his head.
- Guard– Chavez naturally has no problem keeping his guard up in fights, but may get cocky and drop his guard like he did against Andy Lee. If that happens, Martinez may capitalize on this and potentially knock Chavez down.
- Footwork– Chavez will need to be constantly keeping his left foot on the outside of Martinez’s right, so that he will be able to turn Martinez and unleash his straight right hand.
- Body Shots– Chavez’s body shots can be extremely brutal and cause significant damage to his opponents. This is something he will need to deliver to Martinez to break him down slowly.
5 Keys for Sergio Martinez to defeat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
- Left Hook– Being a natural southpaw, Martinez is able to deliver big and powerful shots with his left hand. We all remember that devastating left he threw to knock out Paul Williams. Boy would we love to see that against Chavez.
- Game Plan– In Martinez’s last fight against Macklin, he seemingly looked slow in the early rounds, and only picked up the pace in the later rounds of the fight. That fight could’ve ended much earlier that the 11th. Martinez should start much sooner with aggression and work rate against Chavez once that opening bell sounds, possibly offering him the opportunity to end this fight with a knockout.
- Distance– Even as Martinez is the shorter boxer, he will expect Chavez to try to fight close up as is his typical preferred style. Therefore, keeping Chavez a little distance away will give Martinez a much stronger advantage in landing his powerful punches. Martinez is a master at creating distance, and will take half steps back and forward to time Chavez on the way in and keep him at bay.
- Crab Guard– Martinez’s usual crab guard will be extremely useful against Chavez’s body shots and will prove awkward for Chavez to land clean body blows. However, Martinez does tend to drop his hands frequently during a fight and he must be careful to not get caught by one of Chavez’s punches.
- Footwork– Like Chavez, Martinez will be constantly fighting for outside foot position. By establishing this, Martinez will be able to deliver his powerful left hand.
Each man has the tools and skills to potentially get a win. I give Martinez the edge, but don’t discount the size and strength of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.