Martinez’s movement will take Chavez Jr’s body punching away
(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada) By Eric Thomas: WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s main weapon, body punching, is going to be effectively taken away from him on Saturday night by the movement from challenger Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO’s) in their fight. Chavez Jr. has great size, and inside fighting skills going for him, but those are the wrong tools to be facing a mover like Martinez.
Chavez Jr. will be the equivalent of a deep sea fisherman using a slingshot to try and catch fish. He’s not going to be able to use his inside fighting ability against Martinez. Chavez Jr. isn’t someone quick like WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who is able to force his opponents to fight in close due to his fast feet, great jab and fast hand speed. Chavez Jr. is a slow plodder type middleweight, who is mainly able to trap his smaller opponents into fighting him on the inside by a combination of small rings and facing stationary fighters to begin with.
The ring on Saturday will be a 20- X 20 ring, which isn’t small, and Martinez isn’t going to be one of Chavez Jr’s stationary opponents. He plans on moving the entire time and not giving Chavez Jr. many openings to land his body shots. Chavez Jr. needs to set up his offense in order to go to the body. He’s not good at picking off an opponent on the run with his body punching, because he can’t proper leverage and power on his shots. To be sure, Chavez Jr. will likely be able to land some body shots even with Martinez on the move, but the power won’t be there for Chavez Jr. when he does land. He’s not a fighter that has big power when he’s not winding up with his shots and using his body.
In other words, Chavez Jr. isn’t a good arm puncher or someone that adjust quickly to throw a punch in a split decision when an opening appears. By the same token, Chavez Jr. doesn’t throw with a lot of power from the outside. He doesn’t have a long right hand that he can throw with power. Most of Chavez Jr’s power punches are thrown at a short distance where he’s set up in front of his opponent with his feet planted square on the ground so that he can have maximum power on his body shots. Martinez is going to take all that away from Chavez Jr. on Saturday night with his constant movement and it’s going to be a big problem for Chavez Jr.
Hopefully, Freddie Roach, Chavez Jr’s trainer, has spent a lot of time working on movement with Chavez Jr. so that he can alter his game enough to where he might be able to catch up to Martinez to land more punches but I have my doubts. You can’t change your fighting style significantly in one training camp, especially when that fighter weighs 180 lbs or more. It’s too much weight for Chavez Jr. to be carrying around against a mobile fighter like Martinez.