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Julio Cesar Martinez fights Jay Harris on DAZN on February 29

Jessie Vargas Mikey Garcia

By Matt Lieberman: Jay Harris (17-0, 9 KOs) will be on the big stage next month against WBC 112-pound champion Julio Cesar Martinez (15-1, 12 KOs) on February 29 on DAZN in the United States, and Sky Sports in the UK. This is going to be a fun fight from start to finish. Harris, 29, has yet to taste defeat, and has passed every test that he’s had in his six-year professional career.

Jay will be the underdog against the newly signed Matchroom Boxing fighter Martinez, 24, but if he can beat him, he’ll take his career to the next level. Martinez and Harris are fighting on the Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas card at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Martinez makes his first defense of his WBC title

This will be the first defense for Martinez, who won the vacant World Boxing Council flyweight title just last month in stopping Cristofer Rosales (29-5, 20 KOs) in the 9th round in an exciting fight on the Danny Jacobs vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card on DAZN.  Martinez vs. Rosales was the best fight on the card by a long shot, and it created an immediate fan base for the Mexican talent.

The hard-hitting Martinez won’t be getting much of a rest break from his tough fight against Rosales, but he’s young and ambitious, and clearly doesn’t mind fighting often. Martinez is trained by Eddy Reynoso, the same guy that trains superstar Canelo Alvarez. The young Martinez fought  4 times in 2019, and he also did the same thing in 2018. He believes in being busy, and it could pay off for him by quickly getting a capturing a big fan base.

Last year, Martinez treated Andrew Selby and Charlie Edwards like they were speed bumps in stopping both in the early rounds. However, Martinez wasn’t given a victory over Edwards, because he hit him with a body shot after knocking him down in the 3rd.

The fight was ruled a no contest. Edwards was badly hurt from the knockdown, and he likely wouldn’t have gotten up. Martinez just got a little overanxious in choosing to nail the defenseless Edwards while he was down. In the aftermath of that fight, Edwards chose not to fight Martinez in a rematch. He could have if he wanted to, but he wisely didn’t push for it.

Jay Harris wants to “shock the world”

Harris stopped Paddy Barnes with a body shot in the 4th round last October in Belfast. It’ll be interesting to see if Harris chooses to make it an inside war against the 5’4″ Martinez on February 29, because it could be a risky thing for him to do. Martinez is not only an excellent body puncher, but he’s quite adept at throwing uppercuts and hooks to the head.

In Martinez’s fight against Rosales, and he threw 3 and 4 punch combinations. The hand speed and power of Martinez was impressive to watch. He was hitting Rosales triple left hooks to the head and body. What made it tough on Rosales was the way that Martinez changed stances throughout the fight.

Martinez was changing stances while he was throwing combinations. Usually fighters change stances and then throw. In Martinez’s case, he was stances while throwing combinations, and made it hard for Rosales to adjust to the different angles of the shots.

“I want to say a big thanks to Matchroom and MTK global for giving me the opportunity to fight for the WBC title in Frisco on such a big event,” said Harris. “Julio is a great young fighter but I am feeling in the form of my life and this gives me the opportunity to shock the world.”

Harris deserves mad respect in taking Martinez fight

It would be a major win for Harris if he were to beat Martinez, because he’s going to be the underdog in this fight. Martinez is looking very hard to beat, but you can’t rule out an upset win for Harris. The way that Harris handled his last two opponents Barnes and Angel Moreno, you can’t rule out a victory for him.

Harris deserves all the respect in the world for taking this fight against Martinez, because he’s in top form.

It was a great idea for Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to add the Martinez vs. Harris fight to the card. It’s added insurance that it’ll be a good card, considering that we don’t know what we’re getting in the main event between Mikey and Vargas.

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