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Julio Cesar Martinez: Who’s next for this exciting fighter?

Image: Julio Cesar Martinez: Who's next for this exciting fighter?

By Kenneth Friedman: WBC World flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez is coming off of one of the most challenging fights of his career against challenger Jay Harris last February in Frisco, Texas. Before the lockdown, there was hope that Martinez would take on one of the other champions at 112 in a unification.

Martinez has star potential if he’s matched against the better fighters in the 112-lb division. His fight with Harris quickly stole the show on the Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas card on DAZN at The Ford Center at The Star. It was a rock em sock em type of fight from start to finish, and perhaps the best battle of 2020.

A rematch between Martinez and Harris would an excellent idea, as it would give the fans a chance to see these two go at it again. Harris took a lot of damage against Martinez, and we’d have to see if he would be up for a second fight.

Image: Julio Cesar Martinez: Who's next for this exciting fighter?

Harris made it tough for Martinez

Martinez was like a whirlwind with the way he attacked his opponents. Against Harris, Martinez deviated from his usual style of fighting by backing off and coming at him in attacking waves. This allowed Harris to use his height and reach to land shots when the shorter 5’5″ Martinez would go at him looking to unload with combinations.

Despite knocking Harris down in the 10th, Martinez was unable to finish off the tough as nails Brit and was forced to go the full 12 to get the win. The judges gave the 25-year-old Martinez the victory by the scores 116-111, 115-112, 118-109. Many boxing fans agree that the 115-112 score was the most representative of what took place in the fight.

Martinez needs to fight the best

If Martinez’s management is willing to let him take on the best in the flyweight division upon his return, then he needs to face one of these fighters:

  • Moruti Mthalane – IBF champ
  • Artem Dalakian – WBA
  • Kosei Tanaka – WBO
  • McWilliams Arroyo
  • Francisco Rodriguez

When Martinez does return to the ring in 2020 or 2021, we probably see him make a standard defense of his WBC 112-lb title against one of the challengers. He’ll need to get the rust out and work on some of the mistakes he made against Harris.

Martinez fought with less intensity than he had previously, and that gave Harris a chance to get his shots off. Against Charlie Edwards and Cristofer Rosales, Martinez fought with a lot more aggression.

Martinez (16-1, 12 KOs) didn’t fight with quite as much ferocity as he’d done in the past, and that allowed the 29-year-old Harris (17-1, 9 KOs) to give him a real run for the money. The Martinez that we saw in his fights before the Harris contest was a guy that never let up for an instant.

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