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Julio Cesar Martinez to fight in July, and then September

Julio Cesar Martinez

By Max Seitelman: Exciting WBC flyweight champion Julio César ‘Rey’ Martínez expects to be back in the ring in July. Martinez (16-1, 12 KOs) will start sparring soon. Martinez’s management plans on keeping him busy in the last half of 2020 by having him fight two to three times. 

If Martinez gets through his July fight with flying colors, the idea is to have him fight on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez’s next fight in September on DAZN against possibly IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26 KOs). Martinez vs. Mthalane will be a great match-up.

The 37-year-old Mthalane is a big puncher and has won his last 16 fights since losing to a prime Nonito Donaire by a sixth-round knockout in 2008.

Since then, Mthalane has beaten the likes of Zolani Tete, John Riel Casimero, and Muhammad Waseem.  If Julio Cesar Martinez can beat Mthalane, that would be a spectacular victory. The 112-pound division is barren of talented fighters, and Mthalane is the best guy for Martinez right now.

Nothing slowing Martinez down

That’s the champion that Team Martinez wants for him for September, and it would make for a great fight. That match-up would be worthy of a co-feature spot on Canelo’s card for September.

That’ll be a high-visibility event, and Martinez would have the opportunity to take the limelight away from Canelo potentially.

Martinez upstaged the Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas fight last February, and before that, he stole the show from the Daniel Jacobs vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight last December. It will be a big deal if the young Martinez outperforms Canelo Alvarez.

Having Martinez on his undercard will put pressure on Canelo to pick a good opponent for himself. It would look bad if Martinez takes attention away from Canelo’s performance in September the same way he did in fighting on the Daniel Jacobs and Mikey Garcia’s cards. No one fights like Martinez does, as he’s a nonstop pressure fighter, who at his opponents throwing punches with both hands.

Julio Cesar Martinez

Martinez looking like an unstoppable force

What makes Martinez different from the average fighter is the combination-punching he does. Martinez doesn’t throw one punch at a time like most fighters, and he tends to change stances while he’s attacking. He’ll start with the orthodox position in coming forward, and then switch to southpaw during the attack. It’s an odd style but very useful for him.

Martinez has been a busy fighter since 2019 in fighting five times in beating these fighters:

  • Jay Harris
  • Cristofer Rosales
  • Charlie Edwards
  • Irvin Ordaz
  • Andrew Selby

It was Julio Cesar Martinez’s fight with former WBC 112-lb champion Charlie Edwards that put him on the map last August. Martinez marched into the O2 Arena in London on August 31 and administered a thorough beating to the over-matched Edwards.

After dropping Edwards in the third round, Martinez hit him while he was down. Subsequently, the fight was ruled a no-contest after Edwards failed to get back to his feet. What’s telling is the fact that Edwards chose not to face Martinez in a rematch, which he could have done but decided not to.

Julio Cesar Martinez

No opponent yet for Julio Cesar Martinez for July

“They told us to be ready for July, and we don’t know a rival or where, but our intention is that. And if everything goes well, fighting in September, there could be unification in Canelo’s support,” said coach Mauricio Aceves to ESPN Deportes.

They share the same gym and same trainer in Eddy Reynoso, who has become a magnet in attracting some of the best talents in boxing that have flocked to his gym. Martinez might be the most entertaining of the fighters that train out of Reynoso’s gym, but he still lacks the notoriety of his fighters like Canelo and Ryan Garcia.

With July next month, Martinez’s opponent likely won’t be a big name, but it would be great if they can get a top ten contender for him to face.

In Martinez’s last match, he went to war with the previously undefeated Jay Harris and beat him by a 12 round unanimous decision on February 29 in Frisco, Texas. Harris proved to be a tough opponent for Martinez, as he had the size advantage, and his boxing skills were top rate.

Martinez hadn’t fought anyone with the type of talent that Harris showed, and it was a good learning fight for the talented Mexican warrior.

There’s still no opponent yet for the 25-year-old KO artist Martinez, but his team is targeting IBF 112-pound champion Moruti Mthalane as someone that they’re interested in at some point shortly. 

Given the short notice, Martinez may end up with a lesser fighter, which would be bad news. As the WBC flyweight champion, Martinez needs to face at least a contender in the top 15 at 112 rather than a body.

Martinez not picky about who he faces next

“We have no rival for July, but they already know that Julio César has no problem with what they put us on,” said his trainer Aceves. “He will be ready for when they tell him; he already wants to return to the ring,”

Other champions that Martinez can target besides Mthalane at 112 is Artem Dalakian and Luis Concepción [WBA interim].

It would also be nice to see Martinez fight the highly experienced  McWilliams Arroyo. The talented Arroyo is a fighter that has shared the ring with Carlos Cuadras, Roman Gonzalez, Luis Maldonado, Kazuto Ioka, and Amnat Ruenroeng. Arroyo defeated former super flyweight champion Cuadras by a 10 round majority decision in February 2018 in a surprise upset.

Some boxing fans want to see a rematch between Julio Cesar Martinez and Jay Harris. It’s unclear whether Harris and his promoter Eddie Hearn would want to go in the direction of a second fight with the young Martinez. Harris took a lot of punishment against Martinez, and a second fight might be worse for him.

Martinez showed Harris too much respect in their fight last February, and that’s probably the main reason he went the full 12 round distance. Had Martinez fought Harris the way he did Charlie Edwards and Cristofer Rosales, he might not have lasted long. It’s doubtful that Harris would agree to fight Martinez again if given the opportunity.



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