Martinez-Chavez Leads The Way: Weekend Report Card

By Cliff Rold

For all the people who scream Armageddon about counter-programming in boxing, consider this:

Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez will combine on Saturday night for over 30,000 full seats in Las Vegas.  A few thousand more will watch from Closed Circuit and sports book locales.  Interest is high and one can assume more than the 1.3 million viewers who tuned in for the U.S. last weekend for Andre Ward-Chad Dawson across the boxing spectrum.

It’s not just the main events meriting attention, though they get the lion’s share.  There is a strong support bout to Lopez-Alvarez, one that might steal both shows.  And, across the pond, Cruiserweight gives us a potential barnburner as well.

Boxing goes Frankenstein this weekend.  It’s alive.

Let’s go to the report cards and quick picks for a massive weekend.

The Ledgers

Sergio Martinez

Age: 37

Title: Lineal World Middleweight (2010-Present, 4 Defenses)

Previous Titles: WBC Jr. Middleweight (2009-10); WBO Middleweight (2010); WBC Middleweight (2010, 1 Defense)
Height: 5’11 

Weight: 159 lbs.

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 158.2 lbs.

Hails from: Oxnard, California (Born in Argentina)

Record: 49-2-2, 28 KO, 1 KOBY

Record in Major Title Fights: 5-0, 4 KO (6-0-1, 5 KO
 including interim title fights)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 3 (Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Sergiy Dzinziruk)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat or Draw: 3 (Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams)


Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 

Age: 26
Titles: WBC Middleweight (2011-Present, 2 Defenses)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 6’0
Weight: 158 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 159.65 lbs.
Hails from: Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Record: 46-0-1, 32 KO

BoxingScene Rank: #5 at Middleweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 4-0, 2 KO
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 1 (Sebastian Zbik)

Pre-Fight: Speed – Martinez A; Chavez B
Pre-Fight: Power – Martinez B+; Chavez B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Martinez B+; Chavez B-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Martinez A; Chavez B

Chavez should do much better than some might assume, especially in the first six rounds.  As was the case against Andy Lee, he might drop the first round or two, but he comes on strong.  That suits him well against Martinez.  Versus Darrin Barker and Matthew Macklin, Martinez warmed to the task and Chavez has more firepower than either.  If Chavez can grind enough, the 37-year old champion's legs could look their age on the back half.  The one concern has to be the shape Chavez is in.  He looked horribly dried out at the weigh-in Friday and was sucking down liquids as soon as he came off the scale. 

Chavez came in the lightest he has since 2009.  Martinez looked like he was ready to go on the scale.  Chavez looked like he needs every second until fight time to get his body in gear.  In the era of same day weigh-ins, he concern would be high.

As is, if he’s not at peak, against a fighter as sharp as Martinez, he could be in for a long night (or a short one?). 

Let’s assume Chavez is in his best form by the opening bell.  Martinez will have to be careful not to stay in the pocket too long, saving energy to accelerate down the stretch.  Ultimately, talent takes over and Martinez has more of it.  He's beaten some of the best.  Chavez is leaping from borderline contenders to the man. 

It's a big leap. 

Chavez will fall short. 

In a fight that might resemble Martinez-Kelly Pavlik, the real champion should be laying down a beating in the final third and do enough to earn a decision in a crowd-pleasing affair on HBO PPV.

What about the action down the strip on Saturday?  Two fights merit closer inspection, including the main event.

Saul Alvarez
Age: 22
Titles: WBC Light Middleweight (2011-Present, 4 Defenses)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’9
Weight: 154 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 153.3 lbs.
Hails from: Juanacatlan, Jalisco, Mexico
Record: 40-0-1, 29 KO

BoxingScene Rank: #5 at Jr. Middleweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 5-0, 3 KO
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 4 (Carlos Baldomir, Lovemore N’Dou, Kermit Cintron, Shane Mosley)

Josesito Lopez 

Age: 28
Titles/Previous Titles: None

Height: 5’10
Weight: 153 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 142.7 lbs.
Hails from: Riverside, California
Record: 30-4, 18 KO
BoxingScene Rank: #3 at Welterweight
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 1 (Victor Ortiz)

Pre-Fight: Speed – Alvarez B; Lopez B
Pre-Fight: Power – Alvarez B+; Lopez B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Alvarez B-; Lopez B-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Alvarez B+; Lopez B+

Showtime definitely has the less attractive main event.  This is a stay busy fight for Canelo Cunningham, perceptually, without Lopez’s Ortiz upset.  Alvarez isn't as quick as Ortiz, and Lopez will have some reach on him, but the heavy hands, particularly the jab of Alvarez, won't let Lopez get off enough to spring the upset.  Lopez is tough, and he’ll surge to stay in it in spots, but ultimately the steady, consistent approach of Alvarez will be enough for the decision if not a stoppage.

The real corker on Showtime’s show comes in the chief support bout.  For as long as it lasts, this fight will be high on drama.  Why?  It’s simple.  The end can come at any moment.

Jhonny Gonzalez
Titles: WBC Featherweight (2011-Present, 4 Defenses)
Previous Titles: WBO Bantamweight (2005-07, 2 Defenses)
Height: 5’7
Weight: 125 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 125.4 lbs.
Hails from: Mexico City, Mexico
Record: 52-7, 45 KO, 3 KOBY

BoxingScene Rank: #4 at Featherweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 8-3, 6 KO, 3 KOBY
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 8 (Adonis Rivas, Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, Mark Johnson, Fernando Montiel, Irene Pacheco, Mauricio Pastrana, Hozumi Hasegawa, Elio Rojas)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 3 (Israel Vazquez, Gerry Penalosa, Toshiaki Nishioka)

Daniel Ponce De Leon 

Age: 32
Titles: None
Previous Titles: WBO Super Bantamweight (2005-08, 6 Defenses)

Height: 5’5
Weight: 125.5 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 127.1 lbs.
Hails from: Huntington Park, California (Born in Mexico)
Record: 43-4, 35 KO, 1 KOBY
BoxingScene Rank: #9 at Featherweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 7-1, 4 KO, 1 KOBY
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 1 (Gerry Penalosa)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 4 (Celestino Caballero, Juan Manuel Lopez, Adrien Broner, Yuriorkis Gamboa)

Pre-Fight: Speed – Gonzalez B; De Leon B-
Pre-Fight: Power – Gonzalez A; De Leon A
Pre-Fight: Defense – Gonzalez C; De Leon C
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Gonzalez B; De Leon B

De Leon has a little better chin, but Gonzalez has shown sturdier legs at 126 than he had at lower weights.  It is perhaps the weight he always should have been at, or at least the one he should have been at sooner.  Factor in a height advantage and sharper technique for Gonzalez and the pick here is the WBC champ keeping his strap and current momentum.


…there is one x-factor to keep an eye on all night.  De Leon has improved over the years, sometimes sacrificing power for volume offense.  He’s struggled against upper level foes most of the time, but he’s a southpaw with pop.  Two of Gonzalez’s knockout losses in title fights, against Penalosa and Nishioka, came against southpaws.  Neither of them has the single shot crack De Leon can generate.  Gonzalez may be the technically sounder fighter, but De Leon is in this thing as long as both men are standing.

Long before that fight, long before most of the main fights in Las Vegas, gets started, fight fans in Germany will be treated to what could be a fantastic little battle for the Cruiserweight crown.

Yoan Pablo Hernandez 

Age: 27
Titles: IBF Cruiserweight (2011-Present, 1 Defense); Lineal World Cruiserweight (2012-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 6’4
Weight: 199.95
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 198.75 lbs.
Hails from: Halle an der Saale, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany (Born in Cuba)
Record: 26-1, 13 KO, 1 KOBY
Record in Major Title Fights: 2-0 (3-0, 1 KO including interim title fights)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 1 (Steve Cunningham)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 1 (Wayne Braithwaite)


Troy Ross
Age: 37
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’11

Weight: 193.34
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 193.05 lbs.
Hails from: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Record: 25-2, 16 KO, 1 KOBY
BoxingScene Rank: #7 at Cruiserweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 0-1, 1 KOBY
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 0
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 1 (Cunningham)

Pre-Fight: Speed – Hernandez B; Ross B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Hernandez B; Ross B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Hernandez B; Ross B
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Hernandez B+; Ross B+

Ross is best remembered in the boxing world for winning the final U.S. season of the reality “The Contender” series.  When the series closed, he appeared to have as much promise as any of the show’s winners.  Like too many of the participants, he has been plagued by inactivity.

With a little better luck, he’d already have the IBF belt on the line this weekend.  He dropped Steve Cunningham in his lone title shot only for the fight to be stopped on a cut the following round.  He has waited a long time for a second chance, and at 37 this may be his last.  He has his work cut out for him.  Hernandez showed growth from the first to the second Cunningham fight. 

However, the champion still has questions about his chin and stamina and Ross can crack.  The upset is the choice here, Ross making good on a long life in the ring with a knockout sometime in the second half of the fight.

Cliff’s Notes…

Whew, that’s a lot of fights.  Here are a few more picks on a super busy weekend…On the undercard of Martinez-Chavez, the best fight might be one no one is talking about.  Roman Martinez (25-1, 16 KO) always makes for the violence and should have enough to upend Miguel Beltran Jr. (27-1, 17 KO) for a vacant belt at 130 lbs…Guillermo Rigondeuax (10-0, 8 KO) should successfully defend his 122 lb. belt against Roberto Marroquin (22-1, 15 KO) though he might have to work for it…In non-title Middleweight action, Matthew Macklin (28-4, 19 KO) should rebound from a knockout loss to Martinez earlier this year with a win over former Jr. Middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine (33-2-1, 19 KO)…Elsewhere in Vegas, fans waiting for Alvarez-Lopez will most likely see new Bantamweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (20-0, 11 KO) continue his rise to prominence with a decision over former U.S. Olympian and Flyweight titlist Eric Morel (46-3, 23 KO)…Finally, all-action banger Marcos Maidana (31-3, 28 KO) should have enough to get by the larger Jesus Soto Karass (26-7-3, 17 KO) in non-title Welterweight action.  If he does, can we get a little Maidana-Lucas Matthysse action?  Please?  Alas, that will wait for another day.  This Saturday gives us plenty to anticipate for now…Enjoy the shows.

Report Card Picks 2012: 41-14

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 09-15-2012

[QUOTE=Ravens Fan;12515365]The C on his keyboard must be broken.[/QUOTE] LOL...nah. There's two on that piece for the Featherweights. I was thinking when I wrote that he's gotten better at riding some shots etc. It was overly generous.

Comment by Ravens Fan on 09-15-2012

[QUOTE=!! Shawn;12515142]Good write up. Just a little curious how you ended up with B for defense with Chavez.[/QUOTE] The C on his keyboard must be broken.

Comment by crold1 on 09-15-2012

[QUOTE=!! Shawn;12515142]Good write up. Just a little curious how you ended up with B for defense with Chavez.[/QUOTE] B- and it's too high.

Comment by Johnny Dough on 09-15-2012

[QUOTE=ddangerous;12515013]Got the DVR set and the PPV paid for. Let's do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :boxing: :boxing: :boxing: :boxing:[/QUOTE] Same story here too pal, it's gonna be a hell of a night.

Comment by !! Shawn on 09-15-2012

Good write up. Just a little curious how you ended up with B for defense with Chavez.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Jean Pascal Not Yet Ready For Ring Return, Says Trainer Photo: Victor Terrazas, Eduardo Hernandez on Weight For War Vargas: It's My Time, After I Beat Pacquiao - A Star Will Be Born! Erislandy Lara Still Has a Target on The Back of Gennady Golovkin Photos: Luis Nery, Richie Mepranum Set For War in Tijuana Joselito Velasquez, Mexican Olympian, To Be Trained By Robles Wladimir Klitschko, Lucas Browne Far Apart On Money For 12/10 Photos: Canelo is Officially Belted in Puerto Rico By The WBO Cotto Says Canelo Rematch is a Subject For Discussion Danny Williams Returns, Faces Ali Eren Demirezen in Hamburg Edis Tatli Takes on Manuel Lancia on December 17 Canelo vs. Saunders Showdown Fully Backed By WBO Prez Weights: David Lemieux, Cristian Fabian Rios Ready To Fight Eggington Predicts Damage: I'm Going To Do a Job on Gavin Jeff Horn Ready For IBF Strap: 100%, Bring on Errol Spence! Hooker Plans on Testing Perez's Chin Early on Kovalev vs. Ward Marin, Pintor Make Weight For Boxeo Telemundo Season Finale Photo: Micki Nielsen, Kevin Lerena Ready For Battle Abel Sanchez Very Confident That Andy Ruiz Beats Joseph Parker Frampton: I'll Make it Two-Nil, Santa Cruz Only Fights One Way! Golovkin's Coach: I Doubt Canelo Will Last Eight or Nine Rounds Jeff Horn Crushes Rico Mueller As Title Shot Nears David Haye: Fans Want Me To Smash Tony Bellew, Shut Him Up Joshua Taylor Tabbed To Become World Champion By McGuigan Tim Bradley: I Need To Retire A Winner, Capture One More Title Eric Molina: I'll Fight Anthony Joshua or David Price on Dec. 10 Canelo: It Would Be an Honor To Rematch Miguel Cotto Kevin Lerena Confident of Knocking Micki Nielsen Out Dejan Zlaticanin: I'm Fighting Mikey Garcia on January 28 Custio Clayton Stops Ramses Agaton in Eight Rounds in Montreal WBO Prez To Canelo Critics: Why Did Golovkin Reject Andre Ward! Terence Crawford Seeks Foe For 12/10, Antonio Orozco Next? Chavez Sr. Expects His Son To Return Stronger, Better Than Ever Jessie Magdaleno, Oscar Valdez Discuss Their PPV Fights Golovkin, Sanchez Frown at Golden Boy's Offer To Face Canelo Charlo-Williams, Cuellar-Mares, Promoted By Schaefer, on Dec. 10 Photos: LaRon Mitchell, Scott Alexander Ready For Battle Photos: Valdez, Magdaleno Putting in Work For PPV Fights Golovkin's Promoter Willing To Make Concessions To Get Canelo David Price: If I Land Joshua, I'm Going in There To Do Damage

Latest Active Forum Threads