by David P. Greisman
Ronnie Shields (Chavez Jr.): “I’ve been back and forth on this fight. Chavez Jr. really impressed me with the Andy Lee fight. Sergio Martinez has always impressed me. I think this is going to be probably one of the best fights this year. It’s going to be really exciting from start to finish, but I just think Sergio Martinez, I don’t think he’s fought anybody as big as Chavez Jr.
“And Sergio, he really holds his power late, which is great in the sport of boxing, but with Chavez being so big and so much improved over the last three fights that he’s had — I’ve seen so much improvement — I just think the pressure he’s going to put on, Martinez will have to use his power early to keep Chavez off of him. I don’t see him really doing much as far as hurting Chavez Jr., because he seems to take a really good shot, so I’m going to say a close, close split decision for Chavez Jr.”
John Scully (Martinez): “I think Chavez is going to give Martinez a heck of a run for his money and will probably get more respect than ever even after a loss. At the end of the day, Martinez’s ability to stick and move, and having that loosey-goosey style he uses sometimes, will be enough for him to catch Chavez at the end of his punches enough to win what will be a 117-111, 116-112 type of decision.”
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (Chavez Jr.): “I like Chavez Jr. He showed me a lot. He showed me a lot in his last fight, with Andy Lee. I thought Andy Lee was going to give him a run for the money, but it was no contest after the third round. He showed how strong he was. Killer body shots. Andy Lee couldn’t move. I’m picking Chavez, because Martinez can move his head all day, but that body is going to remain right there. Martinez will probably get off a few good shots, and that Mexican machismo is going to be put to the test a little bit, but I think he’s going to rise to the occasion. Chavez, by late-rounds stoppage.”
Henry Ramirez (Martinez): “Martinez by decision. Martinez will use his superior foot- and hand speed to offset Chavez’s strength and size advantages.”
Sam Garcia (Chavez Jr.): “I’m going to go with Chavez Jr. I think if it was an even-level playing field based on size and everything, you’d kind of have to go with Martinez because of his tremendous skill and athleticism. But that’s not the case. Chavez Jr. is so much bigger. He’s got a big chin, and he’s really, really powerful and the conviction he throws in his punches. I’m going to have to go with Chavez Jr. I think he’ll get out-boxed in the beginning, and slowly but surely will overwhelm Sergio Martinez and TKO him in about the 10th or 11th round.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org