By Luis Sandoval
A fight that many boxing fans thought would never come to fruition is finally upon us as WBC Middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will defend his title against Sergio Martinez who many consider to be the best of the division. The mega fight will take place on September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Chavez’s head trainer Freddie Roach said from the beginning he wanted the Martinez fight. He felt Chavez was ready and would beat Martinez who’s been chasing a fight for Chavez for over a year.
Roach spoke to BoxingScene about the fight and while he admits it’s a big challenge, he’s also excited and feels Chavez has only gotten better.
“I’m excited about the fight. It’s obviously a big challenge. [Chavez] proved himself in his last fight. He fought the best fight of his life. He’s getting better all the time. Sergio is a great athlete. Very quick so his speed is going to be hard to deal with but we’ll have our bases covered” said Roach.
Roach will begin working with Chavez immediately after the Amir Khan-Danny Garcia fight where he’ll be working Khan’s corner. They will do an 8 week training camp in preparation for the fight.
Chavez has definitely improved since last year. His size and strength alone should be a cause of concern for Martinez who considers himself to be a small Middleweight. One knock people might point out in Chavez has been his slow starts in his last couple fights. Most recently against Andy Lee, he didn’t start warming up until around the 4th round. I asked Roach if that is something they will work out but apparently it was done on purpose by Chavez Jr.
“No, it was planned. [Chavez] said the first couple rounds he’s going to feel him out, see what he’s got. He’s getting to be a better and better fighter all the time. For him to go in and tell me the first few rounds he’s going to feel him out a little bit and then turn the switch after 3 [rounds]- not everyone can do that in the world. I think that’s his maturity and he’s just becoming a better fighter” revealed the Hall of Fame trainer.
We’ll find out just how good Chavez Jr has become in few months when he takes on the biggest challenge and fight of his career in route to Middleweight supremacy.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.