by Miguel Rivera & Rene Umanzor, notifight.com
WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32KOs) has greatly improved in his last couple of fights and his recent adjustments have caught the attention of his next opponent, Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez (49-2-2, 28KOs). Their HBO pay-per-view fight is scheduled for September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
"I'm more motivated for this fight than any other in my career. Something that I didn't even feel in my rematch with Paul Williams," Martinez said.
"I respect him as a boxer, and even more so after his last fight. When I said that he will need a baseball bat to exit there alive, it was a joke although I believe that it will be a very difficult fight."
In the past, Martinez made predictions of a one-sided knockout win. He now expects a very tough challenge and saw Chavez grow as a fighter, both physically and mentally. Martinez still predicts a victory by knockout but now he expects to face a more complete boxer in the ring.
"I've seen Chavez really evolve physically...very strong and durable. I saw him become more mature and with maturity that gives you the ability to control distances. He knew how to handle the distance with Andy Lee, and knew how and when to press - and previously he didn't know how to do it," Martinez said.