By Miguel Rivera
Former two division world champion Sergio Martinez is giving his former opponent, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., a good shot to defeat Saul Canelo" Alvarez - if Chavez Jr. takes full control of his life and takes his training camp very seriously.
Martinez handed Chavez Jr. the first defeat of his pro career in September of 2012, when they collided in a very anticipated fight for the WBC middleweight title.
In the weeks leading up to that fight, the training camp of Chavez Jr. was a complete disaster. He was training at weird hours, holding workouts in his living room, no-showing scheduled training sessions with then head trainer Freddie Roach.
Once they met in the ring, the fight had a very dramatic ending. Martinez dominated the action for nearly ten and a half rounds. During the eleventh, the fight was slowing shifting. During the twelfth and final round, Chavez Jr. badly hurt and dropped Martinez. But he was too tired to finish off the Argentinean fighter, who saw the final bell to secure a twelve round unanimous decision.
Chavez Jr. will face Canelo, at a catch-weight of 164.5-pounds, on May 6th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The bout will have Chavez Jr. fighting at his lowest weight since the loss to Martinez.
For this fight, Chavez Jr. hired Hall of Fame trainer Nacho Beristain and conditioning coach Angel "Memo" Heredia.
"My point is, when I met Chavez Jr. I considered him to be a good boxer, he has all of the ingredients to be champion. He just has to take the reins of his workouts, his professional life. Once he takes the reins of his professional life, everything around him will change," Martinez told ESPN Deportes.
"Canelo Alvarez is a good champion, but for me he has not become a super champion, for me he is still lacking what's need to be a super champion. Probably over time he can make [his position more] concrete, but today I think he's had opponents [where things were set to his advantage]."
"If Junior is serious, if he trains as he should for this fight, for a fight of this magnitude - then he has clear and concrete possibilities of winning. I do not see Chavez Jr. being so disadvantaged [as a fighter] where a win over Canelo is out of reach. I see an even fight, where the winners will be the Mexican public and the public who love boxing."
Martinez also disagrees with the wide odds in Canelo's favor. He feels the fight should be 2-1, at most, for Canelo.