HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 19: World Middleweight Champion Julio Chavez Jr. makes his way to the ring to defend his belt against Peter Manfredo Jr. at Reliant Arena at Reliant Park on November 19, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
It's a good time to be a boxing fan. Right now, we're in the midst of a heavy two weeks for the sport, which saw Andre Ward's amazing win over Chad Dawson, Vitali Klitschko do his thing, and will see Canelo Alvarez in action. But in these busy two weeks, the fight that most has me excited is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez. Chavez vs. Martinez airs this Saturday night on HBO PPV.
This is a fantastic fight between one of the sport's absolute elite in Martinez, and the cocky young gun in Chavez. It's also a fight that should hopefully appeal to an audience outside of the boxing die-hards, as both men have a crowd pleasing style, plus bring a great story to the table. Add in some bad blood from each side and you have a fight to watch. And I'm not the only one who thinks so.
To get yourself excited for the fight, I strongly urge you to check out Scott Christ's in-depth preview over at Bad Left Hook. It's a unique and different take on the traditional sports preview, and is a must read. Here's a quick excerpt:
Martinez has been told he's great. And he believes in his ability and what he's done with his career. But there's no doubt it gnaws at him that no matter who pats him on the back, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has been given a private, paved road to the stardom he's not been allowed to reach despite all the work he's put in.
His road, from Argentina to Spain and the United Kingdom, and finally to the United States and a little place in Oxnard, California, has been a snowy mountain pass in comparison, filled with tire-blowing puddles that come from nowhere.
This is the night that Sergio Martinez has been waiting for his entire career. He's 37 years old. He's one of the best fighters on the planet. And in his mind, no smug, grinning, punk kid who doesn't know the true meaning of boxing's newest cliche -- hard work! dedication! -- is going to take this glory away from him.
All that, and more, written to go along with the music of Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis. Which sounds weird, but is great. Seriously, go read it.
For a different style of preview, there's also the excellent HBO fight preview video, which is just 2:30, but gets across the story of the fight quite well. Check out the video in the full entry, and get ready for Saturday night.