LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04: (R-L) Referee Jack Reiss, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Mexico and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. of Mexico pose following the WBC World Middleweight Title bout with Sebastian Zbik of Germany at Staples Center on June 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
There is a lot at stake in this Saturday's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez boxing match on HBO PPV. For Martinez, it's a chance to prove that he truly is one of the best in the world. And most boxing analysts tend to believe that's exactly what will happen Saturday night - the more experienced, more skilled Martinez will shut down the young, cocky Chavez.
But there's another important question at play here - is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for real? Throughout his career, the perceived answer to that has been "no." Handed a fast rise up the ranks thanks to his name and background, Chavez has often been seen as a fighter without the skills to match his position in the sport.
And yet, as his career has progressed, Chavez has improved. Perhaps it's simply gaining more experience, or perhaps it's his work with Freddie Roach, but Chavez has looked more and more impressive in recent fights. And of all of his fights, none have been as impressive as his last - a WBC Middleweight title fight against Andy Lee from this past June.
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HBO now has the full Chavez vs. Lee fight available, and it's a good one to watch in order to get a read on Chavez. This is a fight that shows what he does best - eat shots while pushing forward and using hooks to the body and head to wear down his smaller opponents, then finish them off when the time comes. It's an effective strategy that makes good use of Chavez's physical abilities, and you can see it on full display against Lee.
I doubt Sergio Martinez is taking Chavez lightly. But if he is ignoring the fighter Chavez has become, he could find himself in some trouble. Join us here at Bloody Elbow Saturday night to see how it all plays out.
Full fight video in the complete article.