Following his recent defeat of the Irish Middleweight Andy Lee in the seventh round in El Paso in a defence of his WBC title, the Mexican Prince-ling Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr will finally face off against the Argentine Sergio Martinez, widely regarded as the true Middleweight champion of the world on the 15th September at the Thomas and Mack Centre in Las Vegas.
Since the WBC outrageously decided to strip Martinez of their Middleweight title in order to help push forward the case of the younger Chavez, whose father was their champion at Light-Welterweight from the late 1980s and in the mid 1990s, there have been many fight fans and figures within the press around the world who have continued to regard the 36 year old Argentine as the true Middleweight Champion of the World having defeated Kelly Pavlik for the WBC and WBO titles.
Following up that victory, Martinez belted out Pavlik’s fellow American Paul Williams in the second round, widely regarded as the knockout of the year in 2010, before being stripped and upgraded as “Diamond Champion” by the WBC to allow the Young Prince to be crowned in defeating the fast handed but light punching Sebastian Zbik on points.
Since his coronation as the WBC champion at 11 stone 6lbs [160 pounds] Chavez Jnr has defended his title against the likes of durable but not outstanding fighters in the shape of American Peter Mandredo and fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio, who he would defeat by fifth round stoppage and on points respectively.
In his most recent fight, Chavez Jnr halted tall Irish Southpaw Andy Lee in seven rounds in Texas by pressurising and cutting of the ring and launching the left hook to the liver in a manner that reminded many a fight fan around the world of his father in his majestical pomp.
Since the training switch from his uncles to current trainer of the year Freddie Roach, Chavez Jnr has improved his conditioning considerably while upgrading his defence and punching ability to fully maximise his power and strength.
However, against Martinez, King of the Middleweights, Chavez Jnr will face the toughest test of his professional career.
Martinez, a shorter, quick handed southpaw, with terrific footwork and power which has produced stoppages in his last two fights against former British and European Middleweight champions Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin, respectively, while Martinez waited for the Prince-ling to take him on.
Finally, the man they call El Maravilla been granted the opportunity to wrestle back his crown from Chavez Jnr and to place the young prince firmly in his place while afterward, Martinez pursues the big money match ups at Middleweight.
In terms of opponents faced, Martinez has clearly met the higher level of opposition, having inflicted the first loss on then Middleweight king Kelly Pavlik on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City back in 2010, going 1-1 with former WBO Welterweight boss Paul Williams, losing a controversial points decision back in 2009 before Martinez gained his retribution up at Middleweight with a destructive second round knockout.
There was an eighth round stoppage over former WBO Light-Middleweight king Serhiy Dzinziruk, a draw over former Welterweight champion Kermit Cintron and two recent knockout wins over former British and European Champions and top 10 ranked Middleweights Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin.
In contrast, Chavez Jnr has predominately fought B list fighters on his slate due to his limited amateur career in his native Mexico prior to his decision to follow his father’s footsteps into the professional square circle.
Standing 6ft 1 to Martinez’s 5ft 11 and regularly outweighing his opponents by around 12-15lbs, Chavez Jnr would have plenty of weight and strength to bully the smaller but quicker Martinez around the ring. However, Martinez has superior footwork and hand speed in comparison to Chavez Jnr and the additional motivation to win back the title he was outrageously stripped off by the WBC.
But, it can be argued that Martinez did not look convincing in his performances against Barker and Macklin and could be a sign that age is potentially catching up with the Argentinean icon.
It is without doubt the toughest fight of the year to call, but this writer belives Chavez Jnr's youth and superior strength could potentially see him victorious and a tough back and forth fight against Martinez.
But we will have to wait three months to obtain our answer to the question of “will the young prince unsurp the old king?”
Iain Langmaid can be contacted on
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