By Jackie Kallen
OK, I have a new dream fight. I want to see Julio Cesar Chavez, jr. face off against Sergio Martinez. Depending on when this fight will take place, it could be a very interesting contest.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
If the fight happened next month, I have little doubt that Martinez would prevail. He has knocked out more than half of his 52 opponents, is a southpaw, and has faced some impressive opposition.
But if Chavez, jr. continues improving under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, the odds will shift. Chavez, jr. has the youth advantage, the height advantage and a 67% percent KO rate. He looks better with each outing and his win over Peter Manfredo, jr. was a good one.
Chavez, jr. was ahead on all the scorecards when the fight was stopped in round 5. He was thoroughly dominating and roughed Manfredo up easily. By the time it was over, Manfredo, jr. was ready to retire. Not just from the fight–but from the sport.
From a marketing standpoint, a Chavez, jr./Martinez is very attractive. Literally. Both of these Latin studs have matinee idol looks. Even women who don’t follow the sport might want to take a peek at that combination. Also, there is the natural friction between a Mexican and an Argentinean. South America versus Mexico.
I doubt Team Chavez will risk it all too soon. Even though Chavez, jr. has had 45 fights, he is still learning. He is a work in progress. Having been a teenager when he turned pro, he has grown up in front of our eyes. Both as a man and as a fighter. To date, no one has been able to beat him.
I am, admittedly, a big Martinez fan. He is one of my favorite fighters. But I have grown to really like Chavez, jr. When these two meet up (and hopefully they will) I will be at the edge of my chair. Another few good wins for Chavez, jr. and he will be ready to go up to that level. Whether he wins or not, I can’t predict. Today–Martinez, jr. wins. Next year–who knows?
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen