By Ivan G. Goldman
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. assisted by Freddie Roach in his corner has an excellent chance to defeat Sergio Martinez providing that early in the course of the match Freddie comes up behind Sergio and splits his skull open with a shovel. But I doubt even integrity-challenged referee Laurence Cole would let that happen. Heck, he might actually issue a warning for something like that.
Photo: Chris Farina/ Top Rank
Anyway, if they really do make the fight, it will generate plenty of interest and may be fun to watch. Or maybe not. Of course it’s impressive that young prince Chavez was able to stop Andy Lee Saturday night. For this he deserves congratulations. He’s risen from joke fighter to real fighter, with a string of tomato can opponents being gradually altered into flawed challengers. Chavez certainly makes good use of the rock-hard chin and powerful body attack that he inherited from his dad. He’s particularly effective when you order up a specially tailored ring the size of a bathtub. It’s reminiscent of the waist-high outfield fence they created for Babe Ruth. Then there’s that missing urine sample and the possibly sinister gloves. Combine the WBC with Texas and you get something that resembles a Florida election count.
But Andy Lee is no Martinez. And Chavez is to Martinez as duct tape is to a welding torch when you’ve got a metal bridge to repair. You get my drift. Speed kills. Ultra-speed kills in ultra-lopsided fashion. That’s a lot of conflicting images in one paragraph, but you can take it.
As I write this, an obscure website is claiming it has verification that Martinez-Chavez is a done deal
for Sept. 15, and lots of people are starting to believe it. Well, maybe it’s true. In this instant communications world of rumor, speculation, and unverified crap, yes, I concede that such a match is possible, but to paraphrase Mr. Wolf as he cautioned his oddly personable young murderer colleagues in Pulp Fiction, let’s not get disgustingly celebratory quite yet.
The date makes it all sound fishy, since that’s when Victor Ortiz is supposed to go up against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on a Golden Boy card. Does Top Rank’s Bob Arum really despise Golden Boy so much that he would go head to head with another pay-per-view card the same night just so he could screw his rivals? Sounds like ordering in an air strike on your own position in order to take out the enemy. It’s a desperate, crazy move, and Arum’s neither desperate nor crazy. But who am I to quarrel with an obscure website? Maybe wily Bob figures to elbow Golden Boy over to another night just for laughs. The truth will come out by and by.
Meanwhile, let’s go over the records of Chavez and Martinez, since it looks like they will fight this year or next. Actually, let’s let somebody else bore us with that stuff because we already know that the smaller Martinez has faced much more formidable opposition. I would add to that the fact that on the whole, athletic, tough Sergio has looked way better than Chavez while beating his more menacing opponents.
Chavez, though a genuine world middleweight titlist thanks to the Byzantine corruption of the WBC and its indomitable, speechifying, conniver-in-chief Jose Sulaiman, is improving nicely, but — allow me to put this delicately — Martinez would likely grind him into small digestible chunks. Remember the Alamo? Like that, but with Mexico on the losing end this time. Incidentally, Martinez, get this, owns the WBC “diamond” middleweight title. What’s that? Beats me, but you can bet that whatever it is, it extracts money from fighters and gets it into the hands Sulaiman’s Hole in the Wall Gang.
True, Martinez wasn’t his usual overwhelming self in his last outing against the UK’s Matthew Macklin, but when Martinez finally caught up to him in round eleven, it was goodnight Matthew and hello victory Number 49 for the man from Argentina. Throwing in Chavez against Martinez at this stage in his career is comparable to Golden Boy’s decision to toss Ortiz into the ring with Floyd Mayweather last year. One thing you can’t deny — it raked in plenty of money from disappointed fans. Sometimes promoters can’t resist hauling in a big pot with a mediocre hand. Here’s hoping Martinez-Chavez, should it really occur in three months, proves to be a better show than the night that Joe Cortez, always full of zany surprises, signaled two fighters to commence fighting without even looking at them or knowing where they were.
Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE