Martinez vs. Chavez Jr.: Keys to Victory for Both Fighters in Title Bout

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2012

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 19:  Peter Manfredo Jr., right, ducks to avoid being hit with a left hook from Julio Chavez Reliant Arena at Reliant Park on November 19, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will put his WBC middleweight championship on the line against The Ring middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in what is sure to be an exciting unification title bout.

With both men holding separate titles in the middleweight division, there's a lot on the line in this fight. Not only will the winner lay claim to two of the prominent belts in the division, they will have proven their legitimacy in terms of pound-for-pound rankings.

Here's what each fighter will need to look to do if they want to come out on top in this premier boxing showdown.


Sergio Martinez

Martinez comes into this fight as the slight favorite (-210 according to Bovada) despite two more losses on his record than Chavez Jr.

What could be the difference for Martinez is experience. Yes, Chavez Jr. has nearly as many fights with 48, but he's never faced the type of competition that Martinez has and it will be interesting to see how that lack of big-time fight experience manifests itself in the fight.

If Martinez can get off to a quick start and utilize his hand speed early on, he could shake Chavez's confidence early on.

Martinez has struck early more often than not in his recent fights. Finishing his last four fights by getting off to a good start and battering his opponents until they either retire or can't go on. If Martinez can establish his pace with Chavez early on, he'll be in a position to wear him out as the fight progresses.

A fast start is a must for Martinez to show Chavez he is superior.


Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Cesar Chavez Jr. is the underdog here (+170 according to Bovada) and he'll need his best performance to date if he wants to unseat Martinez.

The key for Chavez will be to establish his power early on, going to the body and taking away Martinez's advantage from the outset so he can keep up with Martinez in the later rounds. Chavez is a big middleweight—often times coming in at nearly 180 pounds by fight time. He'll need to muscle Martinez into tight space and blast away when he can, he can't afford to chase Martinez early.

For Chavez, the fight ultimately comes down to spacing. He must box from close quarters if he wants to get ahead of Martinez

Chavez hasn't been tested that often in his career and has been able to get away with mistakes that will cost him against Martinez. If he doesn't come into this fight 100 percent focused, he'll be on the losing side of this bout.