Sport : Boxing

The son also rises

14th September 2012, 11:19am

Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr: Backed to win on points

Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr: Backed to win on points

Derek Bilton looks ahead to this weekend's action and is backing Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr to beat Sergio Martinez.

4pts win Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr to win on points at 13/4 (bet365)

4pts win Alvarez to win in rounds 1-6 at 9/4 (Ladbrokes)

Las Vegas is the setting for what could prove a modern classic his weekend when Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr clash at the Thomas & Mack Center.

There is genuine animosity in the air as the two face off for the WBC middleweight belt and bragging rights as to just who the best 160lb fighter is in the world.

The evergreen Martinez has been punching for pay since 1997, a year when young Julio was preparing to leave junior school as a scrawny 11-year-old.

There is a huge gulf in terms of experience and Martinez is bitter about how the career of Chavez has been favourably handled. He has a point.

The WBC in their infinite wisdom decided a while back to upgrade Martinez to 'Diamond' champion status so that Chavez could box for their regular title.

He did this by beating Sebastian Zbik in June of last year and despite the fact he has defended the belt three times since against Peter Manfredo Jnr, Marco Antonio Rubio and Andy Lee there is a feeling in the trade that opportunity has knocked for Chavez because of his name.

He is after all the fighting son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Snr, arguably the most revered and certainly the most decorated Hispanic boxer of them all.

It's true that Chavez Jnr has caught a few breaks owing to his heritage but it's also true that the boy can fight a bit, as evidenced last time out as he bashed up quality Irishman Lee in El Paso.

It took plucky Martinez more than a decade to make a name for himself in the sport and the Argentine had to take his show on the road to places like Spain, the US and Britain where he is best remembered for two fine wins against Richard 'The Secret' Williams.

His best results are wins against Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams and his 49-2-2 (28) record certainly stands up to scrutiny.

Riled at how he was relieved of his treasured WBC belt to make way for Chavez, Sergio is promising to make the Mexican pay and this is why this fight is one of the most eagerly anticipated of the year.

The key to winning the fight for Martinez is movement, utilising that blinding speed and trying to play the matador role in Sin City.

Chavez for his part needs to get close to his opponent and take away his legs by going to the body.

Martinez is a warm favourite with the odds men but he is 37 now and showed signs he might not be the fighter he was in wins against Brits Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker.

Chavez is huge for the weight and also has a good chin. This allied to the fact he is the 'house fighter' in this one, makes me lean towards him pulling off a mild upset by winning (perhaps contentiously) on points.

Elsewhere this weekend another Mexican who is on the up and up, Saul Alvarez, defends his WBC light-middleweight belt against Josesito Lopez.

Alvarez has just turned 22 but is already 40-0-1 (29) as a pro. He genuinely looks the goods and having already beaten men of the calibre of Kermit Cintron and Shane Mosley this looks like a cynical bit of match-making.

Lopez has a solid 30-4 (18) record and gets the gig courtesy of his stunning upset win over 'Vicious' Victor Ortiz. However in truth the California native is but a light-welterweight so the odds are stacked firmly against him this weekend.

And given that Alvarez has a healthy 70% KO ratio I reckon that 'Canelo' is a fair bet at 9/4 to get this boxed off inside six rounds.

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