Al Bernstein of The Boxing Channel delivers his Keys to Victory for tonight's Chavez Jr vs Martinez fight on HBO pay-per-view. We'll have live round-by-round coverage of the event tonight, starting at 9 pm EDT.
Bernstein's Keys to Victory: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
1. Think defense
2. Push him to the ropes
3. Work the body often
"For Chavez Jr, think defense a bit. He tends to just attack, leaving his hands low, looking to land offensive punches. That will not work against the quick-handed and accurate Martinez. Now he's gotta push Martinez against the ropes -- that's where Sergio can be had, and that's where Chavez tends to just rake fighters over the coals. And how does he do it? With good body work. When he goes to the body with those left hooks, and then doubles with it to the head, Chavez Jr is a wrecking machine.
Bernstein's Keys to Victory: Sergio Martinez
1. Don't look for KO
2. Stay off the ropes
3. Throw combinations
"For Martinez, I think it's important he doesn't look for the KO. Yes, he has scored knockouts in his title defenses, and of course there was the big knockout against Paul Williams that everyone remembers, but in this case, it's about landing punches that will lead to a knockout. He's gotta stay off the ropes. As I mentioned, Chavez Jr works very well when he gets opponents there. And combinations are the key. Chavez Jr's defense is not the best. If he throws a lot of combinations, he could bust him up or discourage Chavez Jr as this fight goes on."
"Martinez carries the honor of Argentina with him, and Chavez Jr carries not only the famous name of his father, but also the support of all the great Mexican boxing fans. Some have said this fight is the Super Bowl of Hispanic boxing. In the end, though, it's a battle of two men of slightly different boxing generations, with different approaches to life and to boxing.
"Now Chavez Jr has a title that was stripped from Martinez outside the ring. And Sergio wants it back. Chavez Jr wants the respect of the boxing world, and a win over Martinez would surely get him back. When you put the global and personal implications together, it makes for a superfight."