This Friday night on DAZN from Phoenix, two Julio Cesars return to action, one in a flyweight title bout, the other looking to squeeze the last bit of potential prime he might possibly have.
BLH staffers make their picks for Jacobs-Chavez and Martinez-Rosales.
Julio Cesar Martinez vs Cristofer Rosales
A really nice matchup, flying way under the radar for most. Martinez and Rosales are both top 10 flyweights, Rosales a former titleholder who upset Daigo Higa on the road and then dropped the belt to Charlie Edwards, who would later get thrashed by Martinez only for the fight to end in a no-contest that BLH commenters are still gnashing their teeth over as if Martinez didn’t commit a clear foul.
Martinez is a nasty little guy, a mean puncher, likes going to the body, and has put in work on Andrew Selby and Edwards in his last two fights. I love fighters like Martinez. BUT! Rosales is a good boxer, has some notable physical advantages, and this could very much wind up a “styles make fights” thing; Rosales has losses to Selby and Edwards, but he might have the style to give Martinez fits anyway. Rosales has also never been stopped. I believe this one has a good chance of getting very, very interesting, but I’m going to give the nod to Martinez in a close and debatable fight. Martinez SD-12
I can see things heating up in this fight. Martinez is a good young fighter who comes forward with good balance and looks to throw power shots in combination. Rosales also has some pretty good balance but something about his timing seems off and he doesn’t throw punches with quite the leverage and ferocity as Martinez. I think that will end up making all the difference once the fighters start exchanging, which I have little question that they will. I’ve seen Rosales with a propensity to step into punches as he looks to land his own and that’s a mistake I don’t think he’ll be able to afford to make in this outing. So ultimately I see Rosales getting strafed with some hard shots until he gets broken down in the second half. Martinez TKO-10
Patrick L. Stumberg
Best fight of the weekend, hands down. Martinez is my favorite breed of fighter: the Vicious Little Bastard (tm). I’m not just referring to aggression, but to the devil-may-care, two-fisted, “fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless” mauling that Giovanni Segura dished out back in the day. While Rosales is the greater technician, he’s every bit as hard-nosed, brutal, and willing to knuckle down and trade heat until someone loses consciousness.
Though my heart’s with Martinez, this looks rough for him. He’s facing a three-inch height disadvantage and has more than half a foot of reach to deal with, and considering he’s totally bereft of a jab, that’s going to be tricky. Even if he does manage to get inside, Rosales is more than capable of holding his own at close range. Neither of their chins are difficult to find, so a brutal finish isn’t out of the question, but their mutual toughness likely produces 12 rounds of nonstop action. Rosales UD-12
Martinez has had a hell of a year so far, stopping the highly-rated Andrew Selby and dropping (and stopping illegally) Charlie Edwards in controversial fashion. Martinez looked all-wrong for the skilled Edwards in August and would already be world champion but for a rush of blood to the head.
Martinez’s aggression and power at flyweight look a dangerous combination with big things expected of the 24-year-old at the turn of the year. Rosales has been around the division fighting 33 times in six years, dropping losses in his steps up against the likes of Edwards, Yafai and Andrew Selby in 2017.
A cross-over of opposition makes Martinez stand out as the clear favourite here, with come-forward all-action style looking likely to drown Rosales. This could be Martinez’s real coming-out party — Rosales could be stopped for the first time. Martinez TKO-9
And the staff winner is...
Julio Cesar Martinez (3-1)!
Daniel Jacobs vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
For the absolute laugh of it all, I want to pick Junior to win this fight, but I honestly can’t even come up with a fantasy situation where I find this to be remotely possible. Chavez wasn’t even that good when he was supposedly good; HBO declined to air him for years because they felt he was a phony, a guy with a famous name and a propped-up record. The only reason he got on their airwaves at all was Bob Arum called their bluff once and took Pacquiao-Mosley to Showtime, so HBO bent to get Pac back and Chavez kinda wound up part of the deal.
Julio is just a goofy guy who has never taken boxing all that seriously because he never really needed to, but even if he had, he just doesn’t have his father’s skill and nowhere near his father’s determination. This is a guy whose record is not just inflated by a lot of weak opponents, but by questionable decisions over the likes of Matt Vanda, Billy Lyell, Luciano Cuello, and Brian Vera. Jacobs is a very good fighter, has never quite been truly great in my estimation, but you can generally rely on him to put in a sturdy, professional performance, and the same just can’t be said for Chavez. Jacobs will roll, and if he feels like it, he’ll stop Chavez. My guess is he’s looking to make a statement at a new weight. Jacobs TKO-8
To even describe Julio Cesar Chavez Jr as a part-time professional fighter would be pretty generous. It’s been clear for a long while now that the Mexican fighter really only has a semblance of a career due to him carrying the namesake of his legendary father. His dedication to the craft, and the sport in general, is laughable, and let me not even get started on the “deserving” subject. Why is Chavez Jr even getting the chance to headline on this platform?! This fight serves no real purpose other than to bleed the last few drops of name value out of Chavez Jr and make some money along the way. It’s certainly not to establish Jacobs as a credible fighter.
So if you’re expecting Chavez Jr to come into this fight fully prepared and ready to make a serious go of it, I think you just haven’t been paying much attention for the better part of the last decade. Even a Jacobs at 75% should still be plenty to get past Chavez Jr in this outing. Jacobs is an actual professional who conducts himself that way. His opponent, not so much. The only real question I have here is not whether Jacobs wins, but how long it goes. Chavez Jr takes a pretty good beating and I don’t think Jacobs will overextend himself to force a stoppage, but I think he finds it anyway. Jacobs TKO-8
Patrick L. Stumberg
The amount of effort put towards wrangling Junior back into the ring baffles me. What intrigue is left? He’s bounced off of his ceiling over and over with diminishing impact. Maybe Matchroom can squeeze some mystique out of the matchup by playing up his legendarily shabby training and assuring fans that he’s actually shaped up this time, but that ship has sailed; you could slap a Battle Royale explosive collar on his neck set to detonate if he misses a day at the gym and you’d find his headless corpse in its skivvies within the week.
He’s been the same Junior for as long as I can remember. He’s big, he throws a lot of punches, and he’s physically durable despite the mental fortitude of a wet graham cracker. That’s consistently proven insufficient against upper-tier fighters, a category in which Jacobs firmly belongs. “The Miracle Man” boxes his way to a comfortable decision, potshotting his lumbering foe for the full 12 rounds. Jacobs UD-12
“Records are for DJs” is the perfectly apt saying for a fighter like Chavez Jr. He has somehow amassed a resume of 51-3-1 over his 16-year career and still manages to squeeze out the big-money contests without really deserving them. This is a prime example, with Eddie and DAZN chucking JC a healthy packet to showcase Danny Jacobs at his new weight.
The “Miracle Man” will be looking to make a statement in the super-middleweight waters with some big fights lined up in the new year. Jacobs is patient enough to know that Chavez may stick around in this fight, with the underdog’s whiskers one of the only traits still present from his middleweight reign at the start of the decade.
Still, I expect Jacobs to pick up a strap at 168 and if he is to do so, he should be blowing away guys like Chavez. It’ll probably be a frustrating watch until a late breakthrough. Jacobs TKO-11