WBC flyweight titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez was arguably the breakout new star in boxing last year, scoring an upset win over Andrew Selby in Mexico before heading to the UK in August for a fight with then-titlist Charlie Edwards, which ended in a controversial no-contest.
When Edwards vacated the belt instead of fighting Martinez again, the now 25-year-old Mexican action star faced Cristofer Rosales for the vacant title on Dec. 20 in Phoenix, winning via ninth round stoppage.
After a successful title defense in February against Jay Harris, the 112-pounder is looking for big fights in the division, and has called out WBO titleholder Kosei Tanaka and IBF titleholder Moruti Mthalane, hoping to entice one of them to come to Mexico, though that’s probably not a sticking point.
“I just want the best fights. Whatever [promoter] Eddie Hearn and [trainer] Eddy Reynoso decide,” Martinez said on Peleamundo. “The best fights with the best purses. I just want all the belts and stay champion for a while.
“I’d like to unify the belts. A good fight would be against Kosei Tanaka. He’s an undefeated, strong fighter in the flyweight division. That would be a good fight for me. Mthalane is a great fight, too, but it’s up to Eddie and Eddy. I know he has a belt. I have a belt. He’s not an exception. I’ll fight him, too.”
Martinez (16-1, 12 KO) also recalled signing with Hearn after the fight with Edwards, where the young Mexican physically overwhelmed the defending titleholder and seemed to score a third round stoppage win before the result was changed to a no-contest in the ring.
When Martinez signed with Matchroom in October, he was quickly slotted onto a card in December to fight for the now-vacant belt, and said Hearn was even further impressed when he won the belt.
“Eddie liked the way I fought and moved in [the Rosales] fight,” Martinez said. “I know it’s just the start of many great things to come.”
Martinez is definitely picking up real steam as a fan favorite, and with Eddy Reynoso training him, the sky could really be the limit. He seems to have tremendous instincts in the ring, and while he’s certainly not looking untouchable or unbeatable at this point, he’s definitely looking like someone fans will want to tune in to see every time out.