“That’s how focused Julio looks and that’s how strong he looks, so I’m looking to see him get Martinez out of there in round 10 or 11,” said Gibbons of Chavez, 26, who meets Martinez, 37, on HBO Pay Per View on Sept. 15 from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“I’ve worked with Chavez since about his fourth fight, and a guy like Sergio Martinez has four punches and runs around the ring like a ballerina, so he’s not beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.”
Gibbons believes that Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 knockouts) will look more impressive against RING champion Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) than he did in his last bout, a seventh-round knockout victory over southpaw challenger Andy Lee (28-1, 20 KOs) in June.
“Andy Lee really scared me. He was a tall, lanky guy who could punch and who had a wicked right hook But this guy, Martinez, has got four punches,” said Gibbons.
“So I had more concerns, as Chavez’s matchmaker, with Andy Lee because he was a tall, lanky, rangy, big, right hook puncher and Chavez turned him out and made him look like he couldn’t fight.”
In six straight wins under five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, Chavez has beaten previously undefeated Sebastian Zbik for his current belt, scored a fifth-round knockout over Peter Manfredo Jr., dominated hard-hitting Marco Antonio Rubio for a unanimous decision and vanquished Lee.
Gibbons said Chavez has been sparring at the Wild Card Boxing Club opposite southpaws Alexander Johnson (12-1, 5 KOs), of Oxon Hill, Md., and Chad Trahan (6-0, 5 KOs), of Lafayette, La.
“The sparring has been very good,” said Gibbons. “They’ve been getting the job done for what you need.”
Martinez, however, has vowed to punish Chavez Jr. in the quest of his sixth straight win, and his fifth consecutive knockout during that run as he has done to his past five opponents.
Former undisputed middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, former two-time welterweight titleholder Paul Williams and top contender Matthew Macklin were all left with badly bleeding faces after having lost to the Argentine.
Previously unbeaten Darren Barker suffered a perforated eardrum during an 11th-round stoppage loss to Martinez, and previously unbeaten Sergei Dzinziruk was dropped five times during an eighth-round knockout loss.
“This will be a very difficult fight and I have no doubts about that because Chavez Jr. is young and he is strong and he is determined,” said Martinez, during a Q&A interview with RingTV.com
“I think that Chavez Jr. will be extremely motivated by the Mexican public, which will be very supportive of him, so it will be very difficult. But in the end, Chavez Jr. will look the same way as my last few opponents. I will really punish him and by the 10th or the 11th round, I will knock him out.”
During a recent interview, Chavez cited “a bad leg” that was later called, “muscle fatigue in his left thigh” by ESPN’s Bernado Osuna.
Asked if the leg would be a problem against Martinez, Gibbons said, “absolutely not.”
RAFAEL MARQUEZ-WILFREDO VAZQUEZ JR. ON OCT. 6
In other news, Gibbons said Rafael Marquez (41-7, 37 KOs) and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-2-1, 18 KOs) will clash on Oct. 6 at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in a bout that was resecheduled from Aug. 4 due to a hand injury suffered by Marquez.
ROBERT GUERRERO FIGHTS FOR A GOOD CAUSE AGAINST SELCUK AYDIN
Southpaw Robert Guerrero still is basking in the afterglow of last month’s Showtime-televised unanimous decision over Turkish-born, previously unbeaten Selcuk Aydin of Hamburg, Germany, which was accomplished before a hometown crowd at HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif., with his cancer-surviving wife, Casey Guerrero, and her donor, Katharina Zech, of Germany, sitting at ringside.
“It was awesome to have that whole combination at once. Being in my home town, having my wife’s donor there and my wife there healthy and enjoying the fight,” said Guerrero, whose wife met her donor for the first time earlier this year.
“That’s one of the things that we’ve been pushing hard on is bringing awareness to the cause. Like I always say, if you have the opportunity to fight in front of millions of people around the world, you do what you can do to bring awareness. The piece they did on my wife and my family was tremendous. There’s hope in humanity and there are good people out there, no matter where they’re from around the world.”
In March of 2010, Guerrero chose to pull out of a scheduled clash with Michael Katsidis in order to be with Casey during her recovery from a bone marrow transplant.
Robert Guerrero’s devotion to his wife and family were recognized when he received The Bill Crawford Award for Courage In The Face of Adversity from the Boxing Writers Association of America last year.
By defeating Aydin (23-1, 17 KOs), the 29-year-old Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KOs) earned his 14th straight win during a run that has included nine knockouts and became the WBC’s interim titleholder in his welterweight debut as well as the mandatory challenger to WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.
A former two-time featherweight titleholder who also held a major belt at 130 pounds and two interim crowns at lightweight, Guerrero was coming off a unanimous decision victory over Katsidis for the WBO and WBA’s interim lightweight belts in April of last year.
In September, Guerrero had arthroscopic surgery which repaired a torn tendon in the rotator cuff of his shoulder. The injury forced him to cancel an August bout with junior welterweight Marcos Maidana.
Guerrero last suffered defeat by a split-decision to Gamaliel Diaz in December 2005, but won their rematch with a sixth-round knockout in June 2006.
Guerrero earned his sixth weight class, having started out as a junior featherweight. In victory over Aydin, Guerrero would place himself in an elite class of multi-belt, multi-division titlewinners such as Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]