Can the Youth of Julio Cesar Martinez Overcome the Experience of Roman Gonzalez?
On March 5, we get to witness a tantalizing matchup. WBC 112-pound champion Julio “El Rey” Cesar Martinez (18-1, 14KOs) will move up to super flyweight to take on four-division world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (50-3, 41KOs). Gonzalez was originally supposed to take on longtime rival Juan Francisco Estrada in a trilogy bout. However, Estrada tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw.
It was certainly unfortunate for Estrada and Gonzalez to have had to delay resolving their feud. However, fight fans still win. While Martinez is not on the level of Estrada, he’s a terrific young fighter. With only one loss in his career, the all-action, aggressive power puncher from Mexico has a huge opportunity when he steps into the ring with future Hall of Famer Gonzalez. This fight has the potential to be an exciting one on paper. Yet I must ask, is Martinez biting off more than he can chew?
MORE THAN A MOUTHFUL
We’ve covered the fact that Martinez has power, aggression, pressure and youthfulness on his side. Still, he’ll be going in against a Gonzalez who also has power. Beyond that is his wealth of experience. Chocolatito enters with 53 fights against the best of the best in all four divisions he’s competed in. Furthermore, there is the exceptional skillset that he brings. He can box and bang, counter with pin-point accuracy, fire off three-to-four punch combinations to the head and body, and has excellent footwork.
All the things just mentioned are potential downfalls for Martinez, who often comes in reckless, leaving himself exposed. For example, in his last fight with McWilliams Arroyo, Martinez was beat to the punch for the majority of the opening round and was dropped with a left hook. All of that success by Arroyo came from him utilizing a good jab, while Martinez leaped in with a wide left hooks. He did return the favor and knock down Arroyo down late in the first round. Still, the fight ultimately ended in a no contest due to a clash of heads.
With Martinez moving up in weight and facing such a skilled, experienced fighter, he’s going to have to fight an intelligent, tactical fight and showcase patience. If he goes in thinking he’s going to bomb rush and walk through Gonzalez, this could be a grave mistake.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED?
While I think he has a good chance at springing the upset against a 34-year-old Gonzalez, he may ultimately find out that there’s a level that not even his pressure and power can help him rise too. Regardless of the outcome on March 5, this fight is sure to provide fireworks and possibly be a Fight of the Year candidate.
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By: Jerrell Fletcher