Tough Times Await Julio Cesar Martinez at 115

Martinez To Pursue World Titles At Junior Bantamweight

Julio Cesar Martinez to next move to junior bantamweight
Julio Cesar Martinez to move into a division of talented champions (credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing)

Julio Cesar Martinez Enters A Division of Talented Champs at 115

Mexico’s Julio Cesar “El Rey” Martinez (21-3, 15 KOs) has vacated the WBC flyweight title and will move to 115. But how much of a dent can he make in a loaded junior bantamweight division?

Martinez won the flyweight title with a ninth-round stoppage over Cristofer Rosales in October 2019. The last title defense for Martinez was a twelve-round split decision win over Angelino Cordova in March 2024. When he won the world flyweight belt, some in the boxing community predicted El Rey would dominate the division for years. However, that was far from the case.

Martinez’s title reign was littered with inconsistent performances, injury, illness, and continuous battles to make the 112-pound flyweight limit.


As he moves up in weight, the 29-year-old is about to step into a division that is one of boxing’s best. The current champions at 115 are Juan Francisco Estrada (WBC), Kazuto Ioka (WBA), Fernando Martinez (IBF), and Kosei Tanaka (WBO). Each of those champions can box and punch. More importantly, they are better than anyone Martinez faced during his world title reign at 112.

Since Martinez was a WBC champion at 112, look for him to appear near the top of the upcoming WBC rankings at 115. Word on the street is that his team is targeting the winner of the June 29 clash between Estrada and two-division champion Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez.

At his best, El Rey is an attack dog in boxing gloves. He likes to overwhelm opponents with his relentless pressure, physical strength, and punching power. But if the Mexican warrior wants to win a world title in his new weight class, Martinez can’t rely on his bullying tactics and power. He must add more to his game, sharpen his defense, and not fight so one-dimensional.

From a physical standpoint, Martinez’s body will feel better fighting at 115. The question is, will he become a better fighter and find the same level of success? As it stands, Martinez has a tough road to climb and may be in for some tough days ahead.

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About Mike W.2041 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for