[to top of second column]
Martinez is a late bloomer, a 37-year-old Argentine who in recent years has fought his way to the top of the middleweight division. He's a lefty with a style that's hard to counter, though his chin his questionable and he has been on the canvas in some of his fights.
Chavez is taller and figures to outweigh Martinez on fight night after struggling to make the 160-pound weight limit. He's a big puncher who has come into his own in the last couple of years after being brought along very slowly by matchmakers who liked his determination but weren't sure he had the skills to become a top fighter.
Now he brings an unbeaten record of 46-0-1 into the fight and has become such an attraction to Mexican fans that the fight sold out nearly a week early.
"In the last two years he's demonstrated to everyone he's capable," Arum said. "There's a lot of big things ahead if Julio is successful in this fight. We think he'll become one of the biggest attractions in boxing, on the level of a (Manny) Pacquiao or (Floyd) Mayweather."
Chavez is coming off perhaps his best performance, stopping a tough Andy Lee in the seventh round June 16 to defend his title. Chavez trailed early in that fight but came on strong and dominated Lee physically before finally stopping him.
"He hadn't had a lot of experience with southpaws and he fought that fight great," trainer Freddie Roach said. "After that fight we knew it was time to step up. We knew Martinez was a southpaw. We know how to fight a southpaw now and his father and I have been coming up with a game plan."
Part of that game plan was getting Chavez to the gym, something that proved difficult as documented in the HBO "24/7" prefight series. Roach was left waiting at the gym several times, but says Chavez eventually put in enough work to get him in shape for Martinez.
"I had to wait in the gym for him a few times, but for a world champion I will wait," Roach said.
Chavez is guaranteed $3 million for the fight, while Martinez is getting $1.4 million plus a portion of the pay-per-view. The payout reflects the popularity of Chavez, though Martinez wanted the fight so badly he said he is not troubled by being paid less money than his relatively unproven opponent.
"Chavez will get more money," he said, "but he's going to get more of a beating, too."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor