By Huck Allen: Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) faces Julio Cesar Martinez tonight at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
The crazy all-action style that Rey Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs) will be on full display tonight against the former four-division world champion Chocolatito, and it’ll be exciting to see these two warriors battling it out.
If the 34-year-old Chocolatito were a little younger, this would be a slam dunk victory for him because he has a lot more skills going for him.
This is a fight that is difficult to predict a winner because both fighters bring different things to the table.
Martinez can give Chocolatito problems
“Chocolatito against Martinez at super flyweight, but no titles on the line and body cares because you don’t need a title on the line for a fight like this,” said Chris Mannix to The Volume.
“How likely is it that we’ll see another situation like that on Saturday?” said Mannix on whether the younger 27-year-old Rey Martinez can pull off an upset against the older 34-year-old Chocolatito in the same way 22-year-old Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez came up in weight to defeat 33-year -old former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras by a 12 round decision on February 5th.
“It’s a possibility, but those are two completely different styles and temperament in Bam Rodriguez, who is composed and quiet, and followed the game plan, didn’t take chances and still got the respect,” said Sergio Mora.
“Then you’re talking about Julio Cesar Martinez, who is feisty. You see him in the fighter meetings. He’s having fun. You see, when he’s fighting, he hits himself in the chin, he takes a big shot, and he gives a big shot and fights explosively.
“He can make an older fighter in Chocolatito not only feel like he’s 34-years-old and not only look like he’s 34-years-old, but he also has the power to remind him that he’s an old legend,” Mora said.
Rey’s punching angles
“Martinez is a very dangerous, explosive fighter,” Mora continued. “He comes from different angles. That’s one thing an older fighter hates when he has to pin down a mover and when they also have to be on their toes because a punch can come from either angle so explosively.
“When I fought Shane Mosley, for instance. Everyone thought Shane was going to run over me, but I never gave him a chance to plant his feet because I was always moving.
“Footwork, that’s what Martinez brings to the table besides big power is switching from lefty to righty, and punching from awkward angles—coming with an uppercut and then a body shot. You don’t prepare for that; you can’t prepare for that.
“So that’s what Martinez is bringing to the table. The fact that he’s younger, hungrier, and punches from these awkward angles. When your a legend like Chocolatito, the last thing you want to do is track down a young, feisty fighter like this.
“You want him to engage, but you don’t want him to engage from a southpaw angle, orthodox angle, coming from the left, coming from the right. It’s very tricky to pin down, and that’s what older fighters hate,” Mora said.
Gonzalez 20-1 stat
“Chocolatito, I saw this stat the other day, is 20-1 against Mexican fighters,” said Mannix. “The one loss was last year against [Juan Francisco] Estrada, and it should have gone the other way.
Shout out to Carlos Sucre; that was one of the worst cards I’ve ever seen. It was a horrible card,” said Mannix on the 117-111 score turned in by the judge Carlos Sucre in favor of Estrada last year in his controversial 12 round split decision win over Chocolatito in Dallas, Texas.
“What do you read into that? A guy that successful. That’s not a small sample size. That’s 21 fights against Mexican fighters, and he’s [Chocolatito] arguably beat them all 21 times.”
“When it comes to Chocolatito, I asked him during the fighter’s meetings, ‘Why are you so successful?” Mora said. “He said, ‘Mexicans come to fight.’ It’s the fact that Mexicans come to fight. You don’t have to go find them.”
“If you have a Mexican fighter that comes to fight, why shouldn’t we believe that Chocolatito, who is still on the top of his game, is going to be any other outcome?” said Mannix.
Chocolatito high volume punching
“Because Martinez punches from these awkward angles, and that’s not a Mexican style,” said Mora. “That’s like a Naseem Hamed type fighter where he’s coming from different angles, and he’s carrying the power. That’s scary to fight because you don’t know when he’s going to punch.
“He’s punching from these awkward angles, and he carries power. You think he’s not going to carry his power up to 115,” said Mora about Martinez.
“It doesn’t matter because it’s the unexpectedness. He’s punching you from a different angle. That’s what’s going to catch him off guard. The power is going to be there regardless and the strength.
“But if he punches from a different angle that you’re not accustomed to being punched from, that’s what’s going to hurt you,” said Mora.
“One question I have going in. You look at the last six fights for Martinez. He averaged between 50 and 60 punches per round per fight,” said Mannix. Chocolatito is over 100.
“The sure volume of punches that Chocolatito throws are staggering. How do you bridge that gap?
“To me, it seems like Martinez has to knock him out because if this goes to the scorecard, the number of punches that Gonzalez is going to throw is going to power him to a win,” said Mannix.
Martinez’s body punching key
“Bodyshots and uppercuts, which are Martinez’s specialty,” Mora said. “He wings his left hooks, which can be dangerous but also can be dangerous to throw.
“But the punches that are going to be effective with Martinez are the uppercuts and the body shots, especially when he’s doing to from both angles from lefty to righty.
“That’s going to give issues to any fighter, legend or not. It’s frustrating to have to cover both styles, and then if Martinez can carry some kind of discipline and strategy, not just going forward and being aggressive and looking for the big shots.
“If he can actually fight on the backfoot like we’ve seen him box because I’ve seen him use angles when he’s backing up as well.
“If he can bring a little bit of both of those things and Chocolatito can be pushed back and have to come forward looking for him, Martinez can win this fight.
“He’s a very dangerous fighter, we know that, but he’s also a live dog,” said Mora on Rey Martinez.