By Dan Ambrose: Julio Cesar Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs) wants to take it to take out of the judges’ hands this Saturday night when he faces legend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) in a 12 round headliner live on DAZN from the Pechanga Arena, San Diego, California.
WBC flyweight champion Rey Martinez, 27, got the call from promoter Eddie Hearn to come in as a replacement after Chocolatito’s originally scheduled opponent Juan Francisco Estrada was unable to take the fight due to his slow recovery from a bout of COVID.
Martinez has never fought anyone as good Chocolatito, so it’s difficult to know how he’ll respond to his skills and experience. What we do know is Martinez is a combination puncher like Gonzalez, but he has more power and is seven years younger.
Given the lack of experience Rey Martinez has against elite-level opposition, he has a lot fewer miles on him compared to Roman.
The toughest opponents Martinez has been in with up to this point are Jay Harris, McWilliams Arroyo, and Cristofer Rosales. None of those guys are in the same league as Chocolatito.
Rey Martinez wants to gain fame
“The other fighters don’t want to fight, so thought, ‘I’ll move up and fight the winner of Chocolatito against Gallo Estrada or the winner of Rungvisai vs. Cuadras, which was the case back then,” said Julio Cesar Martinez.
FIGHT WEEK!!! Huge card in San Diego this Saturday topped by an epic main event with P4P legend @chocolatitobox taking in fearless Mexican World champ @CsarReyMartnez1 live on @daznboxing 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GkJ91qyEtr
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 28, 2022
“I want the big fights, and I want to fight big boxers. Thank God this fight got ahead a bit earlier, so I’m happy for it,” continued Rey Martinez.
“I have fought against a legend before against Edgar Sosa, and I walked away with my hand raised, and now I’m fighting against Roman Gonzalez, another idol, another big legend,” Julio Cesar Martinez said.
“We’re expecting a big challenge, and we’re motivated and excited about this opportunity,” Rey Martinez said. “With Roman Gonzalez, after this, my name is really going to be established.
“It’s a big opportunity. It’s more than just to make my name but to make big money, to get those big purses, and to be the best fighter in the smaller weight classes,” said Martinez
“We’re really looking forward to that, and we’re also looking forward to entering the Hall of Fame when I finish my career and really leave my mark in the sport.
“I have a desire and a hunger to really leave a mark in the sport, and we’re barely starting in his trajectory. I barely have 18 fights, and Chocolatito has 50. So, I still have a long time in boxing, but like I say, we come with everything but fear,” Martinez said.
Martinez to not let judges decide outcome
“I’ll fight anyone anywhere and to leave everything in the ring and see who is best,” Julio Cesar Martinez said.
“Sometimes they talk about my style and say I always go forward, but my father once told me, ‘Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges.’ That’s why I come with everything.
“I come to leave no doubts, and I come to clash. I don’t like to leave doubts and leave it in the hands of the judges. What happened with Jay Harris. I went in there to leave no doubts, to end the fight, to go in there with everything.
“I really don’t like the judges to decide the fate of my fight. I want to decide. I come with not 100% but 1000%, to always not leave it in the hands of the judges.
“I’m going to go out there with everything, but I’m going to try not to go crazy as well,” said Rey Martinez. “Go in there with technique, make sure I go in with everything, but we’re also both humans and we want to come out of this well from this fight too,” said Rey Martinez.
Unification the dream for Rey
“Those are my dreams and my desires to unify, get all the belts in my division,” Martinez said. “To get so many belts that I can’t even carry all of them.
“I want to be undisputed in my division at flyweight and super flyweight, and then we can talk about the weight to come. But I definitely want to be the undisputed champ in my weight classes.
“I’ve learned that no fighter is invincible. Anyone can get hit, and I feel the fights are won in the gym. You have to be dedicated; you have to be disciplined. I learned that what you do in the gym may not take you to fame, but it will give you success to get those big victories.
“Victories are not done in the fight, they’re done in the gym in training. More than anything, I’m happy and motivated. I was expecting an unification fight,” Martinez said.
Opportunity knocked on Martinez’s door
“With my talks with Eddy Reynoso, I was expecting to unify to sweep up the flyweight division and fight the other champions, but it was difficult to get those fights against those two or three other fighters,” Martinez said.
“They kept changing things, asking for training camps of three to five months. It didn’t seem like I was going to get those fights. I kept defending my belt. I did it with honor but not getting those big fights.
“Again, I wanted those fights against the other undefeated champions. I wanted to move up. So because of that, I wanted to move up and fight Roman Gonzalez, Gallo Estrada, Rungvisai. I was going to fight the first person that raised their hand to face me, but this opportunity came.
“Eddy Reynoso had spoken to me about it, and he said, ‘Look, we were going to do the fight.
“We were going to unify with Sunny Edwards, and it was probably going to be for the vacant world title. It was going to be my WBC title and his [IBF] title,” said Rey Martinez.