Fight Predictions: Canelo-Lopez, Chavez-Martinez

By: Brandon Stubbs

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Who else thought this would be a match-up we would be seeing five months ago? Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been dubbed as the next great Mexican star, although Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will have something to say about that come Saturday. Josesito Lopez is the definition of an underdog. He went up in weight to take on Victor Ortiz, who was picked and gift wrapped for Canelo to fight on September 15 but Lopez didn’t read the memo all the way through. He won his match-up with Ortiz by breaking his jaw and him being unable to keep going on. So that brings us to Saturday night.

Canelo is the bigger fighter, having fought over the last two years at 154lbs. and Lopez being a champion at 140lbs. Canelo is seen as being the naturally stronger fighter and having a size advantage while owning 29 KO’s in his career. Canelo is the known and well promoted fighter, with Lopez never leading a major card like this one is. Canelo is also anywhere from 5 to 1 or a 4.5 to 1 favorite according to the sports book, so Lopez will be back in the underdog role as before.

So who am I picking? Boxing experts, the “Tale of Tape” and common sense all point to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez being the winner.  Anybody who knows me well enough knows that I don’t always go with common sense on fight picks and that is not going to change here. Here is my view. A lot of Canelo’s wins came early in his career down in Mexico against guys nobody could pick out of a line up. I was in the arena when he had his last fight with future Hall of Fame member “Sugar” Shane Mosley. He got hit with a lot of clean shots by the aging veteran and was unable to get him out, let alone knock down Mosley, which a true “power puncher” (as he claims to be) should have be able to do.

If you look at his recent KO’s they were TKO’s and maybe even questionable stops. Call me crazy, but lighting will strike in a bottle twice and a legit star of the next generation will be born in Josesito Lopez. He will take some shots and may catch a border line beating, but something about this guy doesn’t want me to bet against him. Lopez is going to get lucky and catch Canelo with a shot. With this being his second straight fight at a higher weight and him having more time to prepare for the added weight, I look for him to have much more power behind his punch unlike when he took on Ortiz. I’m taking Lopez via TKO towards the back end of the fight.

Chavez Jr.-Martinez

For the second time in two weeks, boxing fans will get the pleasure of seeing two fighters in their respective prime, fighting each other. This time around it will be the much hyped and awaited middleweight match-up between champions Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez. This is a fight that has been looming on the boxing horizon for a few years now and will finally take shape Saturday night.

You can make a case for both of these fighters across the board but I honestly think two main factors will come in to play in this fight: having a heart and being mentally strong. The two go hand in hand and if you are not mentally tough then you won’t have the heart to push through adversity you may face in a fight.

I personally think the jury is still out on JCC Jr for both of those. What happens if he is down on the cards mid-way through the fight and he can’t figure out Sergio’s defense? How will he react to Hall of Fame trainer Freddy Roach telling him he is down in the 11th round and needs a knock out to win? How will react to the crowd pressure in the biggest fight of his career so far? These are questions that JCC Jr will not have the answers for come Saturday night.

I am going with Sergio Martinez taking this either on the cards or TKO in one of the last rounds of the fight. I think Sergio is too smart to fall for any of Roach’s dreamed up traps and too slick of a boxer to let JCC Jr lean on him and try to wear him down. I also wonder if JCC Jr wont wear down first, given his history of poor conditioning (sorry Alex Ariza). Sergio will prove once and for all he is the best middleweight in the world and among the best in the Pound for Pound rankings.

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