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Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Home Sports BOXING Julio Cesar Martinez plans to make statement against Roman Gonzalez

Julio Cesar Martinez plans to make statement against Roman Gonzalez


Julio Cesar Martinez will not be fighting just anyone on March 5 in Temecula, California (DAZN). He’ll be tangling with one of the greatest little fighters of all time, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

Does that make Martinez? Not in the least. This is exactly the kind of fight he has been seeking.

“I’m actually motivated, excited to be facing a strong opponent like Chocolatito because we’re in boxing to face big challenges,” he told Boxing Junkie through a translator. “… Like I always said, I’m very proud to be facing the best.

“I’m in the sport of boxing to face best and to show that I am the best.”

Julio Cesar Martinez lost his pro debut but has won every fight since. Ed Mulholland / Matchroom Boxing

Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs) is already considered the best at 112 pounds, a weight at which he holds the WBC title. However, for this fight, he is moving up to 115 to take on the former four-division belt holder on late notice.

Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) was set to face rival Juan Francisco Estrada but Estrada pulled out after contracting COVID-19 and Martinez agreed to step in.

The Mexican had planned to become a full-fledged 115-pounder in the future but could not resist the opportunity to take part in a fight of this magnitude immediately.

And the added weight should not be a problem for him: He has fought above 112 pounds – as high as 118½ – in 12 of his 19 fights. He has eight knockouts in those 12 fights, an indication that he can hurt anyone.

Can he do the same to Gonzalez, who has been stopped only once? That’s the plan.

“We’re looking to do, like they say, not leave it in the hands of the judges,” he said. “… I’m looking to make history. God willing, I’ll be able to do that. ”

If he wins, even if it’s by decision, Martinez will be perceived differently. He already has a great deal of respect, having won and defended his title four times. A victory over Gonzalez would garner him pound-for-pound consideration.

That’s what happens when you take down a legend. As he put it, “It would be a big jump in my career.”

That could lead to big, lucrative junior bantamweight fights against Estrada and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Gonzalez’s arch rivals. He could also target 115-pound titleholders Jerwin Ancajas or Kazuto Ioka.

However, he insists he has some unfinished business at 112 pounds. He had been targeting fellow titleholder Sunny Edwards when he got the call to fight Gonzalez. He’d still like to face Edwards in a title-unification bout.

Then, if things go well, he’d make his move to 115.

“I want to be [unified] champion at that weight, ”he said. “That means I have to go back down in weight to fight Edwards. God willing, that will happen. Then I will immediately face Estrada at [junior bantamweight].

“I want to fight the best. I want to leave no doubts about me being the best. ”



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