Double dose of boxing on your telly
SuperSport boxing fans will be spoiled for choice this weekend with two outstanding world championship fights to choose from.
On Sunday morning (SA time), undefeated WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr will fight two-division world champion Sergio Martinez in Las Vegas, while at the same time, Saul Alvarez will defend his WBC super-welterweight title against Josesito Lopez, also in Las Vegas
SuperSport will cross to the Martinez-Chavez tournament from 3am on SS2, with the other tournament available on SS7, also from 3am.
Given the eclipse of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather’s inactivity, both bouts offer the fighters an opportunity to establish themselves in the public consciousness.
Martinez is already on his way, having produced blowouts of top fighters Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams, while Chavez has finally moved out of the shadow of his more famous father, Julio Cesar Chavez Snr, who ranks as Mexico’s greatest boxer.
So great is the interest that the sellout has produced a paid gate of over US $3-million, ironically on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Chavez Snr against Hector Camacho, the Thomas and Mack Centre’s fourth highest-attended event [17 972], that Chavez Jnr will surpass in an epic fight of his own.
It will become the highest-attended boxing event in the history of the arena with 19 186 seats, eclipsing the Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield heavyweight championship rematch.
“This is a celebration about everything that is great about boxing,” said Lou Di Bella, Martinez’s promoter.
Martinez is 49-2-2 with 28 KOs. Chavez is 46-0-1 with 32 KOs.
While Martinez is a narrow favourite based on his experience and one-punch KO power, it can’t be certain that these factors will be enough to offset the size of Chavez.
Just down the road, meanwhile, another Mexican in the shape of Alvarez is fast establishing himself as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters.
Just 22 years old, he has gone 40 fights unbeaten and is the WBC light-middleweight champion. The red-headed fighter has fast hands and a decent punch, factors he will need against Lopez, who is coming off a major upset win against Victor Ortiz.