By Matt Lieberman: Julio Cesar Martinez will be looking to steal the show from Canelo Alvarez this Saturday, February 27th, in defense of his WBC flyweight title against his mandatory McWilliams Arroyo at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
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Martinez (17-1, 13 KOs) and Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs) are the co-feature on the Canelo vs. Avni Yildirim card on DAZN.
There’s a good chance that Martinez vs. Arroyo will take the limelight away from Canelo’s fight against the over-matched Yildirim (21-2, 12 Os), as it’s expected to be competitive and fill ed ith drama.
Resembling a tornado in terms of his fighting style, Rey Martinez is 3-0 when fighting British fighters. He’s beaten the following Brits in the last two years:
Julio Cesar Martinez’s return is once again postponed, as the WBC flyweight titleholder announced on Instagram that his bout with McWilliams Arroyo for Saturday’s Canelo-Yildirim card on DAZN is off:
Martinez (17-1, 13 KO) was just at the Canelo-Yildirim final press conference today, but as you can see if you click the right arrow on that IG post, he’s got some kind of hand injury, and the hope is he’ll be able to fight Arroyo (20-4, 15 KO) in about a month.
The 26-year-old Martinez last fought in October, easily stopping an overweight Moises Calleros in two rounds in Mexico City, but overall has had a mess of a run recently. He was meant to fight Arroyo last August but withdrew because of a throat infection, and a December return on the Canelo-Callum Smith card was also scrapped due to illness.
How to Watch Canelo vs Yildirim
Date: Saturday, Feb. 27 | Start Time: 7:00 pm ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL
Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com
Not that Martinez against the 35-year-old Arroyo was the greatest fight in the world, but it figured to be good action and a solid co-feature to a Canelo main event that doesn’t really have anyone buzzing with excitement. With this fight off, the card takes a pretty solid hit for the fans who tune in before the main event.
That said, we’ll of course still be here with live coverage for the full Canelo-Yildirim card on Saturday, Feb. 27, starting at 7 pm ET, streaming live on DAZN.
Martinez got a little carried away in his fight against Edwards when he hit him with a body shot after dropping him on the canvas. The foul by Martinez resulted in the contest being ruled a three-round no contest. If Martinez hadn’t hit Edwards while he was down, he likely would have stopped him in short order.
The 2008 Olympian Arroyo has got a lot of talent, and he’s been fighting in the professional ranks since 2010, which is five years longer than the 26-year-old Martinez.
This will be Arroyo’s fourth time challenging for a world title, and thus far, he’s 0-3.
It’s not going to get easier for the 35-year-old Arroyo, and he’s going to have to raise his game higher than he when pulled off his career-best 10-round majority decision win over Carlos Cuadras in 2018.
Martinez is fighting a higher level than what Arroyo dealt with in his fight against Cuadras, and he’ll need a lot of firepowers to compete
Arroyo is a lot older than Martinez, and clearly, time is not on his side. If Arroyo can’t win this fight, it might be his last shot at a world title. That’s why he must find a way to beat the young champion.
Martinez isn’t invincible, as we saw in his defeat against Joaquin Cruz in 2015. Although Martinez avenged that loss, he barely squeaked by Cruz in the rematch in beating him by an eight-round split decision.
Last year, Martinez had a lot of problems beating Jay Harris in Frisco, Texas. That was a fight that Martinez was in danger of losing when he pulled out the win with a knockdown in the 10th.
Arroyo’s twin brother McJoe briefly held the IBF super flyweight title in 2015, but he lost the belt in his first defense against Jerwin Ancajas in 2016.
If McWilliams can beat Martinez, he’d just his brother as having won a world title during his career. Obviously, McWilliams is trailing McJoe, but better late than never.
It’s going to be a lot harder for McWilliams to win a world title, as he’s facing a whirlwind puncher in Martinez, and this is a guy that McJoe would have likely come unglued against if he fought him during the zenith of his career.
Martinez has done an excellent job lately in mixing his attacks with his wins over Moises Calleros, Jay Harris, Cristofer Rosales, and Charlie Edwards. The body punching that Martinez did in his fights against Calleros and Harris made his job a lot easier.
In some of Martinez’s earlier fights, he was doing a lot of headhunting, but his trainer Eddy Reynoso has done an excellent job of having him do to the body more.
That approach has helped the 5’2″ Martinez minimize the height and reach advantage of his taller opponents.
On Saturday, Martinez will be giving up two inches in height against the 5’4 McWilliams, and that could be a problem if he doesn’t attack his midsection.