MANILA, Philippines – Five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach is hopeful that a rematch between his boxer, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina will happen.
In their much-awaited match-up last weekend, Martinez dominated Chavez Jr. for the first 11 rounds, before the Mexican prodigy caught him with a huge punch in the final round. Martinez was knocked down, but managed to hold on in the final seconds for a wide points victory.
In an interview with Max Boxing, Roach admitted that Chavez did not have the best training camp but is convinced that he has what it takes to defeat the Argentine known as “Maravilla.”
“Martinez is definitely beatable,” Roach said. “We showed that in the 12th round. We almost had him. But almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”
“I think it was just more of a mental letdown,” he added. “If we had been better prepared and more confident in that fight, and had a better training camp, I think we would have knocked him out in six rounds.”
Roach took some of the blame for Chavez’s poor preparation. “I feel it’s my fault for letting him get away with it,” he said.
“I told him next time, we’re going to be on schedule. We’re going to train at reasonable hours,” he added.
“Honestly, I think our timing was a little bit off, and that we actually didn’t box enough. We needed a little bit more sparring, I think. And a little bit more gym workouts instead of living room workouts.”
Roach admitted that after the 10th round, he thought about stopping the fight as Chavez Jr. took more and more punishment from Martinez.
“I told him, ‘Hey, if you don’t show me we can win this fight, I’m gonna stop it,’” he said. “And he went out and did a little bit better.”
“And then the last round, I said, ‘We need a knockout to win. Let’s go. Let your hands go.’ I said, ‘All you gotta do is throw punches. Exchange with this guy. When he throws punches, his head’s way up in the air.’ He did that and knocked him down,” Roach added.
Roach said he wants to see a rematch because they “gave that fight away.”
“I mean, honestly, my guy was the bigger, stronger, better fighter in there, I think,” he said. “Martinez, he boxed very well, he throws great combinations and so forth, but when you press him on the ropes and so forth, he’s not very effective.”