Preview: Chris Avalos vs Chris Martin Fight, Friday on Show Box

After his final workout before traveling north to the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota for his NABO Bantamweight championship bout against Chris Avalos on Showtime's Showbox: The Next Generation, Chris Martin poses for a photo with his buddies at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

Friday night we get to see if one of our local boxers, the California bantamweight champion, Chris “S.D. Kid” Martin (18-0-2, 5 KO’s) of Chula Vista is ready for the world stage when he goes up against the highly touted Chris Avalos, the current NABO bantamweight champion, who is 16-0-0, with 13 KO’s and making his fourth appearance on Showtime.

You can tell where Showtime’s allegiance lies. The slick commercial promoting the fight seems almost giddy as they heap high praise on their headliner: “Chris Avalos with that come and get you style. He knows how to fight, he knows how to box. He’s never been down as a pro. The kind of guy who turns the fight and ends the fight with one punch. He’s all action. He’s used to shutting the lights out early.”

It sounds like the hype the Disney people would use to promote a Davy Crockett film. Not to knock anyone off their perch but the 20 year-old has been up against some pretty soft competition thus far. On the plus side he does have 16 victories in 16 fights with 13 coming by way of knockout.

Martin knows exactly why he got the call to face the hard hitting Avalos. “His people feel I’m a pure boxer with no pop. What they don’t know is that I’ve been improving my power fight by fight to a point where I’m now both a boxer and a puncher. Still, I feel the fight may go eight rounds and then by the ninth or tenth round, I’m going to stop him.”

Can Martin win this match? The 24-year-old Martin is totally grounded, very intelligent and I would say more mature than his counterpart. He’s married, has one child with a second child on the way.  He’s built up a huge fan base and each time he’s fought locally, the shows have been sold out. In his last few bouts he’s weighed around 127 pounds and fought as a super bantamweight. Avalos, the shorter of the two gentlemen, has never fought over 119 pounds; 118 being the bantamweight limit. Martin has never fought at 118 pounds, the catch weight for this match. If they are going to be fighting for the NABO Bantamweight title, Martin needs to come down to that weight.

Before his work out on Tuesday, Martin told me he weighed 126 pounds. But then as I watched him perspire during the work out and spar with three of his chums at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, I’d venture to say he lost at least five pounds. That still leaves three pounds to lose before Thursday’s weigh-in. Martin’s mentor, Sergio Melendrez, stated: “Chris is right where we want him to be. He should have no problem making the weight; he’s done it many times.”

Martin won the California Super Bantamweight title last year weighing 121 pounds and in his last bout on June 11th of this year he weighed in at 127.5 pounds to earn a unanimous decision victory over Adolfo Landeros.

“For that last fight we only had about three weeks notice and I was adjusting to a new schedule at work, working nights, so it was really hard for me to wake up early to run,” explained Martin. “I only got to run about six times during those three weeks because I couldn’t get up. For this fight, I am more prepared and have been running everyday, everything is clicking.” Besides being a professional prizefighter, Martin works as correctional officer at a nearby detention center.

Martin, who was sporting a shiner from a recent sparring session, told me it was a souvenir from Pablo Armenta. I discovered Martin had trained extra hard for this match-up and went far and wide to spar with the best. He’s confident that he will win on Friday evening especially after having an opportunity to watch and study all three of Avalos’ fights shown earlier on Showtime.

Of course, Avalos has benefitted from having Eddie Mustafa Muhammad as his trainer. The former light-heavyweight champ who had 39 KO’s in his career, has trained such notables as Iran Barkley, Chad Dawson, Joan Guzman, Johnny Tapia, James Toney, Paul Vaden, etc., etc., guys who knew how to put an opponent on their back.

After getting that earlier help from Muhammad, I recently learned that he returned to having only his dad, Felipe Avalos, in the gym to train him.

Muhammad has also spent a lot of time organizing his boxing union, the Joint Association of Boxers, which is affiliated with the Teamsters Union. He has signed up more than 2,000 fighters. “Every organization has a union except for the boxers,” says Muhammad. “This is my legacy, the union. When they can no longer fight and no longer hear the roar of the crowd, the fighters will still have their medical and health benefits.”

If you’re up for watching a great boxing match, don’t miss this one on friday night.

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