The life cycle of every prospect eventually reaches a crossroads where everyone finds out whether he has the ingredients to move on to the highest levels of the sport. Julio Cesar Chavez's long apprenticeship arrived at that crescendo against Sergio Martinez and Vanes Martirosyan's will take place Saturday in a final title eliminator against another amateur standout in Erislandy Lara.
Factors that may influence the outcome can be found in their respective CompuBox pasts, which will be chronicled here:
Lara Versus Height: The 5-9 Lara will concede three inches to Martirosyan but the good news for the Cuban is that he has fared well against taller fighters. During his majority decision "loss" to the 6-1 Paul Williams, Lara overcame "The Punisher's" punishing 87.2 punch-per-round pace with excellent accuracy (42%-19% total, 28%-14% jabs, 49%-21% power) to forge connect advantages of 224-220 (total), 46-39 (jabs) and 178-161 (power) despite throwing nearly half the punches (530 to 1,047).
Lara destroyed the 6-1 Ronald Hearns in 94 seconds, landing 48% overall (12 of 25) and 77% of his power punches (10 of 13). In his most recent outing against long, lean volume-puncher Freddy Hernandez, Lara duplicated the dynamics he encountered against Williams, for he threw far less (710-561) but crafted dominant connect gaps (246-128 total, 29-13 jabs, 217, 115) with excellent accuracy (44%-18% total, 13%-6% jabs and 64%-23% power). Lara counteracts height with supreme timing and given Vanes' chin vulnerabilities that may play a decisive role in the final result.