Originally Posted by Arcane
I don't know shit about these guys....is 100 on the over 9.5 a safe bet?
It's really kind of eerie, how close they are and how similar their careers are up to this point.
Each has a signature win that still leaves some questions, and both are coming off their deflowering (both were upsets at the hands of gritty Mexicans).
Martin was relatively unknown outside his local/state scene before he sprung a big upset a couple of years ago on ShoBox over rising smash-em-up prospect Chris Avalos, then unbeaten. It is listed officially as a SD, but trust me. It wasn't close. Martin came out of nowhere and schooled Avalos. He completely exposed him and shattered the illusion of this kid being so much as a poor man's Brandon Rios. (barely a filthy crippled beggar's Brandon Rios). Martin used some very nice technical boxing to get the job done, and despite not being the puncher in the match-up he more than got Avalos' respect and marked him up as he outlanded the crude slugger at an enormous clip and showed some fancy defensive moves. The problem is, knowing what we now know about how primitive Avalos then was (and still kind of is to an extent, although he has improved some) it's hard to give Martin too
much credit. He looked good, yes - but against a plodding punching bag who'd never encountered anything but cowering victims up until then and certainly had never had circles boxed around him.
Kennedy's best win was against Jorge Diaz in a top ten (honestly maybe top five) FOTY from 2011. The shitty thing is that it was on the non
-televised undercard to Gamboa vs. Solis. Otherwise it would have made a lot more FOTY lists. A lot of people did see it, though - thanks to the preliminary card that night being aired online via Top Rank Live Stream. It cut out for a round or two in the middle, but it was plain from what we go to see that this was one of the best style clashes and most thrilling battles of last year. Both guys hurt, both guys down (I could have sworn; Boxrec lists Diaz down twice and Kennedy never going down
), fairly high skill level on display for such an obscure pair. It was a good win for Kennedy, against an unbeaten KO artist - much like Martin's win over Avalos. I'd say Jorge Diaz was better than Chris Avalos was at that time. Like that match, it was the more technical matador prevailing over the more rough-and-tumble bull. However - Kennedy fought life and death with him, whereas Martin easily outclassed Avalos and was always in control. Ignore the scorecards. So it's really hard to split those wins.
Then come their losses.
Martin was still waiting for the big break that schooling his fellow undefeated prospect logically should have led to when he was scheduled for a gimme 10-round tuneup on the Nishioka-Marquez undercard which was unfortunately broadcast on the narrow-market Fox Sports. Since beating Avalos, he'd only had one real test against another good prospect in Charles Huerta. He passed. He'd also picked up a few ho-hum wins and seemed to be getting complacent and impatient. Just beat this washed-up journeyman, jump this one last knee-high hurdle - and then you get the carrot on the stick, Chris. It was not to be. Remember that about having grown complacent? Yeah. Pepe Beranza was always someone who could be counted on to bring it
, every night. He was often out of his element against younger, faster, stronger, smarter, better-coached, better-developed and more talented opponents (Teon Kennedy being one, in fact) - but damned if he didn't always try
and fight his his guts out...and make life hell for some of those young talents. Perhaps none moreso than Christopher Martin the night he waltzed in expecting to win an easy decision only to lose a hard one.
Then there's Kennedy's wake-up call, against Alejandro Lopez. Interestingly, Lopez had been one of Jorge Diaz's victims on the way up (one of the few to last the distance, although he hit the deck a few times) - thus once again proving that A>B>C logic has no place in a sport made by styles. Lopez spanked him by simply jabbing, crossing, and moving. Kennedy showed difficulty adapting and was as much a ship in the storm as Martin would be several weeks later as Pepe splashed the cold water of reality across his face.
Which loss tells us more? Difficult to say. Lopez has the better record than Beranza, but records can be deceiving. Beranza is far better than his suggests, although he's a bit long in the tooth and has been through many wars. Lopez is still a bit of a question mark despite the breakout performance against Kennedy. He also caught a seemingly well-prepared Kennedy, whereas that latest version of Chris Martin clearly made the mistake of taking Beranza lightly and paid the wages of pride by copping a loss. It wasn't the same guy who danced artfully around Avalos or came through the fire against Huerta.
All in all, it's a very
close contest on paper. (but not at the sportsbooks, it would seem)