This is a good fight which should be competitive between two fringe world level fighters. Jose Martinez is a decent fighter but had his career stalled by draws to Alejandro Santiago Barrios and then a stoppage loss to Aston Palicte. Jose Martinez has the benefit of this fight being in his home country of Puerto Rico which may play a big factor on who wins this fight as Martinez was lucky to escape with draws versus Barrios over their two fight series. Israel Gonzalez is no stranger to fighting on the road as two of his world title opportunities have come away from home and he also fought a final eliminator in his opponents home country and still won.
Jose Martinez is a flat footed fighter who walks forward behind a high guard and throws hook after hook. He doesn’t mix it up with straight punches or jabs very often and if his game plan isn’t working in a fight doesn’t seem to have a back up. His defence isn’t great as he doesn’t try to avoid punches and instead tries to take them on the gloves but a lot manage to slip around or through his guard. He does have respectable power and isn’t terrible fundamentally as his hooks aren’t too wide and he tries to keep his opposite hand to his chin when he throws a punch. In both of the Barrios fights he was out boxed by the more active fighter who used his foot work to get in and out on the flat footed Martinez. He also doesn’t throw a lot of punches unless he gets his opponents hurt which I think is a major flaw considering how hard it is for him to get his opponents in front of him and consistently unload on them.
Israel Gonzalez is a good boxer who has a lot of experience at world level at this point of his career. He mostly boxes off the back foot and has had success against the likes of Roman Gonzalez and Khalid Yafai. I thought he deserved the verdict in the Yafai fight as he was the much busier fighter and out boxed Yafai on the back foot for the majority of the rounds. He has good foot work which he uses to move around the ring and will often dart in with a left hook to the body or a one-two to the body and then move out of range again. He’s very tough and while hes not a massive puncher he has enough power that fighters don’t want to walk through his punches. His defence isn’t great but he does use head and upper body movement and only really ships big punches from world class fighters such as Roman Gonzalez.
I think stylistically this is a terrible fight for Martinez who is yet again facing a fighter with good footwork who can out maneuver and out work him. I think Israel Gonzalez will win this fight by decision due to throwing a lot more punches and out boxing the flat footed Martinez who will struggle to get his shots off consistently due to Gonzalez’s movement. Gonzalez’s body work will also slow Martinez down so he may struggle late in the fight while Gonzalez has a lot of experience against world class fighters in the later rounds so shouldn’t struggle.