Michael Rosenthal

Sulaiman: Chavez can make voluntary defense, then must face Martinez

WBC President Jose Sulaiman says Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will have the option of making a voluntary title defense before he is mandated to fight the 800-pound gorilla of the middleweight division, Sergio Martinez.

Sulaiman told media in Mexicothat Martinez, who in effect was stripped of the WBC belt, and Marco Antonio Rubio, the No. 1 contender, are both seeking a match with Chavez Jr., holder of the sanctioning body's 160-pound world title.

Sulaiman said Chavez could be making the volunteer defense, possibly against Peter Manfredo Jr., on Nov. 18, and clarified that the winner would face Martinez, not Rubio.

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