Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. wants to make the first defense of his WBC middleweight title against one of four fighters – Ronald Hearns, Nobuhiro Ishida, David Medina or Brian Vera – on Sept. 24 in Mexico City, according to sources in Mexico.
If he does, then it will likely be without five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach and strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza in his corner.
Chavez (43-0-1, 30 knockouts) has been trained by Roach and Ariza for his past three victories, including a majority decision that dethroned Sebastian Zbik (30-1, 10 KOs) on June 4.
But Roach and Ariza probably won’t be available in September because they’ll be in the Philippines, where they will be preparing Manny Pacquiao for his title defense against Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov 12.
"We just believe that it's ill-advised due to Freddie's involvement with Manny Pacquiao," said Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, who co-promotes Chavez with Zanfer Promotions' boss Fernando Beltran. "Freddie's not going to have time to train Chavez because we think that Freddie's going to be busy and that by then Freddie's going to be in Baguio (City)."
Furthermore, Arum said that he would not be involved in the promotion of Chavez's September defense.
"If Fernando and Chavez decide to take a fight in September, then that's fine. We give them permission, but we're not going to be involved. That's as far as it goes," said Arum. “… We have told him that we're against it because Freddie doesn't have the time."
Should Chavez enter the ring and win in September, said Arum, he will likely return in November opposite 30-year-old Peter Manfredo (37-6, 20 KOs), a winner of six straight bouts.
"We wanted him to wait until November,” Arum said. “There's no argument with anybody. We just haven't got enough time to do anything about him fighting in September. We have a date for him on Nov. 19 against Peter Manfredo."
Arum continued: "Our advice was for Chavez to go to the Philippines and train there part time, and then to go back to California before the fight on Nov. 19. That was our advice. Now, Chavez will do what Chavez will do."
Sources out of Mexico named the 35-year-old Ishida (23-6-2, eight KOs), the 32-year-old Medina (23-2, 11 KOs), the 32-year-old Hearns (26-2, 20 KOs) and the 29-year-old Vera (19-5, 12 KOs) among those being considered as September opponents for Chavez.
Medina, of Austin, Tex., has won nine straight bouts since he was stoppped in the third round by Clarence Taylor in April 2007.
Hearns, a Southland, Mich. resident, had won five consecutive fights prior to being knocked out in the seventh round in a failed attempt to dethrone Germany's WBA titlist Felix Sturm (36-2-1, 15 KOs) in February.
Vera is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Eloy Suarez last month that followed a split-decision win over ex-junior middleweight champion Sergio Mora (22-2-2, 6 KOs) in February.