Lem Satterfield

Adviser: Martinez will pursue Chavez, not move up to 168

The adviser to Sergio Martinez says that the fighter will end his career at 160 pounds rather than move up to 168. Sampson Lewkowicz also believes Martinez will fight Marco Antonio Rubio for the vacant WBC middleweight title after Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is stripped for refusing to fight him. .

"Absolutely not. He will not do it," said Lewkowicz, referring to the move up to super middleweight. "I can tell you that I have had several conversations with Sergio Martinez, and he doesn't feel that he wants to go to 168."

Lewkowicz said that the former middleweight titleholder will pursue Chavez, a bout which WBC officials have mandated to take place in early 2012, but he doesn't expect the son of the legend to accept the fight.

Martinez (47-2-2, 26 knockouts) is scheduled to meet Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs) on Oct. 1 in Atlantic City, N.J.

"Let's put it this way, Chavez would be a big underdog against Martinez, so we do not think that his promoter (Top Rank's) Bob Arum, will allow this fight to happen. Chavez can fight 10 times really if he wants to. But in that time, most likely, we believe that he will give up the title," said Lewkowicz. 

"Because it's not only about Chavez, it's about Bob Arum. Bob Arum will not allow Chavez to lose. But we have
been told by (WBC Secretary General) Mauricio Sulaiman and (WBC President) Jose Sulaiman that Sergio will absolutely get a shot at the title against Chavez or face the next available contender for the title."

The 25-year-old Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KOs) reportedly will make the first defense of his title in Mexico against Ronald Hearns on Sept. 17 before taking on Peter Manfredo on Nov. 19.

If Chavez will not face Martinez after those two bouts, Lewkowicz believes that Chavez will be stripped of his belt, paving the way for Martinez to face the next available challenger in Marco Antonio Rubio (51-5-1, 44 KOs) for the vacant belt.

"Sergio is trying to be patient, but he has also been very specific, and all of us agree. And when I say all of us agree, the No. 1 person in that is Sergio Martinez," said Lewkowicz of Martinez, who was named Fighter of The Year for 2010 by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

"Because Sergio is a gentleman, he has said, 'Let Chavez fight, and then he can face me in the first quarter of next year.' So we're talking about February or March that we hope to fight Chavez. If not, then we think that it's going to be Rubio."

Martinez earned the undisputed middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Kelly Pavlik in April of last year. He followed that up with a second-round knockout of Paul Williams (40-2, 27 KOs) in November, a rematch of their 2009 fight that Williams won by a controversial majority decision.

The Argentine forced to give up his WBC belt for fighting Sergie Dzinziruk in March on HBO, a fight Martinez won by an eight-round KO, The WBC then elevated Sebastian Zbik to the status of full champion and mandated that Zbik face Chavez, who dethroned him by a unanimous decision in June.

"Not only does Chavez want to avoid Martinez, but Bob Arum will not allow it to happen. This is not about boxing, but for Bob Arum, it's only about business," said Lewkowicz.

Lewkowicz said Martinez bears no ill-will toward the WBC.

"Personally, Sergio is very loyal to the WBC," said Lewkowicz. "He will fight only for the WBC (title) because the WBC made Martinez significant when nobody gave a s–t about him. The WBC gave him the opportunity, and now, everybody knows who he is. So he has gratitude for the WBC and will not betray them."

 

Staff Writer Lem Satterfield can be reached at lem.satterfield@gmail.com.

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