WBC ORDERS JULIO CHAVEZ JR. TO FACE SERGIO MARTINEZ
In addition, the WBC ordered RING No. 5-rated middleweight and WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KOs) to face RING middleweight titleholder Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) in his next bout.
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.
Martinez was 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.
“Chavez can’t take an interim fight. He has to fight Martinez next, unless we reach an agreement, Sergio and myself, with [Top Rank Inc. CEO] Bob Arum, or Chavez gets stripped,” said Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella. “I’ll be talking with Arum and HBO. They’ve ordered Chavez against Martnez next, but I don’t believe that’s going to happen.”
Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez’s adviser, has always contended his believe that Martinez would wind up facing Marco Antonio Rubio (52-5-1, 45 KOs) for the vacant WBC belt due to his belief that Chavez will be stripped for refusing to fight Martinez.
Lewkowicz said, nevertheless, that that Martinez would continue to pursue Chavez, a bout which WBC officials have mandated to take place in early 2012, although he doesn’t expect the son of the legend by the same name to accept the fight.
“They can order themselves until they’re blue in the face,” said Arum. “Nobody’s ordering anybody to do anything, period.”
REFREE RUSSELL EXPLAINS HIS CHANGE OF HEART
Although Russell originally ruled Hopkins-Dawson a TKO, it was his testimony on Tuesday which weighed heavily in the CSAC’s decision to render the no-decision verdict.
“I recommended to them that really the best decision was that it should have been a no-decision rather than a technical knockout. Basically, the reasoning for that was that better decision and the better reflection of what was an aborted title fight was a no-decision. think that that was appropriate, so I recommended that based on my further analysis,” said Russell.
“I don’t have instant replay, and I can’t consult with judges, and I can’t do a lot of other things right at the moment. But upon further analysis, it was not a punch that caused the foul. It was incidental contact because of roughhousing on both sides. You can’t say that Dawson wasn’t contributing to this, in the same sense that Hopkins contributed to it by jumping on his back.”
Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com