Lem Satterfield

Lem’s latest: Arum says Chavez Jr.’s in tough versus Rubio

“Well, Vazquez never stops throwing punches. That should be a great fight. I think that that’s a fight that could steal the show,” said Arum.

“It’s a great double-header that HBO is putting on on February 4. I’m really proud of the show, and I think that it’s going to be a great, great way for them to open up the year.”

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WBC MAY SANCTION CHAVEZ JR.-RUBIO AS TITLE DEFENSE AFTERALL

During the week ending Dec. 17 at its convention in Las Vegas, the WBC ordered Chavez to defend his crown opposite RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.

And on Dec. 29, in accordance with an announcement made that day through an e-mailed statement from WBC President Jose Sulaiman, it still appeared that the WBC was holding off on sanctioning Chavez Jr.-Rubio as a title fight.

 ”Numerous media outlets have reported that WBC middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will fight Marco Antonio Rubio on February 4, 2012. The governing WBC rules and regulations require a written formal petition for the sanctioning of any official WBC bout before a formal announcement takes place and ticket sales start,” stated Sulaiman.

“As of this date, the WBC has not received any communication from any promoter concerning a Chavez versus Rubio fight. The WBC therefore does not endorse and disapproves any public announcement or ticket sales suggesting that the WBC has sanctioned the fight, or using the WBC name or trademarks until there is full compliance with the WBC rules and regulations.”

But during an interview with RingTV.com on Tuesday, WBC Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman, son of Jose Sulaiman, appeared to be in support of Chavez-Rubio.

“Rubio is the No. 1 condender, but this is not a mandatory fight for Chavez. But, we would of course respond to a sanctioning request for the fight. If their promoter sends and makes a request, I say why not? I see no reason not to sanction the fight. So if a request is sent by the promoter, then the WBC will immediately respond,” said Mauricio Sulaiman.

“We have not received as of today, any sanctioning requests. I did not check the e-mails yesterday, because we’re flying back from vacation today from Mexico City. I don’t know if there is an e-mail there, but so far, we have not received a sanctioning request by the promoter, which is in accordance with the rules and regulations of the WBC.”

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Martinez had earned the undisputed middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Kelly Pavlik in April of 2010. He followed that up with a second-round knockout of Paul Williams 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 Sergei Dzinziruk in March on HBO, a fight Martinez won by an eight-round KO. The WBC then elevated Zbik to the status of full champion and mandated that Zbik face Chavez.

On Dec. 29, Martinez already seemed to see the writing on the wall, even after the WBC’s announcement earlier that day that it might balk on sanctioning Chavez-Rubio. So Martinez vacated the WBC’s “Diamondbelt,” citing his disappointment in the organization’s failure to enforce its convention ruling.

“I’m not planning on defending the WBC Diamond belt anymore,” said Martinez. “The only title that I’m going to defend from now on is the one that I conquered by defeating Kelly Pavlik, which is the Ring magazine title.”

Rated No. 3 in THE RING’s pound for pound and coming off an 11th-round knockout of Darren Barker in October, Martinez is scheduled to face THE RING No. 3-rated middleweight Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) on March 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV-DAVID TORREST ON TAP FOR JAN. 27

Junior welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (20-1, 13 KOs), of Berenzovo, Russia, will meet David Torres (21-2-2, 13 KOs) of Othello, Wash., in the main event of a clash being promoted by Art Pelullo/Banner Promotions on Jan. 27 at the Pend O’reille Pavillion of the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, Wash.

“There’s a good reason that Ruslan has become a regular on ESPN. He always gives it everything he’s got in the ring, and always makes exciting fights,” said Pelullo. “We’re very pleased that he’s headlining our first fight card of 2012 and will start off the New Year with a bang.”

Provodnikov, who turns 28 Jan. 20, has won three straight bouts, two of them by knockout. The 33-year-old Torres is 1-2-2 in his pasts five fights.

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Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.

Photo by Fightwireimages.com

Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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