Lem Satterfield

Could Chavez Jr. face Martinez?


Should Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. get beyond the HBO-televised defense of his WBC middleweight title against Marco Antonio Rubio on Saturday, Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum said that he would consider matching the 25-year-old son of the Mexican legend against former two-time welterweight beltholder Antonio Margarito and then THE RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.

Chavez, THE RING No. 5-rated middleweight, is unbeaten (44-0-1, 31 knockouts) heading into his fight with Rubio (53-5-1, 46 KOs).

“I think that certainly if Chavez keeps going at the high pace at which he’s going, I think that I would like to do a Martinez fight by the end of the year,” said Arum.

“In other words, I would probably do a fight in early April or early May for Chavez on HBO, and then, maybe a fight against Margarito. And then Martinez.”

Chavez has also expressed interested in an all-Mexican clash with 21-year-old countryman Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, holder of the WBC junior middleweight belt. Another consideration WBA junior middleweight belholder Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

Arum said Chavez would drop no lower than 158 pounds for either Alvarez or Cotto.

“The problem with Cotto and Alvarez is that they want to have Chavez come down to a ridiculously low weight,” said Arum.

“That’s just not possible. He’s happy to do it, but he can’t. Every time that I see him, the kid is getting taller. He’s bigger than Rubio.”

Chavez is trained by five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, and is coming off November’s fifth-round stoppage of Peter Manfredo Jr in the first defense of the belt he won from Sebastian Zbik in June.

“Julio’s conditioning is good and his boxing ability has improved. We’re trying to make him a better boxer, and I think that showed a lot in his last fight  with Manfredo. I think that you will see that even a little bit more in this next fight,” said Roach.

“He’s coming into  his own and he’s training harder and trying to be more like his father. He’s using his abilty and his height advantage and his reach advantage. Those are the things that he has and he’s doing quite well.”

Roach likes either Alvarez or Cotto as the next fight should Chavez defeat Rubio.

“Either one of those guys would be credible. Cotto is a great fight. Canelo is a fight that has been talked about. We’re interested in that and the world wants to see it,” said Roach.

“Canelo would be a big draw in Mexico, and I would like that fight. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen right away. Arum told me that he spoke to Cotto and that Cotto has shown interest in Julio.”


Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.

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

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