Sergio Martinez will begin negotiations with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr next Monday, if the WBC is to be believed. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Sal Rodriguez reports at BoxingScene.com that negotiations for a fight between WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and legit middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez will begin on Monday, provided that Martinez wins on Saturday night against Matthew Macklin.
The two sides will have one month to reach an agreement, after which, if no deal is reached, a purse bid with a 60-40 split to the champion (which I guess is Chavez, even though Martinez holds the WBC diamond title, or did) in effect.
This fight has been discussed constantly on both sides for the last year, when the WBC made the ridiculous ruling to strip Martinez of their title after HBO turned down Martinez vs Sebastian Zbik (the mandatory challenger), after which the network suspiciously approved Zbik, who had never been on HBO, against Chavez, who had never been on HBO, for the vacant title three months later.
Since that all went down, Chavez has proven to be a genuine draw on HBO against mediocre opponents, while Martinez has more or less been left to tread water, fighting better opponents, but with less of a fanbase. Really, it's not all that unreasonable if this thing does happen, for Chavez to get 60-40.
But before we get to all of this, Martinez does have to beat Macklin on Saturday. Chavez is due back on June 16, but the WBC does not appear to willing to give him another optional defense. There are a few possibilities:
- The WBC does allow Chavez to fight on June 16 against someone else, with Martinez guaranteed next.
- The WBC is, again, bluffing.
- Chavez gives up the WBC belt to avoid the fight with Martinez.