Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will defend the WBC middleweight title against Andy Lee on June 16, live on HBO, and Lee's promoter Lou DiBella tells BoxingScene.com that he's confident that real middleweight champion Sergio Martinez will face the winner later this year.
Martinez, who last fought and won on March 17 with a stoppage of Matthew Macklin, has been waiting for his WBC-mandated title shot for a while now.
"This is a great opportunity for Andy. And right now we're trying to get a deal done for the winner to fight Sergio Martinez. The major terms have been agreed on, between me and Bob Arum. We just have to work out some minor obstacles."
Lee (28-1, 20 KO) represents at least a slight step up in terms of difficulty on paper, as the southpaw style of the Irish fighter has reportedly worried Chavez's team in past negotiations for this fight.
The fight will take place at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, which is a large venue and will be expected to draw a sizable crowd, even if sectioned off the way Top Rank usually does with San Antonio's Alamodome. Chavez has proven he can draw fans in Texas, though not on the level he does in his native Mexico, and this fight is coming in the middle of what should be a very hot period for boxing interest, following Mayweather vs Cotto on May 5 and Pacquiao vs Bradley on June 9.
On the HBO side, this fight will get a bump from the Pacquiao-Bradley replay being paired with the live fight, and Chavez already does strong ratings, so if he's really impressive here, maybe this is a fight where more and more folks start demanding Martinez-Chavez, or perhaps in their minds, Chavez-Martinez.