According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Sergio Martinez will be making a little less than half of the purse of opponent Julio Cesar Chavez Jr when the two meet at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas this Saturday, live on HBO pay-per-view.
Martinez has a $1.4 million purse for the fight, while Chavez Jr has a $3 million purse.
[ Full Coverage: Chavez Jr vs Martinez ]
This is a business reality. As much as Martinez (49-2-1, 28 KO) has proven a lot more in the ring than Chavez Jr (46-0-1, 32 KO), it is Chavez's popularity and fan base that has this fight a mere few hundred tickets away from a legitimate sellout at a large arena, and while Sergio is the "rightful champion" of the division, Chavez Jr is also the guy with the WBC belt. Yes, Sergio plays a role, in that his credibility makes this a bigger than usual fight for Jr, too, but the main factor in the fight's business success is Julio.
In short, it's not really fair, but then what is?
Chavez, 26, is a star, like it or not, deserved or not, and he's also taking a risk with this fight, and gets compensated for it. Let's be clear here: The WBC was never going to make baby boy fight Sergio Martinez, no matter what they said or how many times they promised Sergio the fight (so long as he kept paying sanctioning fees for their fake "Diamond belt," anyway). This fight was made entirely because Chavez Jr and Top Rank have allowed it to happen.
I'm not saying anything like you have to respect that from Chavez Jr, because it's not very respectable -- a true champion would want to take the fight period, and maybe that's what he's doing in his heart, but I don't know. I'm just saying that's kind of how it is, and how it's going to be.
If Sergio wins, it will be the biggest win of his career. I know Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik were more respected fighters, and I'm fine saying, if it goes as many expect on Saturday with Sergio winning the fight, that those would still be the best wins of his career. But this fight with Jr can make him a star. This is a big fight, and don't let anyone tell you differently. This is about as big as a fight on US soil gets without involving Floyd or Manny.