Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Martinez-Chavez card taking shape
By Dan Rafael
Just because promoters Top Rank and Lou DiBella came to an agreement for the showdown between lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to meet Sept. 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, and ironed out a deal with hotel and casino magnate Steve Wynn for his Wynn Las Vegas resort to sponsor the event, doesn't mean the work is done.
The fight is made, but there are schedules to plan, promotional elements to put into motion and an undercard to make, not to mention a formal contract to finalize with HBO PPV.
So Top Rank president Todd duBoef and vice president Carl Moretti and DiBella met Tuesday in New York to go over a number of aspects of the promotion. They are supposed to meet with HBO on Wednesday.
Over lunch on Tuesday, the promoters scheduled the commercial and photo shoot for July 9 in Los Angeles, followed by a kickoff news conference there on July 10. The media tour will continue with stops in Las Vegas (July 11), New York (July 12) and Mexico City (July 13), although the specific locations have not been finalized.
Tickets for the fight, priced at $600, $400, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, go on sale July 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, Town Square Las Vegas Concierge, online at www.unlvtickets.com or by phone at 702-739-3267.
DiBella told me that he plans to use one of his pay-per-view undercard slots to put on middleweight contender Matthew Macklin (28-4, 19 KO), who gave Martinez a very tough fight on March 17. He knocked Martinez down in the seventh round and was dropped twice himself in the 11th round before the fight was stopped in his corner after the round.
DiBella said he might match Macklin with former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine (33-2-1, 19 KOs), who rejuvenated his career in December with a spirited majority decision win against heavy favorite David Lemieux in their all-Montreal meeting.
Top Rank has been tossing around a variety of possibilities for the card. Nothing is set, but names in the mix include junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was very impressive in his blitz of Teon Kennedy in a June 9 defense on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. undercard, and junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado (33-0, 23 KOs), whose last two fights (against Mauricio Herrera and Breidis Prescott) were sensational brawls on pay-per-view undercards.
Another fighter who might land on the card, be it on TV or off, is light heavyweight prospect Mike Lee (9-0, 5 KOs), the popular Notre Dame graduate.
There is a chance we could see at least one of the televised bouts pit a Top Rank fighter against a DiBella fighter, although as both DiBella and Moretti said, the card is a work in progress.