Sergio Martinez, one of the five best fighters in the world, will fight on St. Patrick's Day at the Madison Square Garden Theater on March 17, against Irishman Matthew Macklin in a middleweight tussle. We didn't know that last week, so some clarity is nice. Clarity of sorts came when it was made official that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was fighting Marco Antonio Rubio on Feb. 4 in Texas. Thus, he wouldn't be available to put his WBC middleweight belt, formerly held by Martinez till he gave it up because he didn't want to fight the WBC-mandated foe, Sebastian Zbik, last year, on the line against Martinez on March 17. That was the bout Team Martinez wanted, and it looks like, will get..just not as soon as they want.
The WBC released this statement yesterday, calling for Chavez to meet champion emeritus Martinez if Chavez and Martinez both win their forthcoming bouts.
The WBC approved the Chavez-Martinez bout if both fighters win their respective bouts.
The World Boxing Council unanimously approved that the WBC middleweight champion of the world, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., should defend mandatorily against Sergio Martinez, but leaving open an opportunity for both parties to agree as both had TV dates already reserved, Chavez on February 4th and Martinez on March 15th.
As no news of any agreement was received at the WBC offices, and per virtue of February 4th being a month away and March 15th about two months away, the Board of Governors of the WBC has ruled to accept both engagements according to the rules, but with the indication that the winner and WBC champion after the 4th of February must defend mandatorily against Martinez, if he wins over Mathew Macklin, classified in the past convention by request of Mr. Lou DiBella.
The WBC offices will be waiting the requests in writing to approve the bouts.
The rule 2.1 says:
2.1 WBC Approval of WBC Championship and Elimination Bouts. All promoters must request in writing the approval by the WBC of any WBC-sanctioned championship, elimination, or qualifying bouts. No bout shall be considered as officially sanctioned by the WBC unless the promoter has received the written approval of the WBC Presidency, and complies fully with all terms and conditions of the sanction, including payment of all required fees, and compliance with these Rules and Regulations.
Now, Martinez and his crew have made clear that they want the WBC to abide by the decision announced at their convention before Christmas, a ruling which stated that Chavez Jr. should face off with Martinez ASAP. They've said that they expect Martinez to be fighting for the WBC belt, currently "belonging" to Chavez Jr, on March 17. So how does team Martinez react to the WBC release?
I asked Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez's adviser, this same question. He responded: The only one that will respond on this specific issue is Sergio Martinez. He will be available in NYC next week on Wednesday.
So stay tuned, readers. I will be on that story next week.