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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Martinez: Chavez Jr. lacks the dignity, courage to accept challenge

By Michael Woods

One of my main desires is to not bore you. I fear if I delve too deep into matters involving the sanctioning bodies, I risk a readership drain from NYFightBlog. So I try and keep that stuff to a minimum.

But Sergio Martinez, acknowledged as the best middleweight in the world, does not have a belt right now, and is trying to convince the WBC that he deserves their middleweight strap. He had it, but didn't want to fight the guy they wanted him to fight, so he gave up the belt, and was tabbed their emeritus champion. He and his promoter, Lou DiBella, think he should be able to fight the current WBC middleweight champion, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in his next outing, which is slated for March 17 at Madison Square Garden's Theater. The WBC agrees, but Chavez's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has indicated that he wants Chavez to fight the WBC No. 1-ranked challenger, Marco Antonio Rubio instead, on Feb. 4.

Martinez was in NY on Tuesday, to do some charitable outreach, and to sit down with some boxing media to talk about March 17. If Arum's plan plays out, Martinez will be fighting Matthew Macklin, with no belt on the line, because Chavez Jr. will keep possession of the strap. If DiBella and Martinez get their way, Chavez Jr will meet Martinez at MSG, with the WBC strap up for grabs. Or, if they partially get their way, the WBC strips the title from Chavez, awards it to Martinez, and Martinez and Macklin rumble for the strap on March 17.

See why I try not to bore you with this sanctioning body silliness?

Martinez spoke boldly about Chavez Jr., the 25-year-old son of the legend who owns a 44-0-1 mark. "He should have the dignity to fight me, but he doesn't," he said. "And Top Rank doesn't want to put Chavez in with me." I wondered if dignity was the word he was truly looking for, or was it courage? "Both," Martinez said. "Fifty-fifty."

DiBella is always one to speak boldly. He laced into the state of the game, and said that fighters like Chavez Jr, and Canelo Alvarez are picking and choosing who they fight, because their promoters (Arum, Golden Boy) have such leverage. Thus, the best aren't fighting the best, and fans lose out, he said.

The promoter took a shot at HBO for focusing on the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, for putting it on the cover of their 2012 calendar, instead of focusing on other matches which are easier to make. Check back for some more juicy material from Combustible Lou, and Martinez ...