By Michael Marley
There's no such thing as being an accomplice to legalized murder which is I guess why promoter Bob Arum would have no qualms about throwing underwhelming Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. into a world middleweight title unification bout against Argentine terror Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez.
I kid you not, kids, despite all the criticism directed at young Chavez, the 42-0, 30 KOs son of the Living Legend from Culiacan, Arum has a multi-bout scheme to make this 160 pound bout late in the year.
Amomg the latest Chavez critics are Don Jose Sulaiman of the World Boxing Council (WBC) and ex-world champion turned promoter Oscar de la Hoya, who twice beat up Junior's father.
Coming off a less than scintillating points victory over no threat Billy Lyell (one judge called it 96-94) in hometown Culiacan, Sinaloa, with almost 12,000 fans turning out, Chavez is now in line to fight Sebastian Zbik for a world title.
"I hear the negatives," Arum said Friday from Las Vegas, "but I also know that (trainer) Freddie Roach and my matchmaker, Bruce Trampler, both have a lot of confidence in Julio. Bruce thinks Julio is improving and will keep improving under Freddie.
"Look, this Zbik is undefeated and, if Julio gets past him, he builds his stock, his credibility. Then we can move on to a do some big numbers in a PPV TV bout against Martinez."
Martinez, still glowing from his one punch destruction of Tall Paul Williams and generally regarded as the fight game's third best pound for pound fighter (behind only Mr. Pacquiao and Mr. Mayweather), has an March 12 date in the Connecticut woods (Foxwoods) in which he will take on lightly regarded, very defensive Sergei Dzinziruk.
It's no secret that Martinez, trainer Gabriel Sarmiento and handlers Lou DiBella and Sampson Lewkowicz are less than thrilled about HBO dictating Dzinziruk as the opponent, primarily because of his style.
Arum said Dzinziruk was shoved down the Martinez camp's collective throats.
"Nobody can look good against Dzinziruk," Arum said. "This match is a disgrace. It's just so stupid for HBO to do this. Lou had no option. Lou had nothing to do with it.
"They could've gotten (Dmitry) Pirog or someone else who would be right in front of Martinez. This guy just punches and then grabs you. Martinez can win the fight, sure, but this guy will make him look terrible."
Arum, perhaps the returning the non-favor to Oscar ("Chavez has no pop in his punches"), took the time to knock Golden Boy's Mexican Golden Boy, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
"He and Julio will never fight, Julio is too big physically. He's barely a welterweight and Julio has become a big middleweight. Alvarez is a decent fighter but anybody halfway good is going to beat him.
"He is limited and he is slow with his hands and his feet."
For his part, Roach never habored any illusions that Junior would be the type of ring destroyer his father was.
"He is not going to be like his dad. He will be a world champion, and that I have no doubt he will do. But whether he’s going to win titles in three divisions like his dad, remains to be seen. We will work on that. I believe he has great potential to be great, but not like his father. There is only one Julio Cesar Chavez,” Roach recently said.
Arum never had any such illusions, either.
"He is not as fierce as his father was."
The gap between fighting Zbik and facing the fierce southpaw Martinez?
The distance might remind Uncle Bob of one of his greatest hype jobs when Evel Knievel tried to leap across the Snake River Canyon.
Perhaps JC Junior can stay up longer than Evel did.