By Rick Reeno
Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32KOs) is still on target to return on June 22nd, on HBO, in either Texas or Mexico, according to Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum.
Chavez, 27-years-old, will return for the first time since suffering a twelve round decision loss to Sergio Martinez last September. Following the fight, it was revealed that Chavez had tested positive for marijuana. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for nine months and issued a massive fine of $900,000 dollars. Chavez's suspension expires on June 15th.
Among the candidates for Julio's return - Brian Vera (22-6, 13KOs), who returns tomorrow night against Donatas Bondorovas (17-3-1, 6KOs) at Turning StoneCasino in New York. There is also tough contender Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20KOs). And the third possibility, says Arum, is British middleweight Darren Barker (25-1, 16KOs). The lone loss on Barker's record came at the hands of Sergio Martinez by way of an eleventh round TKO.