By Rick Reeno
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum has announced that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0, 32KOs) will indeed defend his WBC middleweight title against mandatory challenger Sergio Martinez (49-2, 28KOs) on September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. HBO pay-per-view will carry the event.
Martinez's longtime adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz, was delighted with the news. Martinez has been chasing Chavez since late 2010. Since that time, Chavez has improved in the ring and his recent victory even impressed Lewkowicz, who initially believed that Martinez would blow the young Mexican out.
Chavez fought on Saturday night in El Paso and stopped Martinez's stablemate, Andy Lee, in seven rounds.
"I received two phone calls from [Martinez's promoter] Lou DiBella and we have a done deal for September 15th at the Thomas & Mack. Before his last two fights, I wasn't a believer. After what I saw tonight, I became a believer. Based on what happened tonight - I don't believe Chavez will be that big of an underdog. I expect a very competitive fight. I believe the pay-per-view will do a million buys and both fighters will make their biggest paydays. We look forward to the fight and we look forward to finally settling the debate on who is the real middleweight champion," Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com.
Speaking of pay-per-views, Golden Boy Promotions has scheduled a pay-per-view event for the same exact night, also in Las Vegas, with Chavez's Mexican rival, WBC 154-pound champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez defending his title against Victor Ortiz. The event takes place at the MGM Grand and Showtime pay-per-view will broadcast the card.
Personally speaking, I can't remember a single moment in time where a major HBO pay-per-view went head to head with a major Showtime pay-per-view - and the same city was hosting both events.
Lewkowicz doesn't believe the two events will go head to head. In his opinion, he believes Canelo-Ortiz will possibly move to a different date.
"I just can't see it happening. I don't see two events going head to head in Las Vegas and on pay-per-view," Lewkowicz said.