By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised by numerous sources that HBO is interested in setting up a trilogy fight between Sergio Martinez (47-2, 26KOs) and Paul Williams (39-2, 27KOs). Williams won a close twelve round split decision over Martinez in December of 2009, but Martinez got his revenge with a two round brutal knockout in November of 2010. Williams (15-0-1, 10KOs) returns to action on July 9 against unbeaten junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara.
"It has come to our attention that Paul Williams and his braintrust decided to face a southpaw in his first fight back on HBO for the sole purpose of setting up a rubbermatch with middleweight champion Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez," said Lara's adviser, Greg Leon.
"In my opinion nobody wants to see a third fight between Martinez and Williams, but HBO has forgotten more about boxing than I will ever know. Team Lara is grateful to HBO for allowing us the opportunity to showcase his talents against one of the best fighters in the world."
Lara's manager, Luis DeCubas Jr., wants his boxer to secure the same post-fight opportunity as Williams. If Lara defeats Williams, DeCubas wants an immediate fight with Martinez, who does have an date of October 1 reserved with HBO.
"When Erislandy takes care of business on July 9, he wants the same opportunity that appears to be virtually etched in stone for Mr. Williams, a shot at the great middleweight champion Sergio Martinez," said DeCubas Jr. "Some might not agree with my victorious expectations on July 9, but I believe you'd be hard pressed to find somebody who thinks Lara is capable of doing worse against Martinez than Williams did on November 20, 2010."
BoxingScene spoke with Martinez's promoter, Lou DiBella, who does appear receptive to a fight with Lara - if he beats Williams in July - but DiBella doesn't expect that outcome.
"HBO does have some interest in a third fight between Martinez and Williams, and if Lara beats Paul Williams in July, then he's certainly earned the right to fight Martinez, but I don't expect that to happen [Lara beating Williams]," DiBella said.