By Jake Donovan
Declining to sit around and wait for negotiations between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto to play out, middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio has opted to move on with his career.
Terms have been reached for Rubio to square off versus Italy's Domenico Spada on April 5 in Mexico, with Televisa to televise the event. An interim middleweight title will be at stake for the bout, which is still in search of a venue, with Rubio's hometown of Torreon eyed as a potential location.
"Negotiations were not easy because (Spada) does not like to leave Italy," revealed Oswaldo Kuchle of Promociones del Pueblo, who promotes Rubio. "But we wanted the best fight for 'El Veneno' and the best fights for Televisa. The contracts are signed and we are excited for this opportunity."
Rubio (58-6-1, 50KO) has come up short in two previous title shots, including a 12-round points loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their Feb. '12 contest. The lack of drug testing made available in conjunction with what was contractually agreed upon by both parties led to a lawsuit filed by Rubio's handlers.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) responded accordingly, agreeing to re-insert Rubio as its mandatory contender last year. The belt has since transferred to Martinez, also regarded as the lineal World middleweight champion but who hasn't fought since last April.
Martinez is currently in talks with Miguel Cotto for a potential June 7 clash in New York City. Rubio was floated as the reigning champion's backup plan should Cotto prove too difficult at the negotiating table, but the Mexican has since removed himself from the mix in favor of a guaranteed title shot, even if of the interim variety.
"We are confident that Marco will emerge victorious," insists Kuchle.
Spada (38-4, 19KO) has won six straight since a points loss to Darren Barker in April '11. The bout will mark his third attempt at an interim title, coming up short in two shots at Sebastian Zbik in 2009 and 2010, respectively. All four of Spada's losses have taken place on the road.
Rubio enters this contest riding a five-fight win streak, which began with an exposing of previously unbeaten Jorge Cota. The bout took place in Torreon, drawing a capacity crowd of over 5,000 fans. Each of his last five contests have been staged in Mexico, with his most ring appearance resulting in a 2nd round knockout of Dionisio Miranda last July in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBoxTags: Marco Antonio Rubio