By Rick Reeno
In the next two weeks, promoter Lou DiBella plans to sit down with WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, and adviser Sampson Lewkowicz, to finalize an opponent for a March date on HBO. The preference by Team Martinez is a catch-weight showdown with WBA 154-pound champion Miguel Cotto. Martinez is willing to squeeze down to 155-pounds to defend his belt against Cotto in March.
The Puerto Rican champion is scheduled to meet with his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, on Saturday in Anaheim, California. Arum will present several scenarios for 2011, and Cotto will make his decision. There are reports coming out of Puerto Rico which indicate Cotto's interest in a fight with Martinez, but Top Rank is more interested in staging a rematch between Cotto and Antonio Margarito in June.
"Everything comes down to Cotto. If he wants the fight to happen, it's going to happen. If doesn't want the fight, it won't happen. He could fight Martinez in March and still fight Margarito. That fight will always be there because it's a grudge match," DiBella said to BoxingScene.com.
One of the Cotto alternatives being discussed is Andy Lee, who is trained by Emanuel Steward. Both DiBella and Steward like the fight.
"It's possible. That's a big fight in New York. If we put that fight in the Theater at Madison Square Garden, I think the fight would sell out in a few days," DiBella said.
And earlier this week, the WBC ordered Martinez to defend his title against unbeaten interim-champion Sebastian Zbik of Germany. DiBella and Zbik's promoter, Universum, have a few weeks to work out the details. A purse bid is scheduled for January 7 in Mexico City.
"I think if the right fight comes along, like a Cotto, we'll work something out with Zbik's people and the WBC. By the time of the purse bid, we should know who we're fighting in March," DiBella said.