By Rick Reeno
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - At their ongoing 49th annual convention, the World Boxing Council ordered their middleweight champion, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31KOs), to make an immediate defense against the Diamond champion, Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27KOs). The WBC will not allow Chavez to make any voluntary title defenses, against Marco Antonio Rubio or Miguel Cotto.
Martinez's promoter Lou DiBella was delighted with the WBC's ruling. Chavez is slated to return in February, while Martinez has an HBO date on March 17th.
"Chavez must fight Sergio next. No interim fights. He has to fight Sergio next or [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum must work out a deal with me. He can't take the Feburary fight without being stripped or unless Top Rank and DiBella agree. Obviously I'll be having conversations with both HBO and Arum," DiBella told BoxingScene.com.
Martinez's adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz, expects Martinez to receive the full title.
"I guarantee that Sergio Martinez will defend the WBC middleweight title in March," Lewkowicz said.