By Rick Reeno
A deal is very close for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (45-0-1, 31KOs) to defend his WBC middleweight title against Andy Lee (28-1, 20KOs) in an HBO televised fight on June 16th in Texas, according to Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum.
"I like Andy Lee as the opponent. I think it's a great fight," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
The fight with Lee is the first piece of the puzzle. The next piece would be a September defense against Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28KOs) on HBO pay-per-view. Contrary to reports, Arum advised BoxingScene that last week Chavez signed a two-fight extension with Top Rank. Chavez is pushing Top Rank to make the fight with Martinez.
"That is true, [Chavez] wants the fight [with Martinez]. [Top Rank head matchmaker] Bruce [Trampler] thinks its a tough fight, but he believes [Chavez] can win," Arum said.
Lou DiBella, who promotes both Lee and Martinez, hopes to finalize the details of a Chavez-Lee fight in the next few days.
"Any time where Bob has wanted to make a deal, we've had no problems in making one. If Bob says a deal will get done in the next few days [for Lee], I'm confident that we'll get it done," DiBella told BoxingScene.com.