The Julio Cesar Martinez-McWilliams Arroyo rematch is somehow back in play.
A purse bid held Thursday to determine promotional rights to the snakebit title consolidation bout was won by Clase y Talento, the company headed by Eddy Reynoso who submitted $345,000.
Ten percent of the bid ($34,500) will be placed in escrow as a win bonus. The remaining $310,500 will be split 65/35 in favor of Martinez (20-2, 15KOs; 2NC) as the defending titlist.
Puerto Rico’s Arroyo holds the interim title, though he has not fought since their November 2021 meeting which ended in a No-Contest after just two rounds. A clash of heads ended their wild affair that saw both men hit the canvas in a truncated fight that was already canceled twice prior to that point.
Neither a date nor location was specified for the rematch, which has already seen two dates fall through due to various issues.
Martinez fell ill during fight week ahead of another planned meeting last June 25 in San Antonio. The bout was rescheduled for last December 3 in Glendale, Arizona. Arroyo bizarrely announced his retirement six weeks out from the fight before he immediately walked back the claim, only to withdraw from the fight after suffering a training camp injury.
Martinez went on to face Spain’s Samuel Cardona, whom he outpointed over twelve awkward rounds. He since claimed an eleventh-round knockout of Ronal Batista for his sixth successful title defense on the May 6 undercard of superstar stablemate Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s unanimous decision win over John Ryder in Zapopan, Mexico.
Alvarez and Martinez are both guided by Reynoso.
Arroyo—who represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics—was afforded the chance to fight for the interim title after a canceled February 2021 meeting with Martinez in Miami Gardens, Florida. Their planned fight was due to serve as the co-feature to Alvarez’s eventual third round knockout of Avni Yildrim, only for Martinez to withdraw just prior to the weigh-in after concealing an injured hand.
Martinez also withdrew from a scheduled August 2020 title defense versus Arroyo due to illness.
Martinez has held the WBC junior bantamweight title since a December 2019 ninth-round knockout of former titlist Cristofer Rosales in Phoenix, Arizona. The belt was previously vacated by Charlie Edwards, who opted to move up in weight after a three-round No-Contest versus Martinez in their August 2019 mandatory title fight in London.
Should the rematch actually move forward, the winner will be free to make a voluntary defense in their next outing. Martinez is co-promoted by Matchroom Boxing, who just confirmed the terrific Sunny Edwards-Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez IBF/WBO flyweight title unification championship for later this year.
Matchroom signed Edwards earlier this spring and co-promotes Rodriguez along with Teiken Promotions.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox