By Rick Reeno
Middleweight king Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (49-2-2, 28KOs) has issued a direct warning to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs), the WBC's champion at 154-pounds.
On September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Martinez will challenge WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32KOs). The showdown will be carried by HBO pay-per-view.
However, Canelo has a pay-per-view scheduled for the same date - and the event is taking place only two miles down the road at the MGM Grand. Canelo's current opponent is Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22KOs), provided he defeats Josesito Lopez this coming Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. HBO's network competitor, Showtime, is backing the Canelo-Ortiz pay-per-view.
The last time a similar situation took place was on June 10, 2006. Top Rank and Lou DiBella teamed up to stage a pay-per-view event featuring Miguel Cotto vs. Paulie Malignaggi at New York's Madison Square Garden. A few miles away, in Atlantic City, Bernard Hopkins moved up by two weight divisions to challenge light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver. Hopkins-Tarver was carried by HBO pay-per-view and Golden Boy Promotions staged the event.
This time around, Top Rank and DiBella are back together for Chavez-Martinez - with HBO in their corner. And Golden Boy is once again on the other end, with Showtime standing with them.
Martinez, making his debut as a pay-per-view headliner, has warned Canelo to move away from the date.
"I am very happy for my first chance [as a pay-per-view headliner]. The competition, sometimes it's good, but if [Canelo] continues in that position - after I finish with Chavez I will go down to 154 and do the same thing to Canelo, and get back the other belt that belongs to me too," Martinez told BoxingScene.com.
Martinez, who had a lot to say about Chavez in an earlier article, says the Mexican fighter should forget about a possible move to 168 and instead begin making retirement plans.
"After I finish with Chavez, he will never make it to 168. He will retire very young," Martinez said.