By Rich Mancuso
Lou Dibella said this week that WBC Middleweight champion Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. must defend his title against his champion Sergio Martinez, or vacate the title. It was a statement directed more to Bob Arum, promoter of Chavez, and not to the WBC that mandated the fight.
And it was an indirect attack once again at Arum who has been accused of protecting Chavez to avoid Martinez. The factors attributed to Arum not wanting to make this fight are two-fold, one being compiling the purse money for Chavez and another from a previous war of words with DiBella.
Chavez lives up to his end of the bargain last Saturday when he successfully defended the title over Marco Antonio Rubio. Now it is up to Martinez, who many believe is the legitimate champion, to fulfill his part when he meets Matthew Macklin at Madison Square Garden on March 17th.
“As long as Sergio takes care of business on March 17th, Chavez must fight him next,” said DiBella in a statement this week. Arum has said the fight will happen in due time, however, when asked about the next opponent for Chavez, the name of Sergio Martinez does not come into play.
The names of Canelo Alvarez, which would be a mega fight in Mexico, and Antonio Margarito, off a loss to Miguel Cotto, may be on the agenda for Chavez and not Sergio Martinez. That causes further division for DiBella and Arum who have had a quiet war of words the past year.
Since the arrival of Martinez in the United States, wins of Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams, DiBella has always believed his middleweight champion is considered a top three best pound-for-pound fighter. DiBella called out names such as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Arum fighters, Manny Pacquiao, even Miguel Cotto who was still with Arum at the time.
Martinez continued to go about business when his title was vacated because his next challenger was not what television, or supposedly what the WBC mandated. So he was delivered a bogus Diamond Belt, a respectful gesture by the WBC as Chavez would assume the role as middleweight champion. Boxing politics as everyone has become to understand, and Arum was content because he had the WBC champion in his stable.
“If Chavez does not want to meet his mandatory, then the son of the Living Legend should do the honorable thing and vacate his WBC title rather than continue to face lesser opposition,” said DiBella in a statement. Arum could not be reached for comment, and a spokesperson at the WBC, when asked said, “In December the mandatory title defense for Chavez against Martinez was made and nothing has changed.”
So where do we go from here? Arum has to part any differences with DiBella, and follow the WBC mandate. Of course if Martinez wins in New York City next month, the fight has to be made. But the standard of boxing is mandates can mean nothing.