Friday, January 13, 2012

Why Sergio Martinez has Macklin and Not Chavez Jr.

By Rich Mancuso

The World Boxing Council has mandated that Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. defend his middleweight title against Sergio Martinez the Diamond Belt champion. But first there are some usual boxing political games that won’t see this fight occur until the summer or fall season.

The fight is logical. Martinez was unjustly stripped of the title by the WBC and Chavez was in the right place at the right time. So, boxing fans have to wait. Instead on March 17th at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Martinez will defend his bogus title against Matthew Macklin of Birmingham England.

In a few weeks, Chavez defends the title against Marco Antonio Rubio, February 4th on HBO. This is not what the WBC had in mind. But before their mandatory ruling, Top Rank had scheduled the Rubio fight for Chavez. And, despite the efforts of Lou DiBella, Promoter of Martinez, who has been advocating a lucrative payday for his fighter, Bob Arum would not listen.

Maybe Arum was too caught up with securing the next fight for his prize, Manny Pacquiao, or he was doing everything to keep his fighter, Chavez Jr. away from Martinez. He says, the WBC mandated the Chavez title defense after the Rubio fight was made.

That has not made DiBella a happy man. The New York based promoter, also calling the shots for Andre Berto, who meets Victor Ortiz next month, has been at war with Arum in the past. It has been a quiet confrontation. DiBella has been outspoken regarding Arum keeping his fighters from meeting Sergio Martinez.
Nevertheless, all of the friction and WBC politics takes nothing away from what Martinez and Macklin will offer on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City. It could be a brawl, and of course implications for both fighters. Should Martinez lose to Macklin, something that has not occurred since defeating Kelly Pavlik. Paul Williams and Darren Barker, the fight with Chavez will have no significance.
“Macklin is a warrior,” says DiBella. “He comes to fight. He comes forward. He throws a lot of punches, he pressures. He gives everything he has to give in the ring.” And it was no surprise, because the entire boxing world knew that Martinez would choose Macklin had Chavez not been available.

There is no telling where this will go, that is, the continued and quiet war of words between Arum and DiBella. When one poses the question to DiBella, he says, “It’s about Sergio Martinez and what is best for him. He is marketable and deserves a lucrative fight. We can’t keep chasing for the opportunity. Sergio is ready and when discussing best pound-for-pound you have to put Sergio in the group.”

Well said by DiBella who at times last year, especially after Martinez stopped Barker, stated that Martinez was in a class with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Though in his title defense over Barker, Martinez struggled and had a difficult time throwing the combinations.

Macklin is one of those fighters from England that presents another challenge for Martinez. He can punch, brawl, and if Martinez wants that inevitable opportunity with Chavez, he has to fight. He says, “This is the type of fight I like. It brings out the best of me.”

Macklin is coming off his fight with WBA Middleweight champion Felix Sturm in Germany. After that, he signed with DiBella and relocated to New York City. There had been talks that Macklin would step aside had Martinez met Chavez and be first in line to fight the winner.

The fight is also being billed as “The Real Middleweight Championship.” Consider that Chavez is the WBC champion, Martinez with a belt of gratitude that has no significance. Also added to the mix is an end to the rumors that DiBella was moving Martinez from HBO to Showtime.

Said Kery Davis, the Senior Vice President of Programming at HBO Sports “Sergio Martinez has become must-see television and he is recognized as the middleweight champion of the world.”

That alone should say enough as to why Martinez is still with HBO. Showtime was never in the running to obtain Martinez, as had been rumored for the past few months. And, DiBella, with the HBO ties, was fully aware that Arum and HBO are tied in with Chavez. So, the fight with Martinez and Chavez almost certainly gets televised on HBO with discussions perhaps as a pay-per-view event.

Because at this juncture, said as it is, Sergio Martinez and DiBella are looking for that lucrative pay date. Arum and DiBella in the end will work together, they have to, because HBO will be counting on Martinez and Chavez to be one of their mega fights this year.

This post is sponsored in part by Garden City Homes For Sale & Glen Cove Real Estate

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