Hearing or reading about boxers and promoters call people out for a fight is nothing new. In fact, true followers of boxing probably hear it several times each week.
Lou DiBella called out Top Rank’s WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to get into the ring with his prized star Sergio Martinez. The fact that Chavez fights under Top Rank is significant because DiBella has been at odds with the promotional giant for some time.
But it’s time to put the egos and differences aside. Chavez (45-0-1, 31 KOs) needs to step into the ring with a quality opponent and Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) deserves a big payday. Outside of a majority decision win over Sebastian Zbik last June, Chavez hasn’t exactly blazed a trail against top-flight fighters.
Wins over Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik and Serhiy Dzinziruk and the previously undefeated Darren Barker have put Martinez on a higher plateau. If he can take care of Matthew Macklin on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day), he would’ve certainly earned a shot at some big money.
"As long as Sergio takes care business on March 17, Chavez must fight him next. Either fight him or he has to vacate his title. It's plain and simple," said DiBella. "We are tired of waiting for Chavez to step up to the plate. He needs to stop hiding behind his people and be a real champion. He says that he wants the fight, so prove it.”
Martinez is the linear WBC middleweight champ, but vacated the belt because the mandatory challenger wasn’t up to TV programming standards, DiBella said.
DiBella is doing what any good promoter would do for a championship fighter. But is he blowing smoke? Most in the boxing community are actually on his side. Chavez has a gaudy record, but those bouts haven’t come against any real household names.
HBO boxing analyst Jim Lampley agrees and said: “[Chavez] still has not fought a fighter of legitimate championship quality."
Many in the boxing world have been clamoring for a Chavez-Canelo Alvarez bout. That’s not likely to happen any time soon because Alvarez is promoted by Golden Boy Promoters. Golden Boy and Top Rank are still at odds with each other and aren’t likely to co-promote a big bout any time soon.