Chavez Jr. to fight Margarito or Andy Lee next
By Dan Ambrose: It looks as if a fight between former WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and the current World Boxing Council middleweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (45-0-1, 31 KO’s) will have to wait a little longer, as the news out isn’t looking good for this fight as far it happening next.
Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that Andy Lee (27-1, 19 KO’s) and Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27 KO’s) are what Chavez’s promoter Bob Arum is looking for in Chavez’s next bout in the summer.
Martinez, who the WBC ordered Chavez Jr. to fight next, isn’t even being mentioned by Arum. It looks like Arum is pretty confident that the WBC won’t even say a word about trying to force Chavez Jr. to defend against Martinez. That’s how it seems, because the “M” word wasn’t mentioned in Arum’s last talk about who Chavez Jr. will be looking to face next.
I’m kind of used to it now so it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I don’t think Arum or Chavez Jr. want to make the Martinez all that much and they’re not going to be forced by the WBC or anybody to take that fight.
Lee, 27, would be a bold choice for a Chavez Jr. opponent, because Chavez Jr. won’t be able to lean forward and pressure Lee on the inside like he did with Marco Antonio Rubio last weekend.
Lee moves around and as long as his legs don’t turn to rubber like they did against Brian Vera in their first fight, then I think Chavez Jr. would have to figure out how to beat Lee in an outside war.
Chavez Jr. isn’t much of an outside fighter, but he’d have to learn in a big hurry if Lee is selected. This choice goes against the past kinds of selections that Arum has made for his past choice. He usually only makes fights to where his fighter has a high degree of certainty to where they’ll win.
A Chavez-Lee fight would be one where I think Lee would be the favored fighter because he’s so much better than Chavez Jr. and he wouldn’t be immune to being mugged by him the way that smaller fighters usually are who try and fight him on the inside. Chavez Jr. would have a huge weight advantage but it wouldn’t be effective weight because Lee would be moving around a lot and wouldn’t fight Chavez’s game in close.
Margarito, 33, seems like the much more logical choice for Arum to make. I know Arum is mentioning Lee’s name but I think that’s just so that Arum doesn’t take a huge amount of criticism from boxing fans and from Sergio Martinez by going with one of his own Top Rank fighters from the get go.
I think Lee’s name will continue to be mentioned along with Margarito but then in then they’ll finally go with Margarito. There’s really no mystery about it. Lee’s name will probably just be mentioned as cover to escape the heat, but then Margarito will be the one that’s trotted out to fight Chavez Jr. in June or July, which is probably when we’ll be seeing Chavez Jr. fight again.
Arum said something about Chavez Jr. fighting four times in 2012. That’s not going to happen. He’ll fight in June or July, and then in November or December and that’ll take up the entire year. It’ll be Margarito in the summer, and probably Miguel Cotto in the tail end of the year.
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