Suliaman hoping Chavez Jr. will decide to fight Sergio Martinez next
By Dan Ambrose: WBC president Jose Suliaman isn’t saying he’ll strip WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. if he fails to defend his World Boxing Council title next against his mandatory challenger Sergio Martinez but it sure sounds like Suliaman is hinting awfully hard that he might do exactly that in his press release he sent out today.
Suliaman said “His promoters are announcing other names than Martínez, for his next fight, trying perhaps to embarrass the WBC, but it is Julio César who must decide, and I just hope that he will not step against his WBC, where he has found support and several titles since his very beginning.”
I could understand how the WBC would end up humiliated by all of this by failing to enforce their own rules and turning a blind eye to Chavez Jr. being steered around Martinez. It obviously helps Chavez Jr. and his promoter for him to be kept from the fight with Martinez, but it makes the WBC look bad in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans because they’re not forcing Chavez Jr. to fight Martinez after having already ruled that he was supposed to fight him before Chavez Jr’s recent fight against Marco Antonio Rubio.
Chavez Jr. chose the Rubio fight instead and was given permission to take that fight with the belief he would fight Martinez in the next fight. But now Arum is talking about not matching Chavez Jr. with Martinez next nor after that, as he doesn’t feel he’ll be ready for that fight in the next two fights. That puts Suliaman and the WBC in a bind. If they let Arum do this, then it makes a mockery of the WBC’s rules unless Martinez is on board with Chavez Jr. bypassing him. But if Suliaman forces Chavez Jr, then he’ll likely have to strip him of the title and will have a less popular champion in Martinez.
Suliaman goes on to say that he’s aware of the fact that Chavez Jr’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, is already talking about wanting to match Chavez Jr. with other opponents rather than putting him in with Sergio Martinez next. But Suliaman says “I thought Bob knew me better.”
Suliaman wants the rules of the WBC to be followed and he doesn’t want to have them ignored to suit one party.
So will Suliaman strip Chavez Jr. of his title if Arum decides he wants nothing to do with matching him against Martinez? I doubt it. Suliaman is talking tough but I see it more of a situation where he’s hoping Chavez Jr. will agree to it himself, but if he doesn’t then he’ll likely do nothing about it. Chavez Jr. will very likely do what he’s done in the past by deferring to whatever Arum wants to do and that obviously won’t be to fight Martinez. It’s going to come down to whether the WBC will strip Chavez Jr. or not. I think they won’t and will have a continuation of Chavez Jr. being carefully matched against guys that Arum feels he can beat.