Who really deserves to wear the World Middleweight Champion’s crown? Undefeated WBC middleweight champion and the Son of the Legend, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Sergio Martinez, the two-division world champion with matinee idol looks, will settle that question in their long-awaited middleweight battle, Saturday, September 15 – Méxican Independence Day weekend – at the Thomas & Mack Center, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"This is the fight I've always wanted,” said Chávez Jr. “Martinez has said a lot of bad things. Let's see if he wants to go to the center of the ring and fight like a man."
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to headline a live pay-per-view event in Las Vegas and to be able to take back what is rightfully mine, and that is the WBC middleweight championship belt,” said Martinez. “We have been working very hard with my team through the years for this moment and I will make sure to leave Las Vegas September 15th as the winner. Chavez Jr. has shown some improvement in his last fight, but that will not be enough to defeat me September 15th.”
"This is the big fight that the boxing world has been clamoring for such a long time,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. Julio César Chávez Jr., after his latest victory, is ready to go. He will make all Méxicans proud, just like his father used to do."
“This is one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing, between Julio César Chávez Jr., a terrific young champion and the son of a legend, and Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, one of the great pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This is a fight for both middleweight supremacy and pound-for-pound status,” said Martinez promoter Lou DiBella.
“We are pleased to be part of such a monumental match-up between two talented fighters,” said Alex Pariente, executive vice president of international and domestic marketing for Wynn Las Vegas. “The long-anticipated championship fight between Martinez and Chávez on Mexican Independence Day will add to the celebration of the holiday and the history of the storied middleweight title that includes greats such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Tony Zale, Carlos Monzon and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.”
"Julio César Chávez Jr. versus Sergio Martinez is one of the premier and most anticipated matchups in boxing today," said Mark Taffet of HBO Pay-Per-View. "It has all the makings of an extraordinary event -- major league boxing skill in the ring; a spirited rivalry that has simmered for years; the fast-rising new star versus the elite warrior; enthusiastic fan bases; and a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. It will be an evening that every fight fan will want to experience live on HBO Pay-Per-View."
Chávez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KOs), of Culiacán, México, making his first appearance in Las Vegas since 2009, is the son of Mexico’s greatest fighter Julio César Chávez. Chávez, 26, took up the “family business” in 2003, winning a four-round decision in his professional debut.
Eight years later, the reigning World Middleweight Champion and superior gate attraction is poised to make his own mark in the boxing world. He took a major step toward that goal by enlisting legendary trainer Freddie Roach to take him to the next level. Their first fight together was a gigantic success, a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory over top-10 contender John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) in June 2010 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
After his January 29, 2011 unanimous decision win over Billy Lyell, Chávez Jr. became the second family member to win a world title, dethroning undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sebastian Zbik via a majority decision. That June 4, 2011 slugfest took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles just a few blocks north of the Olympic Auditorium where the legendary Julio César Chávez won his first world title.
Chávez Jr. has successfully defended his title with a fifth-round knockout of Top-Five contender Peter Manfredo, Jr., November 19, 2011, followed by a hard-fought unanimous decision on February 4 over No. 1 contender Marco Antonio Rubio. He enters this fight fresh from one his biggest victories, a seventh-round knockout of No. 2-rated contender Andy Lee on June 16.
Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs), of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a consensus Top-Three pound-for-pound fighter, will be making his first appearance in a Las Vegas ring since 2000. He first made his presence known to the boxing world in 2007 by knocking out Saul Roman in the fourth round of their WBC super welterweight title elimination bout. One year later, Martinez captured the WBC interim super welterweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Alex Bunema.
He was elevated to WBC world super welterweight champion in the latter half of 2009. Martinez captured his second world title in as many divisions, in 2010, moving up in weight to challenge and upset defending middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. Martinez enters this fight riding a two-year, five-bout winning streak, including knockout victories of Paul Williams, Sergiy Dzinziruk, and Darren Baker. In his last fight, on St. Patricks’ Day at Madison Square Garden, Martinez stopped Matthew Macklin in the 11th round.
The Chávez Jr. vs. Martinez world championship telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, Zanfer Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with Wynn Las Vegas, AT&T and Tecate, tickets to the Chávez Jr. vs. Martinez World Middleweight Championship Event will go on sale this Thursday, July 12 at 3:00 p.m. ET / Noon PT. Priced at $600, $400, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, they can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center box office and Town Square Las Vegas Concierge. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.unlvtickets.com. To charge by telephone call (702) 739-FANS.