Bob Arum, the controversial promoter, has gone on record to defend Chavez Jr. during the build-up to his upcoming fight with Martinez. Arum has been quoted saying, in relation to Chavez fighting Martinez, “Darn right he was being protected, because he didn’t know a thing about fighting. We decided we wouldn’t make the fight until he was capable of beating Martinez. If we would have made the fight before now, it would have been like leading the kid to the slaughter.”
Hardly a vote of confidence, but Arum has since changed his tune and feels Chavez is ready for what looks to be the toughest fight of his career.
In the past, Chavez, a huge middleweight, has been accused of avoiding Middleweight king Sergio Martinez. Arum admits that “the one who was chicken was his promoter”. Arum later goes on to say that he feels Chavez is ready to go on and become the king of 160, but falls short of guaranteeing a win for Jr. “Now he’s ready. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’s going to win, but I think he is very competitive and I give him an excellent chance to win this fight,” Arum explained to a group of reporters during a press conference to promote the bout.
Arum clearly now feels Chavez has shown improvement over his past few fights culminating in a bruising win over Andy Lee. Martinez and Chavez Jr. will face off on September 15th at the Thomas and Mack centre in Las Vegas for middleweight supremacy.