Fall defense for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who claimed a middleweight belt with a majority decision June 4 against Sebastian Zbik in Los Angeles, won't sit idle for long.
"It's very important that he go right back into action because he's the kind of kid that doesn't understand discipline when he's not training," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com.
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"When he's training he's all right. We've got to get him back in the gym as soon as possible."
Arum is trying to schedule Chavez's first title defense in order to accommodate trainer Freddie Roach before he has to go to the Philippines to train pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao for his Nov. 12 welterweight title defense against Juan Manuel Marquez.
"We talked to Freddie and went over everything and the date that works for us is Sept. 24, and that's what we've asked HBO for," said Arum, adding that the fall bout likely would take place in Houston or San Antonio. "That's right before Freddie leaves for the Philippines to train Manny. He doesn't think the kid would go to train with them in the Philippines. It's tough enough to get him to train at the Wild Card (in Hollywood, Calif.). I've talked to HBO and they are considering it."
Of course, HBO is considering it -- and for a simple reason.
Chavez-Zbik drew 1.5 million viewers for the debut airing of the bout, the biggest audience for a "Boxing After Dark" main event since Paulie Malignaggi won a junior welterweight title against Lovemore N'Dou in 2007.
"If they have a good rating, you have to keep the momentum going," Arum said.
Arum said there are three opponents under consideration for Chavez's next fight: European champion Darren Barker of England, former "Contender" participant Peter Manfredo Jr. of Providence, R.I., and Marco Antonio Rubio, Chavez's Mexican countryman.
"I think we'll try to do Chavez against (junior middleweight titlist) Miguel Cotto next spring in a big pay-per-view, but in the meantime we're looking at those guys for Chavez in the fall," Arum said.
Arum said he wants to keep Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KOs), the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (Julio Sr. will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday), busy, meaning the fight in September will be followed by another title defense in December.
Arum said if HBO cannot accommodate both bouts, he would consider putting Chavez on in Mexico on his own show in December.
"He's a guy who should be fighting four or five times a year," Arum said. "Because of Freddie's situation, Chavez will fight in September. If not on that date, Sept. 24, around that date. HBO is not the only game on the block. Given his ratings, if HBO didn't want it, or couldn't do it, we could go to Showtime or do it ourselves."
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.
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