After Billy Lyell, Julio Cesar Chavez Eyes Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto
Chavez Jr.'s long-range goals are to face either WBC middleweight king Sergio Martinez or WBA junior middleweight (154 pounds) champ Miguel Cotto, said Gibbons, adding that Chavez will be trained for Lyell by four-time Trainer of the Year, Freddie Roach, along with strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.
Roach and Ariza also work with eight-division king Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), holder of the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) and WBC junior middleweight belts, as well as WBA junior welterweight (140 pounds) champ Amir Khan (24-1, 17 KOs).
"Julio still is working with Freddie Roach, and this will be the first time that they will be training together with Alex Ariza in Mexico City," said Gibbons, Chavez's seven-year match maker with Zanfer Promotions, which handles Chavez along with Top Rank Promotions. "The fight with Lyell is going to be scheduled for 10 rounds, and it will be seen on Top Rank Live in the United States, and, of course, Fox Sports."
Chavez Jr. (40-0-1, 30 knockouts) is coming off of June's unanimous decision victory on a Top Rank Promotions card over Ireland-born John Duddy (29-2, 18 KOs) of New York, who also has suffered a loss to the 26-year-old Lyell (22-8, four KOs) by 10-round, split-decision in April of 2009.
Duddy is slated for a March 12 meeting opposite southpaw middleweight contender, Andy Lee (24-1, 18 KOs), of Detroit, a winner of nine consecutive fights with six of them coming by way of knockout, including four straight, since suffering his last loss by seventh-round knockout to Bryan Lee Vera in March of 2008.
According to Lee's manager, trainer, Manny Steward, Lee-Duddy would take place on the under card of an HBO televised bout between Germany's southpaw WBO junior middleweight titlist Sergei Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs) and Argentinian-born southpaw king Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), a resident of Oxnard, Calif.
"The ultimate goal is to fight Martinez for the WBC title if we're successful," said Gibbons. "But you never want to jinx yourself talking about what's next or to look past what's directly in front of you."
Gibbons said that Chavez also has in his sights on a potential clash with Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs), who will face former world champion Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 22 KOs) on a March 12 pay per view card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"At the present moment, we've decided just to shoot for the WBC middleweight championship," said Gibbons. "If we're successful in that, then, say, Miguel Cotto comes out successfully in his next couple of fights, we'd still like to possibly fight Cotto."
Before coming down with a 103-degree temperature four days prior to the bout, Chavez was scheduled for a Dec. 4 return to the ring opposite New Jersey junior middleweight Pawel Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs), who could meet former world champion Yuri Foreman (28-1, eight KOs) of Brooklyn, New York on the Cotto-Mayorga under card.
Wolak instead scored a seventh-round stoppage of Jose Pinzon (18-2-1, 12 KOs), against whom he rose from a second-round knockdown in a middleweight clash.
"Unfortunately, when Chavez got sick before the Wolak fight, that kind of threw a wrench into the whole plan," said Gibbons. "So at this point, we decided to go for the middleweight championship at a weight that he's comfortable at and to see what happens."
Although the deal is close, Dzinziruk's promoter, Gary Shaw, told FanHouse that he has not yet signed the contract for Martinez-Dzinziruk, which would be for Martinez's crown.
The 34-year-old Dzinziruk recently scored May's 10th-round knockout of Australia's Daniel Dawson (35-3, 24 KOs) in the sixth defense of his belt, and would face Martinez in an HBO televised, March 12 main event at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Ledyard, Conn.
Lyell is coming off of May's eight-round unanimous decision over Martinus Gray, which helped him to rebound from the fifth knockout loss of his career -- January's 10th-round stoppage at the hands of IBF middleweight king Sebastian Sylvester (34-3-1, 16 KOs) of Germany.