Julio Cesar Martinez Aims For Arroyo Title Defense On Canelo Undercard

Julio Cesar Martinez looks to revisit his past for the immediate future.

The reigning WBC flyweight titlist is angling for an appearance on the undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, boxing’s pound-for-pound king and reigning unified super middleweight titlist who eyes a September ring return. Martinez hopes to land a slot on the undercard of his stablemate and mentor, preferably in a rescheduled title defense versus Puerto Rico’s McWilliams Arroyo.

The bout would come less than three months after Martinez’s latest win, a sensational sixth round knockout of countryman Joel Cordova atop a June 26 DAZN telecast from Guadalajara. The show was the first entry in a newly formed series between Canelo Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing to air live from Mexico. Martinez made the third defense of his title and now hopes for his next one to land on his biggest stage yet.

“Señor Eddy Reynoso (Martinez’s head trainer) told us that if we finished off Cordova early and spectacularly, that we could [possibly] appear on Canelo Alvarez’s next show,” Martinez told BoxingScene.com. “All that needs to be determined is [the date] and we will be ready.”

Martinez was twice before scheduled to appear on the undercard of DAZN shows headlined by Alvarez, only to have to withdraw for varying reasons.

The 26-year-old knockout artist from Mexico City fell ill ahead of his eventually canceled title defense versus Francisco Rodriguez last December 19, a show that saw Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs) become a true four-division titlist following a landslide decision win over WBA super middleweight champ Callum Smith in San Antonio. Two months later, Martinez was unable to proceed with a mandatory title defense versus Arroyo, as a hand injury forced him off of the February 26 DAZN show in Miami Gardens, where Alvarez stopped Avni Yildirim after three rounds.

Arroyo remained on the card, knocking out late replacement Abraham Rodriguez in the fifth round to become the WBC interim flyweight titlist.

A healthy Martinez is ready to honor his obligations at a weight where he plans to run the tables before setting his sights on becoming a two-division champ.

“Next for us, we look to make the mandatory (title defense) against Arroyo,” notes Martinez, who won the title in a ninth-round knockout of Cristofer Rosales in December 2019. “Hopefully, he is ready for us in what will unquestionably prove to be a great and memorable war.

“After that, I want to become the undisputed flyweight champion. Once I achieve that, I would love to go to [115 pounds] and face the best there, like [lineal/WBC/WBA champion Juan Francisco] ‘Gallo’ Estrada and [former four-division champ Roman] ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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