Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Arroyo are both willing and able to move forward with their rematch.
All they need now is a new date. Again.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the oft-delayed WBC flyweight title consolidation rematch will no longer take place November 4 as previously planned. The bout joins several others—including the Subriel Matias-Shohjahon Ergashev IBF junior welterweight title fight—to move off that date, which will no longer house a Showtime telecast.
Representatives for both sides have been kept abreast of tentative plans to relocate the fight, though it remains a fluid situation. The snakebit title consolidation bout promotionally belongs to Clase y Talento, the company headed by Eddy Reynoso who submitted $345,000 to win the rights during a June 22 purse bid hearing. Ten percent of the bid ($34,500) will be placed in escrow as a win bonus. The remaining $310,500 will be split 65/35 in favor of Martinez (20-2, 15KOs; 2NC) as the defending titlist.
Reynoso’s main client is, of course, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (60-2-2, 39KOs), who recently completed his first bout of a multi-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). The undisputed super middleweight champion turned away lineal and unified junior middleweight king Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19KOs) via unanimous decision this past Saturday atop a Showtime Pay-Per-View from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
That relationship will—for now—keep Martinez-Arroyo II under the PBC banner. However, it has not at all changed the bad luck surrounding this matchup.
Puerto Rico’s Arroyo holds the interim title, though he has not fought since their November 2021 meeting which ended in a No-Contest after just two rounds in Manchester, New Hampshire. A clash of heads ended their wild affair that saw both men hit the canvas in a truncated fight that was already canceled twice prior to that point.
The rematch suffered two separate postponements in 2022.
Martinez fell ill during fight week ahead of another planned meeting last June 25 in San Antonio. The bout was rescheduled for last December 3 in Glendale, Arizona. Arroyo bizarrely announced his retirement six weeks out from the fight before he immediately walked back the claim, only to withdraw from the fight after suffering a training camp injury.
Martinez went on to face Spain’s Samuel Cardona, whom he outpointed over twelve rounds. He since claimed an eleventh-round knockout of Ronal Batista for his sixth successful title defense on the May 6 undercard of superstar stablemate Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s unanimous decision win over John Ryder in Zapopan, Mexico.
Arroyo—who represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics—was afforded the chance to fight for the interim title after a canceled February 2021 meeting with Martinez in Miami Gardens, Florida. Their planned fight was due to serve as the co-feature to Alvarez’s eventual third round knockout of Avni Yildirim, only for Martinez to withdraw just prior to the weigh-in after concealing an injured hand.
Martinez also withdrew from a scheduled August 2020 title defense versus Arroyo due to illness.
Martinez has held the WBC junior bantamweight title since a December 2019 ninth-round knockout of former titlist Cristofer Rosales in Phoenix, Arizona. The belt was previously vacated by Charlie Edwards, who opted to move up in weight after a three-round No-Contest versus Martinez in their August 2019 mandatory title fight in London.
Should the rematch finally move forward, the winner will be free to make a voluntary defense in their next outing. Among the attractive options would be the victor from the terrific Sunny Edwards-Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez IBF/WBO flyweight title fight on December 16 in Glendale, Arizona. Their schedules would be aligned, given the latest delay.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox