Sarmiento: If Andre Ward wants Sergio Martinez, he has to come down to 160
By Eric Thomas: Pablo Sarmiento, the trainer for WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO’s), didn’t rule out a fight between Martinez and WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward. However, for the fight to happen, Ward will have to move down to 160 lbs to fight Martinez because he’s not going to move up to 168 or fight him at a catchweight.
Sarmiento said to Fighthubtv.com when asked about whether Sergio Martinez would be agreeable to moving up to 168 to fight Ward “No, we’re not interesting in moving up to 168. If he [Ward] wants to fight he can come down to 160.”
When asked if Martinez would be agreeable to fighting Ward at a catchweight of 164, Sarmiento said “We’re not interested in him [Martinez] coming up. If anything, we’d go down to 154.”
It looks like Ward may have messed things up for himself by dominating Chad Dawson in his last fight on September 8th. Dawson had to come down all the way from 175 to make the fight happen, because Ward refused to fight him at a catchweight. Dawson ended up looking weak and weight-drained and performed poorly in getting stopped in the 10th round in a one-sided fight. It’s no wonder that after watching that fight that Martinez would have little interest in being the next one to be the one to come to Ward’s weight class instead of it being the other way around.
Ward likely won’t be agreeable to moving down all the way to 160 to fight Martinez, although he’d be helping if he did so because the important fights at 168 could dry up almost immediately for him after the way he dominated Dawson. I think the chances are extremely low that Ward will get fighters like Mikkel Kessler, Lucian Bute, Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham to fight him now. And with those guys likely not being open to fighting him, that leaves only fighters like Thomas Oosthuizen, Edwin Rodriguez, Don George and Anthony Dirrell. Those are hardly big names. Ward may need to move down to 160 if he wants to get the big names like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Martinez to fight him.
Martinez is much better off looking to move down in weight to try and set up fights agaisnt more popular fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Miguel Cotto and Saul Alvarez. Those guys bring a lot more to the table in terms of ratings and pay per view money than Ward does at this point. There’s no upside to Martinez fighting Ward.