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Sergio Martinez: Cotto and Chavez Jr. don’t have the courage to fight me

Antonio Margarito Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Miguel Cotto Sergio MartinezBy Dan Ambrose: World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is hoping that Antonio Margarito beats WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto on December 3rd in their title fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Martinez thinks Cotto is to scared to fight him, but believes that Margarito has the courage to take a fight with him. Margarito stopped Martinez in the 7th round in February 2000. Martinez would love a rematch provided that Margarito beats Cotto in December.

Martinez also thinks WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. lacks the courage to fight him, and he believes his team will never let the young Chavez Jr. anywhere near Martinez.

Speaking with ESPN Deportes, Martinez said “I hope Margarito wins, because I know he wouldn’t have a problem fighting me, which is something Cotto won’t do. Cotto doesn’t want to face me….Chavez isn’t going to have the courage to fight me. He simply won’t. Neither Chavez, nor his team, nor his entourage or his promoters, everyone around him who are protecting him. They are not going to allow Chavez to face me.”

It’s pretty clear already that Cotto and Chavez Jr. aren’t interested in facing Martinez. It’s easy to see why, though, because Chavez Jr. could barely beat the previous WBC middleweight paper champion Sebastian Zbik last June. That fight, as well as Chavez’s other bouts against the likes of Billy Lyell, showed that Chavez Jr. doesn’t have the talent to compete with a fighter in Martinez’s class.

If Bob Arum, the promoter for Chavez Jr., agreed to match him with Martinez, it would be the equivalent of leading a lamb to the slaughter. Chavez Jr. is just too limited a fighter to hold his own against Martinez. Arum is doing well matching Chavez Jr. against the likes of Peter Manfredo Jr. in November. That’s a fight that Chavez Jr. can probably win, but that’s a fight that is at the upper limits of Chavez’s talent level, though. It wouldn’t be wise for Arum to match Chavez Jr. against a better fighter than Manfredo because the chances are Chavez Jr. would get beaten.

Cotto is promoted by Arum as well, and he has a pretty good idea who would win in a fight between Cotto and Martinez. Perhaps this is why Cotto is being matched against guys like Yuri Foreman, 38-year-old Ricardo Mayorga and now the struggling Antonio Margarito instead of better fighters like Martinez and Alfredo Angulo.

Martinez defends his World Boxing Council Diamond belt on Saturday night against British challenger Darren Barker in what figures to be a terrible mismatch. Barker is slow, weak and not experienced against quality world class opposition.

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