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Sergio Martinez not interested in facing Bernard Hopkins next

Bernard Hopkins Darren Barker Sergio MartinezBy Dan Ambrose: Moments after stopping previously unbeaten challenger Darren Barker (23-1, 14 KO’s) in the 11th round on Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, WBC Diamond middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KO’s) was asked by HBO analyst Larry Merchant if he would be interested in facing 46-year-old WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins next if Hopkins is able to beat Chad Dawson on October 15th.

Merchant told Martinez that Hopkins wants to fight him next and would fight him at a catchweight of 170 lbs, which is only five pounds under the full 175 pound light heavyweight limit. Martinez scrunched up his face and said “170 pounds is a lot of weight. I weighed 165 pounds tonight.”

In other words, Martinez isn’t interested in taking on Hopkins in a fight where Martinez would likely be facing a fighter weighing in the 180s by the time Hopkins rehydrates after the weigh-in. For a guy that only moved up from 154 lbs last year, it’s just too much weigh for Martinez to move up. 167 lbs would be a halfway point between 160 and 175 lbs, but that still doesn’t take away from the likelihood that Hopkins would be weighing in the 180s by the time he sets foot in the ring against Martinez. Also, there’s a good chance that Hopkins will get beaten on October 15th by Dawson, and Martinez certainly doesn’t want to take on Hopkins after he loses the fight.

Martinez wants to fight either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao, and has publically stated that he’d fight them both at a catchweight of 150 lbs. That’s where the real money is for Martinez, not for fighting a 46-year-old Hopkins. That’s little money in comparison.

WBO middleweight champion Dimitry Pirog and Matthew Macklin are both interested in facing Martinez. However, of them are huge stars and are pretty much completely unknown in the United States. It would be almost the same as fighting Barker again. There’s no upside for Martinez, no motivation and little to gain because he won’t a lot of money credit for knocking them out.

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