Sergio Martinez: Desperate or Businessman?
By Robert “Big Moe” Elmore: Sergio Martinez wants the big fights and wants the big pay day. He knows fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao can get him both. He doesn’t need the fame. He made that happen after toppling Kelly Pavlik and knocking out Paul Williams in their rematch.
But now that he has asserted himself as a dominate middleweight, he’s willing to risk his health to fight Pac at 150 pounds. He’s also said he will come down to 154 for a bout with Floyd. I kind of feel bad for the guy and then again I don’t. Team Martinez has a few options, but it seems they are just looking for the big bucks. Here is why I feel bad for him.
Sergio reminds me of Marvin Hagler. He’s a late bloomer. Hagler didn’t get endorsements and the spotlight until he beat Thomas Hearns. Sergio didn’t get his until he beat Pavlik. Then he had his WBC title stripped from him and it was given to Sebastian Zbik. To add insult to injury, in steps Julio Ceaser Chavez Jr. who beats Zbik. Many think (as do I) the WBC did this to make life easier for Jr. But according to Jose Suliman, if Chavez wins his fight Peter Manfredo on November 19th, a fight with Martinez will ensue. It seems that he can’t get a big fight for anything. He‘s called out a legion of fighters, but nothing has materialized. And to top it all off, the middleweight division is not exactly decorated with much competition. Even with talks of Mikkel Kessler moving back down to middleweight still wouldn’t move the needle.
I don’t feel bad for Sergio because he seems desperate nowadays for a big pay day. The latest is he is willing to “risk his health” to fight Pacquiao. Did he not see what happened to Oscar De La Hoya when he risked his health against Manny? I don’t very seriously this fight will take place as Bob Arum said after the Margarito fight, that his cash cow will only fight 147 pounds. But if the fight with Pac or May takes place and he gets trounced, he would have gotten what he deserved. Sure many fight fans will use the weight as an excuse, but this writer won’t. He understands the conditions and the consequences. He hasn’t fought close to 147 pounds in ten years.
Add this, Lou Dibella and Sampson Lewkowicz have already said they will not let Maravilla move up to the super middleweight division to fight. That division is rich with fighters and talent. Sure, he might not make the 5 million in one night like he could fighting Money or Manny. But a couple convincing wins at that weight and he probably could command that kind of money. And who says Martinez has to weigh in at the full 168? He could put on two or three pounds, maintain his intensity, speed, and make a greater name for himself. Besides this, his walking around weight is 178 pounds so the super middleweight division is very much possible.
His promoters should handle him a little better than they are. Frolicking and begging for fights is not cute. If he gets those fights against Money and Manny, more power to his team. If they don’t it’s time to start looking else where and fast.