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RESPECT: Martinez admires Floyd


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SERGIO MARTINEZ: FLOYD MAYWEATHER IS BETTER THAN MANNY PACQUIAO AND WOULD BE MY TOUGHEST OPPONENT

 

Ben Jacobs enjoys a wide-ranging conversation with the Argentine

 

RESPECT: Martinez admires Floyd

 

SERGIO MARTINEZ, the universally recognised middleweight champion of the world, despite what the WBC may say, is currently preparing for his tricky showdown with the skilled technician Sergey Dzinziruk on March 12 in Connecticut. I recently had the chance to speak to Sergio on some other subjects besides his recent rise in the pound-for-pound rankings and I was interested to hear his thoughts on some other aspects of the sport.

 

Sergio, lately there have been a lot of good fighters emerging from Argentina such as yourself, [Marcos] Maidana and [Lucas] Matthyse. You must feel quite proud about this and that now when we talk about Latin American fighters, we’re not just talking about Mexicans or Puerto Ricans.

 

For sure, it’s very positive for boxing that there are fighters from other Latin American countries and they are at a high level. I think the last few years have been very positive especially for Argentina as we’ve had various world champions.

 

Regarding Spain, a country that you lived in for many years, they’ve had champions like Gabriel Campillo recently but do you think we’ll see more fighters coming out of Spain in the next few years?

 

It’s more difficult in Spain because there are fewer fans than say in Argentina. But there are quality boxers; they just need to have fights against tougher opponents say from England or Germany. But there are quality fighters there who could go far in the sport.

 

I recently wrote an article discussing controversial decisions in the sport. I proposed that the governing bodies should review fights on video and be able to change the outcome of fights upon viewing, much as they do in football when they reverse red card decisions for example. How do you feel about that?

 

I think it would be the best thing for boxing, if they analysed the mistakes on video. But I also want to believe in the decency, shall we say of the judges. So if they’re decent, I’d like them to be taught better, for the benefit of boxing. Everyone sees a fight and the judges see a different one, only those three people.

 

I wondered if you see any similarities between your career and that of Britain’s Joe Calzaghe as he also had to wait until the age of around 32 or 33 to get the big fights.

 

Truthfully it’s an honour that you’d say that about me, Calzaghe was one of the best fighters for me, he was an idol. Comparing me to him gives me a lot of pride. I think you’re right in the sense that we both had to wait until our 30s and for a lot of people that would be too late, but for myself and for him it wasn’t. I don’t think age is so important, what’s important is the sporting age shall we say. I started boxing at the age of 20 and that’s only 15 years of boxing that I’ve done. What I think counts is the sporting age as I mentioned and the amount of shots you’ve taken in your career. If you take a lot of shots then your career will be shortened.

 

I recently heard you mention that one of the key fights in your career was here in England against Richard Williams; what can you tell me about that?

 

Absolutely, it was probably one of the hardest fights of my career and one of the most important; it was a point of reflection for me. After that fight, my career started to lift off internationally. I also won a title that night, it was important for me as a person as well as a boxer.

 

Finally, are you seeking a fight against either Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather

 

The best boxer in the world is Floyd Mayweather, even better than Pacquiao. I think he’s the most difficult fighter that I could face. To face those two would be good for me, good for them and it would be good for boxing that we all face each other, the best fighters.

 

http://www.boxingnewsonline.net/BN08/detail.asp?id=2212

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I can see why Martinez wants to fight either guy: They would bring a lot of cash to the table and he would get credit for beating either of them (assuming he does). But, really he should be concentrating on beating all comers from 154-160lbs. There's a handful of names out there that would add to his legacy.
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I can see why Martinez wants to fight either guy: They would bring a lot of cash to the table and he would get credit for beating either of them (assuming he does). But, really he should be concentrating on beating all comers from 154-160lbs. There's a handful of names out there that would add to his legacy.

 

what handful of names are you referring to? middleweight is dormant. dzinziruk and cotto maybe but the rest is... bland. just fighting mayweather or pacquiao is worth more than beating a handful of the no names at 160/154

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Its been ten years since he made Welter, and 2 since Light Middle. I dont think a Middle gets much credit for beating a Welter, especially a midget type one like Pakow. He'd have 4 inches in height, and nine in reach over the Fillipino. Plus he is much improved from the fighter that lost to Margarito ten years ago.
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I can see why Martinez wants to fight either guy: They would bring a lot of cash to the table and he would get credit for beating either of them (assuming he does). But, really he should be concentrating on beating all comers from 154-160lbs. There's a handful of names out there that would add to his legacy.

 

what handful of names are you referring to? middleweight is dormant. dzinziruk and cotto maybe but the rest is... bland. just fighting mayweather or pacquiao is worth more than beating a handful of the no names at 160/154

 

We can take away the boring opponents like Geale, Wood, Mora, Zbik, Rubio etc...

 

We can also say it's unlikely Sturm, Sylvester or Chavez jr get in the ring with him.

 

But, this still leaves us with quite a few options. Most importantly young options. And because they're young, they will continue to develop while Martinez fights his next 2 or 3 fights.

 

For example, if Martinez fights Dzinziruk next and then fights maybe Miguel Cotto. That's going to take up his whole 2011 pretty much.

 

But, after that he could fight the likes of N'Jikam, Lee or maybe even Manfredo Jr. I think the latter deserves another title shot soon.

 

After these fights, in about 18 months time, the likes of Pirog, Golovkin, Guerrero, Lemieux and possibly even the two Brits Barker and Macklin could be all in their primes.

 

Let's also not forget that James Kirkland returns to the ring soon and he could well be up for a title shot within as little as a year if he comes back with a bang. Angulo and Martirosyan might also fancy a step up to 160lbs in 2 years or so.

 

So in the short term he has a few options and then in the longer term over the next 2 or 3 years, he should have a lot more options open to him.

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