by Hans Olson
Sergio Martinez is universally recognized as one of the three best fighters in the world, pound for pound. The other two being Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Sergio would love nothing more than to prove inside the ring that he is indeed THE best fighter in the world, pound for pound. Boxing Insider recently caught up with the Middleweight Champion to discuss his desire to do so in this exclusive interview. Check it out:
Sergio, thanks for taking the time to do this interview…how are you feeling since your fight with Darren Barker in October? What are your thoughts on that fight after having had a bit of time to reflect on it?
“It was a tough fight. Barker surprised the crowd and showed that he is not the European champion by chance. Believe me, if I hadn’t taken this fight seriously you wouldn’t be talking to me at this moment. I hope that he has another new chance in the States shortly.”
It was rumored that you had some various injuries going into the fight, what kind of injuries were you fighting with that night?
Well, the week before the fight my left elbow was dislocated. If you watch the video carefully you will see how I throw less with that hand, and use my right jab more than ever. I also had problems with my right knee, although this is a very old injury. Right now, I’m being treated by Dr. Ángel Villamor, who is the personal doctor of the King of Spain, and with his treatment I think I will be ready at 100% for my next fight.
Speaking of which…the biggest fight out there for you is Floyd Mayweather, a fight I believe should be made. What are you willing to do to get the fight?
“This fight will be a reality sooner or later. Mayweather will have to fight with a fighter ranked in the pound for pound rankings. He cannot keep on choosing easy opponents always. I am sure that this fight will be a reality soon.”
You’ve said you were willing to go down to 150 lb., and will take unlimited USADA testing to fight Mayweather. Is this true?
“Of course. I have never cheated in my life. Any sportsman that failed a doping test deserves the hardest punishment. Regarding the weight, everything is in accord with my work team, and it’s possible to make it without weakening myself.”
Can you share with our readers some of aspects of dieting and training that your regimen follows? How would you have to alter those to make 150 lb. comfortably?
“Well, it is not easy. My work-plan to reach the 150 pounds weight is supervised by some of the best nutritionists in Spain, and I would have to follow a strict diet. They have made me a hundred tests and it well be hard work, but we can make it.”
So if it’s not Floyd Mayweather, it’s been rumored that you could fight either Matthew Macklin or Andy Lee in March. What are your thoughts on each Matthew and Andy as fighters?
“If we can’t [make a] deal [for] a big fight in this month, I will face one of these two guys. Macklin is a champion without crown, because he deserved the victory over Sturm and once again the Germans robbed him. Andy has been obtaining good victories [for] a long time and I think he deserves to have an opportunity for the World Championship.”
Now Julio Cesar Chavez Jr beat Manfredo Jr recently, a fight you were at ringside. You’ve stated time and time again you want to fight Julio. Again, if not Floyd, is this a fight you will have your team pursue?
“Me and my team have said a hundred times that we want that fight, I would prefer to again win the belt in the ring. The problem, is that [Bob] Arum protects his business too much. I think that Chávez is a good fighter, but he needs to show if he is a real champion. Arum is not doing him any favors.”
What are your thoughts on fighting a guy like Marco Antonio Rubio[the WBC’s #1 Rated Middleweight]?
“I respect Rubio a lot. He is a very good fighter, and he won the shot for a world title. If the WBC and HBO want me to fight against him, I will do it. But the fans have to understand that I am looking for big fights. I am not only the best 160 pound fighter, I am one of the three best fighters, pound for pound, in the world.”
Finally Sergio, can you talk a little about the other sports you played, cycling and soccer, and how you feel those have helped you as a fighter?
“I was in a ring for the first time when I was 20. Until that moment I used to play soccer at a notable level and I also combined it with the bike. I have always loved sports, but when I tried boxing it was something special. I think that the fact of always practicing all kinds of sports, and [that I] haven’t drunk alcohol and haven’t taken drugs, has made me be 36 years much better than many guys who are 25.”
Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions. If there is anything else you’d like to add, feel free to do so!
“I just want to say thanks to all the fans for the support and the affection that they are always giving me, and to warn that “Maravilla” will continue in boxing for many years, as a fighter, or in my new facet as a manager and businessman. We need to give back the dignity to this sport and we need the help of all fans. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!”
Thanks again to Anthony Aq, along with Óscar Zardain for all the help in making this interview, and it’s translation possible.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson