By Chris Cella
This Saturday night, in front of 50,000 plus of his hometown fans, middleweight sensation Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO) will go to work against undefeated contender Martin Murray (25-0-1, 11 KO). Live from Buenos Aires, Argentina, this will mark the first time Martinez will fighting on native soil since 2002, and the champion is eager to get out there and not only defend his belt for the sixth time but to put on a show while doing so.
“I have respect for Martin, but there is no doubt in my mind that this fight is going to end by knockout,” said Martinez. “My training for this fight has been the best I have ever had and my confidence is at the absolute highest level, and for that reason I guarantee this fight will end with a knockout Saturday night.”
Only one of his last five fights have gone the distance, and in a young man’s game the 38-year-old superstar has shown no indication that Father Time is slowing him down.
Martinez has stayed active in defending his belt, having fought at least twice over the past several years, and one has to wonder how much longer he will continue to lace up the leather and instill his place in boxing history as one of the greatest middleweight champions of all time. Saturday night will be the first time he fights in Argentina as a champion, and for the southpaw it may personally be the biggest fight of his career.
Promoted by Ricky Hatton, Murray is coming in a heavy underdog, but has plans of his own to play spoiler. At 30-years-old the undefeated interim WBA world middleweight champion has nothing to lose. He knows the opportunity laid out in front of him, and if he is able to sneak past Martinez in the champion’s native country then he will cement himself in part of Martinez’s legacy and line himself up for what can be a promising future inside the ropes.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be here in Argentina,” said Murray. “The people here have treated us with nothing but respect and we are very happy to be here in this country. Sergio is a great fighter, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. All that being said, I didn’t come here to lose. I have had a great training camp and I feel this is my time. Whatever Sergio brings on Saturday night I will be ready for it.”
The ingredients are all laid out for a great showdown Saturday night. The Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield will undoubtedly be buzzing from start to finish as they pay homage and show their love for their favorite boxing son, while across the ring the UK’s Murray will embrace the biggest point in his career.
Action for this middleweight title fight will begin at 8:30 p.m. on HBO this Saturday night.