by Hans Olson
Back on September 15, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to once again become the WBC’s middleweight champion of the world.
Recently, Boxing Insider caught up with the champ to discuss the fight and much more!
Boxing Insider: Hey Sergio! Congratulations on your recent victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr! How does it feel to be again “officially” crowned as the WBC’s middleweight champion?
Sergio Martinez: “Well I’m very happy, but the truth is that I never stopped feeling that I was champion. This new belt merely confirms that I was always the best fighter in the world in middleweight division.”
I know you suffered a variety of injuries in the fight, and you’re due to have surgery in Madrid. Can you share with us the injuries, how they happened, and how long your recovery time will be?
“I have to have an operation on my right knee…the left hand actually is not broken, but it was cracked. Doctors have told me to take rest. I think that by the end of year I’ll back to the gym again.”
Let’s go back to the 12th round, one of the most exciting rounds in years! Can you share with me your thoughts as it happened…
“He hit me with a good shot in the right ear, and that made me lose balance. Then he reconnected me again on the chin and that was that. He hit me very well, and it was a great action by Chavez.”
You didn’t run or hide. You didn’t hold on. You fought back with passion. Why? What inside of you brought out that fighting spirit in a way that so few fighters can? Most in that situation would have ran or held on…
“I was fine. If you see the images again, you’ll see that when I fell down, I’m looking at my corner and waved them that all is well. I could not defraud the public, the Argentinians, the Spanish, and all the people who bought the PPV. From the beginning said I did not hide, and I didn’t.”
The rest of the fight was complete domination. What was it that made you control the fight so easily for the first 11 rounds?
“Everything went as planned with my trainer Pablo Sarmiento. I knew if I was 100%, Chavez could not do anything as it was. My speed and footwork was the key to the fight, and I also believe I did enough damage with my fists. As I always said, Chavez only has his physical size, nothing more.”
Chavez tested positive for marijuana in the post-fight drug test. What are your thoughts on that?
“It’s very sad for boxing. At first I wanted it to be a joke, just a rumor. But then I got angry, because he cannot walk with that nonsense. We’re professional athletes, we cannot do those things. He has been in a bad place, but I hope he learns once and for all.”
What are your thoughts on a rematch with Chavez? The fight was so dominant, but there was the late knockdown which has made his fans want to see a continuation of the rivalry. Are you for it?
“If people want a rematch they will get it. I think I won the fight clearly, but I understand you have fans who may think that Chavez could have [gotten a knockout]. I have no problem fighting him again, but there will be a new negotiation, and the economic conditions must change. Now I’m the champion, and no one doubts that.”
Do you hope to have a big fight in Argentina or Spain in 2013?
“I think we can achieve something big in Argentina, at least we’re working to get it. In Spain, I’m beginning to be known, but still not enough to bring a big fight. My dream would be fighting in El Monumental, the stadium of my favorite football team since childhood, River Plate. It could hold more than 70,000 people!”
Speaking of your next fight 2013, here are a few names people have mentioned you fighting. Can you tell me your thoughts on each guy and the potential for having a fight with them? Let’s start with Andre Ward either at 160, 168, or a catch-weight…
“Could be, but my mind is in the middleweight or super-welterweight. division. The 168 lb. guys are a little bigger for me, but I do not close any doors. We can negotiate. It would be an honor to face Ward.”
Gennedy Golovkin at 160…
“No problem. I think he still has a ways to go though, to fight some guys more well known, and fight a bit still in the United States.”
Daniel Geale at 160…
“I would love to unify belts with Geale. It hasn’t been done since Bernard Hopkins, and it would be another objective for me to achieve.”
Canelo Alvarez at 154, 160 or a catch weight…
“Canelo has the belt that was once mine, and I would have no problem going down to 154 to take the belt back.”
And finally, Floyd Mayweather at 154, 160, or a catch-weight…
“Whatever, whenever and wherever. It’s the fight I want! I would do it tomorrow. It’s the fight that people want, the fight for the number 1 fighter pound for pound.”