by Hans Olson
Sergio Martinez is one busy guy. With a presser in New York last week officially announcing his March bout with Matthew Macklin, Boxing Insider caught up with the middleweight champ exclusively to discuss that fight, The Mayweather/Pacquiao drama and more…
Boxing Insider: How have things been in New York over the last week Sergio?
Sergio Martinez: “Very nice. This is possibly a fight that is running better in marketing. Irish people are crazy, and all the fans know that this is a truly world championship [fight] at 160 pounds. I am very happy to fight at the Garden, a place where some of my idols, like Monzón or Ali, fought too.”
Boxing Insider: I understand you’re on your way back to Oxnard. What will be the focus of this upcoming training camp for Matthew Macklin?
Sergio Martinez: “I think that Macklin will try to make it a brawl. He’s very strong, and I know he’ll try to leave me with no exits. I need to try my footwork a lot and be very fast, but also powerful; so I can stop him. He is a difficult opponent. I think that [Darren] Barker is a better fighter in technical terms, but Macklin is more powerful.”
Boxing Insider: Do you have any updates on your team for this fight; who’ll be in your corner, and who you’ll be sparring with in camp?
Sergio Martinez: “My corner will be almost the same as the one in my last fight. My trainer Pablo Sarmiento, Russ Anber, Dr. Roger Anderson who has always worked with us in Oxnard, and Raquel Bordons, my personal physiotherapist and osteopath in Spain. The sparring partners are not determined yet.”
Boxing Insider: What are your thoughts on this week’s Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao Twitter challenge, and the failed negotiations?
Sergio Martinez: “I don’t understand why these two guys are clowning around. We all know that the problem is Bob Arum, who has been avoiding this confrontation for years. Floyd and Manny are not afraid, but Arum wants to make as much profit as he can from Manny, until the last day of his life. For the good of boxing, I hope they reach an agreement and that the winner understands that I must be the next one.”
Boxing Insider: You are now involved in managing fighters as well. How did you connect with Gabriel Campilo and can you tell me about his upcoming fight against Tavoris Cloud?
Sergio Martinez “I’ve been a friend of Gabriel for many years. We have trained together many times in Spain. I also think that there is a sparring session between us on YouTube. He was going through difficult times; his world title had been stolen and in Spain boxing has been an underground sport for many years. As I said before, he’s my friend and I decided that I had to help him. The fight will be difficult for both of them. Cloud is a good fighter….but he hasn’t won over anybody and Gabriel is very good at winning out of his home. It will be a great bout.”
Boxing Insider: A lot of fans are critical of you calling out Floyd and Manny…saying you are “too big.” I’ve argued that you always said you would go down to 150 lb…most of us know you just want to be recognized as the best. Many fans are now suggesting a fight between yourself and someone like Andre Ward or Lucian Bute. Knowing you are completely focused on Matthew Macklin, I understand you don’t want to look forward. That said, if Manny and Floyd don’t step up…would you consider fighting Ward or Bute?
Sergio Martinez: “Yes, but on conditions. I am small for the middleweight division…in the super middleweight I would be a dwarf! If they want to fight, I don’t have problems…but we would need to find an average catchweight. I do not have problems in fighting against Ward, Bute, or Hopkins, but as I said before, with a catchweight.”
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him Twitter @hansolson