Sergio Martinez returns with a mission: Win or retire for good – The Ring


The middleweight division is buzzing with gifted champions and profitable potential bouts, and former champion and 154-pound titlist Sergio Martinez needs in on the motion.

Argentina’s “Maravilla” has simply introduced that he might be dealing with England’s Brian Rose (32-6-1, 8 KOs) at Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de Valdemoro on September 18, in what might be his third comeback bout since his loss towards Miguel Cotto again in June, 2014 at New York’s Madison Sq. Backyard.

Martinez is prideful, however no idiot. He’s including muscle to his body, a concession to getting older, as a result of he received’t be as nimble afoot as he was again within the day.

In an unique interview from Madrid after a protracted day of coaching, Martinez, now 46, claims that this string of bouts is way from a farewell tour, though one unhealthy end result may simply flip it into simply that.

“One thing very clear for me: I’m one defeat away from retiring for good,” mentioned Martinez. “That’s how I see it, and that is my motivation. I both win, or I retire for good. And I’ve to do it proper. I’ve to field nicely, I’ve to really feel good within the ring, I’ve to deal with the struggle nicely. As a result of if I wish to struggle for a title on the finish of this highway, Rose can’t be a troublesome opponent to me.”

Martinez (53-3-2, 30 KOs) returned to the ring in August 2020 each as a fighter and as a promoter, defeating José Fandiño with a seventh-round stoppage, after which moved on to beating Jussi Koivula 4 months later by TKO within the ninth, with each fights happening in Spain, the place Martinez has lived since 2002.

The struggle is tentatively scheduled for 10 rounds at 160 kilos, and there could also be a regional or minor belt at play from both the WBA (which ranks him at No. 3 on the earth) or WBC, a sign that the previous Ring champion could also be eyeing a correct world title belt from both of these two organizations down the highway. The web site “A la vera del ring” was first to report this.

If that have been to occur, it might be the ninth title struggle for Martinez, who made six defenses of the Ring middleweight championship he acquired when he defeated Kelly Pavlik in 2010. He would later climb to the rostrum of the pound-for-pound rankings behind solely Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, amongst different accolades.

“The Lion” Rose, who had his final struggle again in March, when he defeated Spain’s Jose Lopez Clavero, could seem a step down from the string of nice opponents towards whom Martinez constructed essentially the most good portion of his profession. However Martinez claims he’s the appropriate man for this time and place.

“There was an inventory of opponents. We didn’t rule out anybody, however it’s troublesome for us to search out opponents for me. It’s comprehensible,” he mentioned. “There are younger guys on the market who suppose that I nonetheless characterize a menace to them, and risking a defeat towards a veteran like me is an excessive amount of for them, as a result of the danger is there for them. I’m working nicely and I’ve been wanting good these days, and for a younger man to lose towards a 46-year previous dinosaur like me can be troublesome to digest,” he says, laughing.

Nonetheless, Martinez believes that, simply as he was averted and/or sidestepped by different fighters when he was in his prime, he’ll now discover it troublesome to achieve his new aim, however this time for different causes.

Martinez hung up the mitts after the ’14 loss to Miguel Cotto, as a result of his physique wasn’t cooperating prefer it used to. Then, time away from the grind allowed him to heal up…and the urge to compete returned.

“Since I used to be a world champion, they’re asking for some huge cash. I consider that this would be the norm till I determine to retire,” he claims, indicating that his workforce scoured Europe and Latin America for appropriate foes solely to obtain laughable counteroffers and calls for. “Lastly, a couple of fighters from England got interested within the alternative, and the one I preferred essentially the most was Rose. I believe he might be a great check for me to see the place I’m standing proper now.”

In his lone world title belt problem, Rose, now 36, was stopped in seven rounds by Demetrius Andrade with the WBO junior middleweight title at stake, in 2014. And that was one other plus that Martinez noticed in him, contemplating how comparable he considers himself with “Boo Boo” and his fashion.

“(Andrade) is an ungainly southpaw, like myself”, mentioned Martinez. “He assaults when he has to, however he’s chilly and methodical. Rose is just too cautious for an English fighter, normally they’re extra aggressive.”

Rose’s aggression would require all of Martinez’s bodily power, one thing he lacked within the latter portion of his profession – to the purpose of forcing his retirement. However, he claims, as it’s normally the case with returning fighters, that this time is totally different.

“Proper now, some 9 weeks earlier than the struggle, I’m engaged on my muscle quantity, I gained weight to be able to not give a lot benefit on this struggle,” mentioned Martinez. “Ever since I climbed to the middleweight division (in 2009), I’ve at all times been a lot smaller than my opponents. And now I believed I may add muscle and energy to be able to be nearer to them, in weight and quantity. Clearly, intelligence and boxing abilities are above that in terms of profitable fights, or a great technique too. However it is also essential for me to have a physique that may help my technique,” mentioned Martinez, who nonetheless has every week left of muscle work earlier than delving proper into the technical elements of his coaching.

Martinez goes on to credit score his workforce with the brand new strategy to his coaching and together with his bodily enhancements, particularly his lead coach Tinín Rodríguez.

“David Navarro, my bodily coach, can be doing a implausible job. The way in which I improved working with him is admittedly indescribable. I’ve an excellent medical workforce. I can depend on all of them, they’re very dedicated to my profession and my progress in direction of not less than incomes the appropriate to have a title struggle,” mentioned Martinez, who continues to be working as an actor in “Bengala,” a theater play that he supposed to do just for one month and is now coming into its second season.

Sergio in joyful mode after having his hand raised on the shut of his December 19, 2020 bout versus Koivula.

Past all of the optimistic notes about his preparation coming into this bout, Martinez is adamant about his assertion that his comeback has a better objective, versus being simply an empty journey from a bored former champ who can’t get boxing out of his system.

“I don’t wish to waste time, I don’t wish to give myself any false hope. I wish to work on stable floor, and to show I’m able to face opponents who’re higher than the final two fighters I fought, and Rose is a step above Fandiño and Koivula. That’s the plan. I attempt to make choices based mostly on my efficiency. However I’m aware that I can’t skip any steps. I can’t take into consideration ‘the day after’ this struggle. Not at this stage in my profession.”


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