Sergio Martinez speaks his mind
April, 25, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Chris Farina/Top RankMiddleweight champion Sergio Martinez said he still desires a bout with Miguel Cotto in the future.Although middleweight champ Sergio Martinez won a dominant unanimous decision against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their big-time showdown in September at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, the most memorable moment came in the 12th round when Martinez, way ahead on the scorecards, got dropped and nearly knocked out as Chavez went for broke in the final 90 seconds of the fight.
Although Martinez rose from the canvas and fought back hard in what was eventually the 2012 ESPN.com round of the year, he was injured.
On the knockdown, Martinez injured his right knee, which required surgery for a partially torn meniscus. He also injured his ankle. There were other injuries, as well. Martinez broke his left hand during the fight and wound up needing stitches to close a cut over his eye and a gash in his scalp.
Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) is now healed and ready to go for his Argentina homecoming fight -- his sixth title defense -- against England's Martin Murray (25-0-1, 11 KOs) on Saturday night (HBO, 8:30 ET/PT) at the 50,000-seat Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Martinez said that despite the injuries and subsequent surgery, he is good to go for the fight with Murray.
"All of my injuries have healed 100 percent," he said. "Thanks to my sports therapist, Raquel Bordons, I can perform to my full abilities prior to my injuries. Without her I probably would have retired a couple of fights ago."
Martinez also touched on some other other topics with ESPN.com.
On the significance of the win against Chavez, in which he regained an alphabet belt that had been stripped from him:
"I was very emotional after that win. I cried in the ring and in the dressing room after with my team. I worked so hard for so many years to become champion, and then to lose my belt in an office and not in a ring really affected me. So when I won back my belt, I felt like a wrong has been righted."
On surviving the knockdown in the 12th round and fighting back back hard rather than trying to kill the clock:
"[Trainer] Pablo [Sarmiento] and I trained for that moment. We trained to possibly get knocked down and to get up. We knew going in that Chavez was strong and could potentially knock me down, but in no way would he be able to knock me out completely. The reason why Chavez caught me with that shot is because I was going for the knockout in the 12th. I wanted to show everybody what a true champion is supposed to do and that is finish strong."
On giving Chavez a fall rematch -- which has been discussed -- should he defeat Murray and if Chavez wins a summer fight:
"I would offer Chavez a rematch but only if he agrees to Olympic style [random drug] testing. He needs to respect the sport. I know that if we did, in fact, have a rematch and Chavez agrees to testing, I will KO him next time."
Who else would he like to fight?
"I would love to fight [former junior middleweight titlist Miguel] Cotto as he has disrespected me in the past when we have been at the same event together. [Titleholders] Gennady Golovkin, Daniel Geale and Peter Quillin are great champions and if the proposal to fight is great, then we can discuss the possibilities of fighting them as well."