- Michael Woods, Boxing
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There's been some buzz on the Internet, on message boards, since Saturday night, when on HBO's 24/7, boxing fans saw footage of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. padding around his house wearing pink bikini briefs.
Junior got ridiculed, some rude names were used and some folks said they were switching their allegiance from the son of the legend to the Argentine vet, Sergio Martinez.
So I put the question to Martinez, who by the way has talked tougher pre-fight than I've ever heard him talk, promising to not just stop middleweight Chavez Jr., but to punish him. Does it tell you anything about Chavez Jr. that he wears pink bikini briefs? Does it make him less than macho?
"No big deal," Martinez told NYFightBlog. "I wear pink shirts all the time."
Bravo, Sergio. I confess I get uncomfortable when I read comments from ignoramuses on message boards or comments sections, calling this one girly or that one a wuss for some reason or another. Oscar De La Hoya still get ragged on for some photos that floated around the net a few years ago; don't these critics realize that the people they mock, even wearing a negligee and six-inch heels, could whup them from here till Tuesday? (It didn't surprise me that Martinez doesn't traffic in cliches and old-school bias; he's among the most progressive of high-profile fighters out there, supporting battered women's causes and taking a stance against bullying.)
And while on the subject about talking tough, there was an edge in the air at the Wednesday press conference to hype the Saturday tussle at the Thomas & Mack. Martinez's adviser Sampson Lewkowicz aimed barbs at Chavez's co-promoter, Fernando Beltran, for talking trash, and then Beltran responded by calling Lewkowicz a clown. I asked Nathan Lewkowicz, VP of Sampson's promotional company, what that was about. "That showed that the stakes are high for this fight and the tension seems to be spilling over to each fighter's teams," Nathan said.
And was he ready to dive in, to yank his dad out of a scrum? "Of course! He's my father, I love him."