Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Multiple injuries idle Sergio Martinez
By Dan Rafael
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez will undergo right knee surgery next week after suffering a minor tear during his unanimous decision victory against titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
Martinez also suffered a fractured left hand during the fourth round and it is in a soft cast, but will not require surgery, DiBella said.
In addition, Martinez needed five stitches to close a cut over his left eye and two staples to close a deep gash in his scalp.
"He has some kind of tear in his knee," DiBella said. "It's not severe or an immense injury, thankfully. The hand is broken. His left hand is in a soft cast. It's a hairline fracture. There is also a bad bruise as well as the hairline fracture. That shouldn't be a big problem. The hand turned out to be better than we thought it was."
DiBella said the knee needs arthroscopic surgery to "clean it up."
Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez's adviser, said the surgery will take place Wednesday in Spain, where Martinez, who is from Argentina, lived for several years and went after the fight.
Martinez will need six to eight weeks after the surgery to recover, but likely won't fight again until May, Lewkowicz said.
There has been discussion of a rematch with Chavez, who was way behind on the scorecards before knocking Martinez down -- which is how he hurt his knee -- in the dramatic 12th round. But Martinez survived the likely round of the year to win 118-109, 118-109, 117-110.
"Sergio told me after the fight he would rather die than lose like that after beating Chavez so badly for the entire fight," Lewkowicz said. "He said he would have been so embarrassed. I said, 'How did you get up from that knockdown?' He said he got up for all of the millions of Argentines in this world."
A May rematch has been floated by both sides, but is likely out of the question because Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) tested positive for marijuana -- his second positive test in Nevada since 2009 -- after the fight.Because it is Chavez's second infraction, he is looking at a suspension that could last a year.
"I finally watched the 12th round again, and how Sergio got up and kept fighting I'll never know," DiBella said. "He's a man. He's just a man's man. I'd like to be that guy for a week."
DiBella said he and Chavez promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank are going to talk about a rematch but not immediately. Chavez's positive drug test aside, "My fighter is having surgery and I'm exhausted, but we can get together and make a fair deal," DiBella said.
DiBella also said he would explore other options for Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs). They hope to lure junior middleweight titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. into a fight.
HBO will air the replay of Martinez-Chavez on Saturday (9:30 p.m. ET/PT).