Sergio Martinez: ďI never said hey Mayweather, hey Pacquiao, come up to 160 pounds. I never said that! Iím hoping to do a catch weight. The lowest I can make is 154 pounds.Ē
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - Last weekís 136th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with reigning middleweight king Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) who is scheduled to face Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs) on October 1 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Martinez spoke about his upcoming fight and also shared opinions on various other topics pertaining to the current boxing landscape, including Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Junior, Paul Williams, the Super Six, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
JENNA J: Letís move to our fourth and final guest of this weekís show, one that Iím proud to have return to our program. He is the reigning middleweight champion of the world. We are joined by Sergio Martinez.
SERGIO MARTINEZ: Hello! How are you guys doing? This is Sergio!
JENNA: Iím doing very well Sergio. Well you have a title defense coming up on October 1 against Darren Barker, an undefeated fighter from the UK. Can you tell us a little bit more about your opponent?
MARTINEZ: Every English fighter I ever fought, and heís a very typical of British fighters, theyíre tough fighters! They come to fight and I know heís definitely going to come and try to keep that undefeated record. Iíll definitely be ready to go.
JENNA: Alright now the fact that Barker is undefeated but relatively unknown kind of makes this a no-lose scenario for him. Does that make him a dangerous opponent for you?
MARTINEZ: Yeah you know he is going to be the same rival Dzinziruk. I mean nobody knew Dzinziruk, and as you can see that was a very tough fight for me. I believe that will be the same case for this fight.
JENNA: Okay now Sergio, this opponent was chosen because others would not meet you in the ring, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior. How disappointing is it for you to not get those marquee names?
MARTINEZ: Itís a shame. A European champion needs to come to the States and challenge me, and itís only the boxing fans and the American fans who are losing on that, but these fights need to be made.
JENNA: Now Sergio, what do you think itís going to take for you to get those marquee names to want to fight you?
MARTINEZ: I need to continue doing what Iím doing. I need to keep fighting and I need to keep fighting the best and in due time, these rivals have to fight me! There will be a point where theyíre going to have to fight me. I want to be the guy that I want them to come and try to beat. So itís all a matter of time.
JENNA: Great! Well Sergio, weíre also on the line with my Co-Host Geoff Ciani.
MARTINEZ: Itís my pleasure to be on your show. Thank you very much.
CIANI: Thank you. Now you mentioned that you think it will happen eventually in time, but do you think that either Pacquiao or Mayweather would be willing to fight you before they first fought each other so that they donít risk that payday thatís been looming for them for so long?
MARTINEZ: You know I got to keep hope alive. I hope they fight me first. I donít know, but with wishful thinking I am hoping they choose to fight me first.
CIANI: Now one of the criticisms that youíve been receiving from fans on the message boards, is I see a lot of people saying that since you expect Pacquiao and Mayweather to move up and fight you that you should be equally willing to step up to 168 to fight some of the better guys up there. Iím just curious what do you think of these views from certain fans?
MARTINEZ: No, I mean just to keep it clear I never said to Pacquiao or Mayweather to come up to my weight at 160 pounds. No! I never said that! What I said in the past is hey, letís make an agreement! Letís do a catch weight or letís fight at 154 pounds for a 154 pound title. Now fans are asking me to come up in weight. Well that would be crazy for me to go up to 168 pounds. Now if Arthur Abraham or Andre Ward want to meet me at a catch weight of 164 pounds and the money is right, Iíd be willing to do that. But I never said hey Mayweather, hey Pacquiao, come up to 160 pounds. I never said that! Iím hoping to do a catch weight. The lowest I can make is 154 pounds. The highest as of right now in my career would be 164 pounds if the money is right.
CIANI: Back to your upcoming fight against Darren Barker, youíve scored two impressive stoppage victories in your last two fights against guys who had never previously been stopped. Is that the plan going into this training camp this time? To work on scoring another knockout victory against a man whoís never been knocked out?
MARTINEZ: First of all my plan is to fight a very intelligent fight, and if the knockout comes up and the knockoutís available, then Iím definitely going to take advantage of that and knock him out.
CIANI: What do you think your biggest advantage is going into this fight?
MARTINEZ: Probably the most important advantage that I have would be the experience, and I have a great training camp and I prepare myself very well. But my experience will probably be my biggest advantage.
JENNA: Alright now Sergio, to most peopleís accounts you havenít really lost a fight since you lost to Antonio Margarito earlier in your career. For an opponent facing you, what do you think they need to do to beat you?
MARTINEZ: Well I fought a very close fight against Paul Williams. You can say hey I lost that fight or it was a draw or I won, but I think the keys to victory would be to be well prepared, to really prepare yourself and train really hard outside the ring. A lot of fighters get distracted or have a lot of different things that come up, but that would be the thingóto beat me in the gym.
JENNA: Alright well you mentioned Paul Williams for a second, and he recently had a controversial win against Erislandy Lara and he called you out after the match. Would you at all be interested in a third with him or would you be looking to have a different opponent after you fight Darren Barker?
MARTINEZ: You know everybody saw that fight and I saw the same fight and I feel the same way as everybody feels. Yes, he did lose that fight. It was very clear, and I donít want to sound arrogant or whatever, but no I donít think a third fight would be necessary. Talk is cheap, and heís not at that level any more. For him to call out my name like that, he has to call out my name because he still wants to stay at that level which he is not. So I donít think that fight would be necessary for me to fight him.
JENNA: Okay well there is another fighter out there that youíve had interest in getting into the ring with. He was ranked number one for a long time and now he holds your former WBC middleweight title, and thatís Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. He says heíll be willing to fight you early next year. Do you believe that will actually be the case?
MARTINEZ: I believe 110% in the WBC. I believe theyíll do whatever is necessary to make this fight possible. On the other case, I donít believe in Chavez Junior because I donít think heíll show up. Hopefully if this fight happens he shows up, and he doesnít no-show me.
CIANI: Sergio you spoke about Paul Williams before and heís a fighter that doesnít seem to be the same since you fought him, and another fighter who doesnít seem the same since you fought him is Kelly Pavlik. Iím wondering if you think he ever will be the same again?
MARTINEZ: You know history shows all my rivals that Iíve fought havenít been the same, you know from Bunema, Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams. Iím hoping that heís been able to train hard and really actually gotten better. Weíll have to see.
CIANI: Now you mentioned earlier you might be willing to face somebody like Andre Ward at a catch weight of 164. Iím wondering, if Pacquiao and Mayweather never come around, would you be interested in facing the winner of the Super Six Final matchup between Andre Ward and Carl Froch?
MARTINEZ: Yes, you know anything is possible. Definitely we would have to negotiate and I would definitely be interested in a catch weight. We will wait and see.
JENNA: Alright well Sergio we just have a few more questions before we let you off the line. Since youíre 36 years old, a lot of fans contend that if you somehow lose to Barker that it could spell the end of your career. Do you think if that scenario did play out that way, that it would be the end for you?
MARTINEZ: (laughs) No, that doesnít even cross my mind. Iím not going to lose against Darren Barker. My goal is to become champion at 160 pounds for the WBC and to be pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world.
JENNA: Sergio from what youíre saying some fans might actually get the impression that youíre underestimating Darren Barker. Do you think you could at all possibly do that?
MARTINEZ: I never underestimate any of my fighters. I take all my fighters very seriously and all my fights. Iím ranked number two pound-for-pound in the world, and my job is to continue to become the best and to have a great fight for my fans.
JENNA: Alright well Sergio youíre 36 years old now and some fans contend that the fighters like Mayweather and Pacquiao are actually waiting for you to get a little bit older and show signs of decline before they would get into the ring with you. Do you believe that may be the case why they havenít faced you at this point?
MARTINEZ: Yeah thatís definitely a possibility. Iím pretty sure thatís probably what their intentions are. I mean Pacquiao is fighting everybody thatís either 36, or 37, or 38, and itís the same thing with Mayweather, besides taking on Ortiz. A lot of his opponents are really much older so that might be the case.
JENNA: Okay now you mentioned Mayweatherís opponent Victor Ortiz. That fightís coming up in September and obviously youíd be interested in the winner of it, but do you think a fighter like Victor Ortiz whoís young and hungry would actually have a good shot of upsetting Floyd Mayweather Junior?
MARTINEZ: Yeah Ortiz has the ability to make a great fight, but I believe Mayweather will win the fight with ease and heíll be victorious.
JENNA: Well I have just two more questions. With the fight with Darren Barker I want to get your official prediction. How does it play out?
MARTINEZ: Iím going to look for the knockout, Iím going to work hard, and Iím going to get it before the sixth round.
JENNA: Okay and finally, is there anything you want to say to the fans that are going to come out to go see you in Atlantic City?
MARTINEZ: Yes everybody is invited to come out to Atlantic City to Boardwalk Hall. Itís going to be a great fight. It will be the best fight of my career, so please come out and check it out and if you canít make it tune in to HBO. Itís going to be one of my best fights, so thank you.
JENNA: Alright well Sergio itís been a pleasure having you on the show yet again. Thank you for your time and weíre looking forward to seeing you in the ring on October 1.
MARTINEZ: Likewise, thank you very much. You know how to find me, so definitely any time you want me to be on the show give me a call.
CIANI: Thanks Sergio! Best of luck.
MARTINEZ: Thank you very much. Thank you!
On the Ropes Boxing Radio would like to give special thanks to Cecilio Flores for translating this interview.
For those interested in listening to the Sergio Martinez interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and twenty minutes into the program.
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Article posted on 08.08.2011
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