One obsession drives Sergio Martinez at his 48 years of age proper now: a brand new title shot to turn into middleweight champion towards all odds as soon as once more. And he’ll cease at nothing to get it.
And in a number of days, his unlikely journey to the boxing cosmos could get an sudden increase when he takes off in the exact same launching pad by which a lot of his compatriots began their careers.
As loopy because it appears, Martinez (56-3-2, 31 knockouts) by no means fought in Buenos Aires’ Luna Park Stadium, the 90+-years-old venue that was synonymous with top-level boxing within the Southern Hemisphere for many of the 20th century. However he’ll get his probability this coming Tuesday (sure, Tuesday) March 22, when he will likely be going through Colombia’s Jhon Teheran (18-2, 15 KOs) in a 10-rounder as a part of a card honoring one of many fighters who made the stadium well-known.
“Happiness,” summed up Martinez, when requested about his emotions on this dream date. “Absolute happiness. Tremendous blissful for the chance of combating in Luna Park, being a part of the parable, of a temple of boxing, the boxing venue par excellence in Argentine historical past. It fills me with pleasure. And I additionally comprehend it’s the product of a superb job that I’m doing now. And it arrives at simply the fitting time, after I discover myself wiser and extra skilled, with my intelligence at full pace, with my physique obeying each order that I give it. And this makes me really feel that I’m deserving this. I’m taking this as a reward to my profession. That’s how I see it. I don’t see a greater time for me, previous or future, to have this combat at Luna Park.”
The cardboard has many uncommon options. For starters, no tickets will likely be bought on this “Invitation-only” red-carpet occasion that may serve additionally because the premiere for “Ringo,” a TV collection on the life and tragedy of late heavyweight contender Oscar Bonavena. With the backing of the native Disney franchise, it’s a enormous manufacturing that will likely be closely promoted to the purpose of getting its personal “undercard” for the premiere, and that includes a former world champ on the high of the invoice, no much less. The present’s first episode will likely be proven within the stadium’s screens above the middle of the ring earlier than the primary bell of this six-fight card.
The provide caught Martinez, a promoter in his personal proper, abruptly based on him.
“I used to be not coaching for any fights, I used to be attempting to place collectively a card as a promoter earlier than the top of March, and I obtained the decision from ESPN and obtained the chance and I stated sure, straight away. The chance is basically good to be a headliner. I used to be already engaged on one thing and I used to be already telling everybody that my subsequent combat can be in Argentina, so this was good.”
The provide itself got here from an unlikely supply as effectively. Fellow former-fighter-turned-promoter Marcos “Chino” Maidana will likely be on the helm on this total occasion, making it the primary time they each work collectively.
Martinez’s focus, although, stays elsewhere, particularly now that Gennady Golovkin has relinquished his two belts and Japan’s Ryota Murata has formally retired, opening quite a lot of prospects for him.
“It’s a nice second for me. My enthusiasm and my spirits are intact. I do know that if there’s a world title shot, which I believe it might be a matter of time,” stated Martinez, who claims he’ll know in 5 to 6 weeks whether or not there will likely be an elimination or title shot for him within the WBA’s notorious multi-belt multiverse. “I’m No. 2 within the WBA rating and I do know I’ll have a chance. I’m engaged on that, and I’m working to remain in form and be worthy of this rating.”
Within the unheralded Teheran, Martinez will probably discover an applicable take a look at for this stage of his profession. Teheran’s solely losses have been in Argentina, and his fights in his native Colombia have been towards non-descript opposition. Martinez hopes that Teheran’s shiny report will one way or the other validate his present place within the WBA’s rankings.
“I do know that my opponent is youthful than me, similar to nearly each different fighter on this planet (laughs). I do know he has 15 KOs and has a good punch. I should do my job in the easiest way potential to win convincingly and clearly. That’s what I want, it’s my problem. I wish to win with none doubts and to display that if I’m No. 2 on this planet I can’t really feel in any hazard towards a foe like Jhon Teheran. That’s how I see it.”
After ending his profession because of the many well being points that plagued him in his previous few fights, Martinez feels he has sufficiently recovered to search out himself in an ideal place to make one final superb run to the mountaintop.
“My physique is responding as strongly or greater than it was after I was a world champ, regardless that I used to be already ‘previous’ again then at my 37 or 38 years of age. My thoughts is responding at that degree as effectively and even higher. I hope to proceed on this path,” stated Martinez. “I don’t know in what a part of our lives we had been taught to consider that 48 is an previous age. I take it as a problem for my private life, not solely as an athlete. I see it as an journey and a problem that’s nearly heroic, and I like it as a result of I’m having fun with it, I do know I’m doing it proper and I do know I’ve the circumstances to do it. I do know that my thoughts and my physique are responding. I’m going to withstand till the title shot comes, and the chance is actual. I will likely be right here till I depart the ring after leaving up there all the punches that I’ve in me.”
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He has additionally written for HBO.com, ESPN.com and lots of different magazines, web sites, newspapers and retailers since 1993. He’s a full member of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America and an elector for the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame. He has gained two first-place awards within the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he’s the moderator of The Ring’s Ladies’s Rankings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second period of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is at the moment a author and editor for RingTV.com.