One obsession drives Sergio Martinez at his 48 years of age proper now: a brand new title shot to turn out to be middleweight champion towards all odds as soon as once more. And he’ll cease at nothing to get it.
And in a couple of days, his unlikely journey to the boxing cosmos might get an sudden enhance when he takes off in the exact same launching pad by which lots 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 a lot of the 20th century. However he’ll get his probability this coming Tuesday (sure, Tuesday) March 22, when he will probably 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 comfortable 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 understand it’s the product of a superb job that I’m doing now. And it arrives at simply the correct time, once I discover myself wiser and extra skilled, with my intelligence at full velocity, 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 probably be bought on this “Invitation-only” red-carpet occasion that may serve additionally because the premiere for “Ringo,” a TV sequence on the life and tragedy of late heavyweight contender Oscar Bonavena. With the backing of the native Disney franchise, it’s a large manufacturing that will probably be closely promoted to the purpose of getting its personal “undercard” for the premiere, and that includes a former world champ on the prime of the invoice, no much less. The present’s first episode will probably be proven within the stadium’s screens above the middle of the ring earlier than the primary bell of this six-fight card.
The supply caught Martinez, a promoter in his personal proper, without warning in keeping with 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 bought the decision from ESPN and bought the chance and I mentioned 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 could be in Argentina, so this was good.”
The supply itself got here from an unlikely supply as nicely. Fellow former-fighter-turned-promoter Marcos “Chino” Maidana will probably be on the helm on this whole 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 loads of potentialities 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 feel it may very well be a matter of time,” mentioned Martinez, who claims he’ll know in 5 to 6 weeks whether or not there will probably 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 possibility. 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 possible discover an applicable check 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 file will by some means validate his present place within the WBA’s rankings.
“I do know that my opponent is youthful than me, similar to virtually each different fighter on this planet (laughs). I do know he has 15 KOs and has a decent punch. I should do my job in one of the best ways doable 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 the earth 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 couple of fights, Martinez feels he has sufficiently recovered to search out himself in an ideal place to make one final wonderful run to the mountaintop.
“My physique is responding as strongly or greater than it was once I was a world champ, although I used to be already ‘outdated’ again then at my 37 or 38 years of age. My thoughts is responding at that stage as nicely and even higher. I hope to proceed on this path,” mentioned Martinez. “I don’t know in what a part of our lives we had been taught to imagine that 48 is an outdated 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 virtually heroic, and I adore 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 probably be right here till I go away 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 plenty 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 Girls’s Rankings Panel. He served as copy editor for the second period of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is at present a author and editor for RingTV.com.