By Ricardo Conde
IBF # 3 super flyweight contender and former world title challenger, Raul “La Cobrita” Martinez (26-1, 15 KOs) of San Antonio, TX will take on Gabriel “Kid Kombo” Elizondo (22-3-1, 10 KOs) on Saturday, June 26 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. Martinez will open up the televised portion of Top Rank’s Latin Fury 15 PPV which features “The Son of the Legend” Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (40-0-1, 30 KOs) taking on Ireland’s John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) for WBC middleweight Silver championship title. The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9pm ET/6pm PT and tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com and at the Alamodome box office.
We had a moment to sit down and talk to Raul Martinez and ask him a few questions about his upcoming fight; here’s what he had to say:
You’re currently preparing for your next fight, which will be against Gabriel Elizondo, what do you know about him?
Well, actually I do know him. He’s here locally, from San Antonio. I’ve known him for many years, since I started boxing. He came up before me in the amateurs and he was the Olympic hopeful for San Antonio but he fell short. Then in the next four years I was the next fighter coming up from San Antonio. He’s a tough fighter, he throws a lot of punches and he’s an action packed fighter. It’s going to be a really good fight that night on June 26th.
How was training camp and with just a few days before your fight how do you feel at this point?
I feel really good; I’m just about 2 pounds over weight right now. Camp was great, I had my training partner Amir Roa with me so he’s been pushing me and everything’s been great. I did a lot of sparring, a lot of hard training on the mitts, on the bag with my trainer, Fernando Castrejon, for this fight. Everything is right on track and how it should be for June 26. I’m ready to shine that night.
Did you do anything different in this training camp that you haven’t done for your previous fights?
Actually, no not to much, I would say it’s just been a little more intense. I had better sparring and just a few more rounds of sparring than before. So the sparring got my timing and everything about my boxing on point so the sparring for this camp will play a big role for this fight.
What kind of statement are you looking to make in your fight with Elizondo; will you be looking for the knockout?
Definitely, I’ll be looking for the knockout. If it doesn’t come then I’ll still be putting on a great show. I’ll be using the ring, I’ll use my power and my speed and put everything together and show San Antonio that they have a future world champion to stick behind and I’ll bring a title to San Antonio one day.
Being from Texas, what does it mean to you fighting in front of thousands of people at the Alamodome and being on the undercard of someone like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.; do think there is any added pressure for you to have a great performance?
Well, for me every fight for me is the same, I have to win. I have to put on a great performance especially for Top Rank and to show Top Rank they have a great fighter in me. So every fight is the same, at home or away from home, I have to get that win.
Should you get past Gabriel Elizondo, name one or two fighters you’d like to face in the near future?
Well, at 115 pounds that’s where I want to make a statement and get a world title shot at so who ever has a title in my weight class is who I’d like to face. Those are the guys I’m gunning for and I’ll try to get a belt put around my waist.
What is your opinion of the current super flyweight division?
It’s a tough weight division to be in. Every weight division has its champions and they’re champions for a reason and this division is no different from any of the other divisions. It’s up to me and the guys to who want to be champions in this division to go out there and put on great performances.
You are signed with Bob Arum’s, Top Rank; tell us a little bit about that and how it has helped your career?
Well, before I was with Top Rank I was with Kathy Duva and Main Events, they got me to 20-0. Then I signed with Top Rank which was a big step in my career. So to me signing with Bob Arum is the best that you can do, to me they are the best promoters in boxing. They develop fighters and make champions. So being with Bob Arum and Top Rank is a great honor, being with them motivates me everyday to work hard.
When you’re not fighting what does Raul Martinez like to do in his spare time?
Well, in my spare time I love to spend a lot of time with my family. I’m away from them 6 to 8 weeks at a time for training camps, so when I’m not fighting I love to spend time with my wife, Martha and my kids, Tatiana and Raul. It’s always great to be a home with them but when I’m in camp its all business.
What are some of your goals for rest of 2010?
For 2010 I just want to keep winning and get closer to that world title shot and become champion. I want to be that next world champion from San Antonio as well as for them, that’s my goal. I’m working hard, wining every fight and getting closer to my dream.
Is there anything you would like to tell the boxing fans out there?
I just want to thank everyone and let everyone know I will be a world champion, especially San Antonio; I want to thank everyone for their support. I’m training hard and come out and support me and the rest of the fighters on June 26 at the Alamodome or order it live on pay-per-view.