Story and photos by Ricardo Conde
With only a few days until the highly anticipated rematch, WBC middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) of Argentina, now residing in Oxnard, CA finished his preparations at the World Crown Sports Training Center in Oxnard, CA last week. Martinez faces former two-time welterweight champion Paul “The Punisher” Williams (39-1, 27 KOs) this Saturday November 20th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ which will be show live on HBO’s ‘World Championship Boxing’. These two fighters first met in December of last year, in a “Fight of the Year” candidate, in which Williams won via majority decision after twelve exciting back-and-forth rounds.
We caught up Sergio Martinez and had a moment to sit down and talk to him as he finished preparations for his upcoming bout, here’s what he had to say:
What was your initial reaction when you first heard that the rematch with Paul Williams was finally made?
Well, I was very happy because it’s the fight that everyone’s been waiting for and to tell you the truth it gave me a lot of motivation because its not only a fight that I’ve been waiting for but I know many people have also been waiting for this fight.
We’re here in Oxnard, CA at the World Crown Sports Training Center where you have just finished preparations for your fight against Paul Williams, can you tell us how was training camp?
This training camp has been the best training camp I’ve had throughout my entire career. The results that I have physically from this training camp have been the best.
With less than a week until what is considered widely by many to be the most anticipated rematch this year, how do you feel at this point?
It sounds funny to say this, that before every fight I feel better than ever but it’s the truth. I feel my body has been getting stronger and I feel myself getting better each day as we get closer to the fight. Physically and mentally I feel I’m at the highest level I can possibly be and have been of my entire career.
How much different was this training camp than any of your previous camps and how would you rate this training camp?
I wouldn’t say it was different than any of my other training camps. The only thing we did was make some minor changes and work on a few details but that was about it. It’ll show the day of the fight how much I’ve improved physically and technically as a fighter. Overall I would say this I’m in the best shape of my career.
Paul Williams has fought some of the best fighters in the world, like Antonio Margarito, Winky Wright, including yourself, what’s your opinion of Paul Williams as a fighter?
I think he’s a great fighter and a great champion but his days are over and I’ll show everyone on November 20th.
Your first fight with Paul Williams was considered by many to be “Fight of the Year”, how do you see the second fight going and what do you think the outcome will be?
I feel that it’s going to be very difficult for him to withstand the amount of punches. I know I’ll be able to knock him out this time. I trained very hard and I’m prepared to knock him out. With the preparation I’ve had and the way I see the fight going I know I will knock him out.
What kind of statement are you looking to make in your second fight with Paul Williams?
I’m going in there to show the world that I’m the better fighter, with all the excuses he made in not wanting to make the fight happen and one of them being that the fight had to happen at 158 pounds or the fight won’t happen at all and things like that. The rules and the weight classes are in place for a reason and for him to want to fight outside of those rules just doesn’t make sense to me. That really surprised me about him, I thought that he was the type of fighter that would fight no matter what but that’s not the case, but it is what it is.
Should you win this fight with Paul Williams, will you still continue to fight or will you consider retiring, and if you continue to fight, is there anyone out there that you would like to fight before you retire?
After the fight with Paul Williams I have already decided to fight at least 2 more times, but I haven’t thought about who I would like to fight. My intentions are to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world and to become that I would need to fight either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.
Reportedly, Floyd Mayweather has said that he would like to fight the winner of this fight, between you and Paul Williams, do think that fight can be made?
I hope it can be made and that there aren’t as many excuses as Paul Williams did. I would love to fight Floyd Mayweather but right now the only one I have on my mind is Paul Williams and no one else.
In closing, is there anything you would like to tell the fans?
Yes, to all the fans, I would love to thank everyone for all the support and this Saturday November 20th I’m going to give it my all for them and give them another great fight like always.
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Also in action that night will be two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (31-0, 17KOs), former title challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (34-2, 22KOs) and undefeated middleweight contender Fernando Guerrero (19-0, 15KOs), in separate bouts.