By Ricardo Conde
WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (44-2-2, 24 KOs) of Argentina will step back into the ring on Saturday, April 17th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ against WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (36-1, 32 KOs). This will be shown live on HBO world championship boxing and is being promoted by Top Rank in association with DiBella Entertainment.
Photos: Ricardo Conde
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We had a moment to sit down and talk to Martinez as he prepares for his upcoming bout, here’s what he had to say:
You’re currently preparing for your next fight, which will be against Kelly Pavik. What do you know about your opponent and what do you think of him as a fighter?
Well, what I know about Kelly Pavlik is what I’m sure everyone else knows, first that he’s a great champion, second that he’s a great fighter with a lot of heart and strength. I’m prepared to win this fight and not only win, but win by knockout.
Do you think this is going to be the toughest fight of your career so far?
This fight with Kelly Pavlik along with my fight with Paul Williams I would say are the toughest fights of my career so far.
How is training camp going and are you doing anything different in this training camp than you’ve done for your previous bouts?
No, the only thing that has changed for this training camp is that we’re doing a much more intense work out with the weights to help build strength.
Let’s talk a little bit about your last fight. In your last outing, your fight with Paul Williams ended in a loss via majority decision; do you think you won that fight?
It was a pretty even match. I think I could have won by one point but I could have also lost by one point but not by the scores that came out, I even feel that a draw would have been fair.
You were replacing Kelly Pavlik, who was forced to pull out due to an injury, with about a months notice; do you feel that was enough time to prepare for someone like Paul Williams?
Well I had a little over a months training but I feel that if I would have had 8 weeks of preparation the result would have been different and I think that it showed in the fight.
Was Williams the best opponent you have faced to date and what’s your opinion of him as a fighter?
Definitely; he’s been the toughest opponent I’ve faced yet, he’s a great fighter.
Should you get past Kelly Pavlik and become the new middleweight champion, will you be staying at 160 and defend those titles or will you be moving back down to 154?
That would be a question best asked to my manager and my promoter. They’re the ones who decide what’s the best move for me and I fight who ever they put in front of me. I’ve never backed down from anyone. My job is to get in that ring and fight who ever is in the opposite corner.
Would you like a unification bout with any of the other champions at junior middleweight like: Yuri Foreman, Cory Spinks or Alfredo Angulo?
Since I won the title I’ve wanted a unification bout with the other champions but it has been difficult to get them in the ring with me. I want to fight the best and I’d love to unify the titles. I want to prove I’m the best in the world and what better way than to unify the titles. I want to prove I’m the best and I want to fight the best. If I should win the middleweight title I’d like to unify, so if I get a chance to unify at junior middleweight or at middleweight it doesn’t matter to me, I’ll be happy either way, I just want to prove I’m the best.
What is your opinion of the current junior middleweight division?
Well, lately it’s been difficult to get an opponent at 154 so that’s why I’m moving up to 160. There’s a lot of great fighters at junior middleweight and like I said earlier, I’d like to unify the titles if the opportunity presents itself.
Name one or two fighters you’d like to face in the near future?
Well, I think we have a rematch pending with Paul Williams and then there’s Antonio Margarito too. I’d like to fight either one of them, I’d like a chance to avenge my only two losses and a fight with either one of them would be great. Another fighter I’d like to face at 154 would be Floyd Mayweather.
What are some of your goals for 2010?
I’d like to finish off the year being in the top five pound for pound best list. Of course I’d like to be the pound for pound best fighter in the world but if I can make it to the top five this year that would be my biggest goal and I think this year we can accomplish that.
Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
Well, first and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who has followed my career and thank everyone for all their support. Like always, I’m going to give it 100% in my fight with Kelly Pavlik and I’m going to do my best to make everyone proud so I hope everyone tunes into HBO on April 17th for another great fight and I truly appreciate all your support, thank you.