By Ricardo Conde
In what was the biggest bout of his career, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) of Argentina, dismantled reigning and defending middleweight champion, Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) of Youngstown, OH, this past Saturday at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ over 12 rounds to win via unanimous decision. The newly crowned WBC/WBO middleweight champion took time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk to us about his fight with Pavlik, who he’d like to face in the near future and more.
Here’s what he and Team Martinez has to say:
Sergio Martinez – “I feel very happy right now and very pleased, words can’t begin to describe how I’m feeling, it’s just the best feeling in the world right now. Once you reach a certain level in any sport, it’s hard to explain, there’s no moment better than right now. Strategically and technically the fight wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but physically it was very hard because Kelly Pavlik is much bigger and stronger than I am. Right now we’re looking at rematches, for example there’s Antonio Margarito and Paul Williams those are definite possibilities, they are the ones I’d like to face before the end of this year. For me, Margarito being the first one I’d like to face because I think our styles would make for a great fight and I’d like to avenge my first loss. Depending on what kind of offers we get, we’ll then decide whether we’ll stay at 160 or move back down to 154, it doesn’t matter to which one, I’m comfortable at either weight. I’d like to thank everyone for all their support before and after this fight, everyone here in United States, Argentina and all the Latinos and to let everyone know that this championship was dedicated to them.”
Gabriel Sarmiento/trainer – “We knew going in that we had made all the preparations to win this fight but that we would have a lot of work to do during the fight. Many people doubted us but I knew we’d be victorious. We did have some troubles after the 5th round so we made some adjustments strategically and came back after the 9th to win the rest of the fight. We’d like Antonio Margarito to win so we can get a rematch with him; he’s the one I’d like to see Sergio face next and I’m sure the fans would like to see that fight and its long over due. It still hasn’t sunk in yet that Sergio is the middleweight champion of the world, for me things are still the same, I got back to Oxnard training the rest of my fighters, which by the way I’d like to thank Eduardo and Robert Garcia for opening the doors for me and getting settled here in Oxnard to train with Sergio, I’ll always appreciate that.”
Cicilio Flores/trainer, strength and conditioning coach – “I think the conditioning play a major part in this fight, Sergio could have gone 15 rounds that night. It’s been a great opportunity to work with Sergio, he’s truly a world champion and it’s been a great pleasure but I think the best is yet to come.”
Adam Flores/owner of World Crown Sports – “It’s been an honor to have Sergio Martinez train at our gym, not only does he inspire the other kids that train here but motivates them as well. We’re really proud of what Sergio has accomplished. We knew going in that he’d be too fast and that was going to be the key to winning the fight.”