By Ricardo Conde
In what is the biggest bout of his career so far and with only one week away from his world middleweight championship fight against Kelly Pavlik, WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez has completed his preparations in Oxnard, CA and will be departing on Sunday for Atlantic City, NJ.
Photos: Ricardo Conde
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Sergio Martinez – “The preparation has been excellent, I feel it’s been the best training camp of my career and it’ll show on April 17th. With the preparation I’ve had I don’t think Pavlik will be able to keep up. I feel great, I’m on weight, I feel great physically and I’m motivated mentally.”
Gabriel Sarmiento/trainer – “Camp has been wonderful, having fought Paul Williams just a few months ago really helped Sergio prepare for this fight against Pavlik and after the Williams fight we got right back into the gym as soon as we knew we were going to fight Kelly Pavlik. We’ve prepared to go the distance with Pavlik, but he’s not the same fighter he once was so we believe that Sergio’s speed will be the difference in this fight. This is Sergio’s most important fight of his career so far but its not the most difficult, I say this because Pavlik is the reigning champion at middleweight so a win over Pavlik will take Sergio to the next level. Should we get past Pavlik I’d like to see Sergio take on Antonio Margarito, possibly in the middle of the year and then Paul Williams at the end of the year.”
Cicilio Flores/strength & conditioning coach – “This has been Sergio’s best preparation; he’s faster than ever, stronger than ever. His nutrition went very well, his training and his sparring was very good, and this has been an almost perfect training camp. I definitely feel that Sergio’s speed and strength will be very noticeable and we’re definitely going to be looking for that knockout.”
Eddie Sanchez/chief sparring partner – “I feel Martinez is going to out smart Pavlik, I can see Pavlik getting frustrated. He trained really hard; I’m very impressed with the way he trained. I’m confident that Sergio will win, he’s very strong and fast so I have no doubt in my mind that Martinez will win this fight.”
Martinez (44-2-2, 24 KOs) will be challenging WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (36-1, 32 KOs) on Saturday, April 17th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ which will be shown live on HBO World Championship Boxing and is being promoted by Top Rank in association with DiBella Entertainment. Tickets are priced at $350, $200, $100 and $50 and are available at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-736-1420.