World's Best Middleweight Eyes Pacquiao, Mayweather and ChavezWritten by Lee Cleveland
To be the best you must beat the best.
Southpaw middleweight Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) is hoping to lure Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather into the ring if he successfully defends his Ring Magazine Middleweight title against Darren Barker on October 1st.
Martínez, 36, is currently rated in the top three as the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world by most sporting news and boxing websites, including The Ring, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Yahoo! Sports. In 2010, Martínez received The Ring and BWAA "Fighter of the Year" and The Ring "Knockout of the Year" awards respectively.
FightSaga.com currently ranks Martinez No. 8 in its pound-for-pound rankings.
The awkward, tough Argentinian has agreed to a catch-weight bout with either of the superstars, Mayweather or Pacquiao, at 150lbs (68kg) in what would be a pay-per-view blockbuster. And so far, its been rumored Pacquiao will negotiate with Martinez if the aforementioned catch-weight stipulation is agreed upon.
"I am willing to go down to the 150 lbs (68kg) to face Manny Pacquiao. It does not depend only on me. We will see what happens, if his team and [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum accept [the fight]. Because it's one thing is to fight Antonio Margarito at 150, and another thing to face me at 150," said Martinez during an interview with BoxingScene.com's Carlos Irusta.
A full-fledged middleweight now, Martinez has been fighting between 157 lbs (71.3 kg) and 159½ lbs (72.3 kg). Given Sergio already has an extremely low percentage of body fat, hitting 150 lbs (68kg) wouldn't be easy but its something he's confident he can do. If accomplished, Martinez would still have a size advantage over Pac Man because the Filipino star is small, even at 150.
After defeating Kelly Pavlik in April 2010, Martinez held the middleweight versions of the WBC and WBO titles as well as the prestigious Ring Magazine belt - However, he was later stripped of his WBC and WBO belts for making career decisions that were not in-line with WBC and WBO mandates.
"I lost my 160lb belt and I had to accept it to make my career bigger," Martinez told World Boxing News.
Earlier this year the WBC granted Sergio 'Emeritus' status which guarantees him a mandatory title shot against its middleweight champion, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
"I am now planning to get back my belt and then unify the division. If Chavez won't fight, I will look for Mayweather... I want to be P4P number 1 and the short path there would be to beat Mayweather, which would be the same as if I won the WBC, WBA and IBF titles at middleweight."