Sergio Martinez at 45: Why is he fighting again?
Per FightNews, former WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martínez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) has ended his near six year retirement from boxing and will return to the ring on June 6 in Madrid.
Martinez, who turns 45 next week, last fought in June 2014 when he surrendered his title to Miguel Cotto. However, it was believed Martinez re-injured one or both knees early in the fight and that the Argentine's much-maligned wounds contributed to his downfall.
Sergio fought like a warrior until the end and tried valiantly to create opportunities to land that same looping left that felled Paul Williams in their return bout.
It would be his swan song... Or so it seemed.
So, how is Martinez feeling now?
... Apparently like new money these days, insisting his knees have had time to heal.
And speaking of money, is that why Martinez is making a comeback?
Boxing history suggests money and ego, in that order, would be a darn good first guess.
A veteran of 56 bouts, Sergio had only two superfights - The loss to Cotto in 2014 and his virtuoso performance against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2012. Yes, he defeated Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Martin Murray, Matthew Macklin, Darren Barker and Serhiy Dzinziruk but those fights didn't garner the attention of the aforementioned bouts.
He was paid handsomely but didn't generate anywhere near the revenue of today's top middleweights, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
Moreover, it wasn't until his 49th pro fight, Sergio's title-taking upset of a previously dominant Kelly Pavlik, that he thrust himself into true boxing lore. And by then, he was already 35.
One has to feel for Sergio. As good and as entertaining as he was, he didn't have many big paydays... And even the purses he earned for his two superfights were not impressive by 'boxing superstar' standards.
Against Cotto, Martinez was guaranteed $1.5 Million and Miguel $7 Million. And in his PPV with Chavez, Sergio earned $1.4 Million to Julio's $3 Million.
And yes, he may have earned upwards of $1 Million each for the Murray, Macklin and Dzinziruk fights but, again, it's likely he was far from rich in 'boxing superstar' standards. And Martinez was a star.
Daniel Jacobs and former Martinez foe Julio Cesar Chavez Jr were paid $5 and $3 Million, respectively, for their non-title clash last month that didn't draw much interest. (Of course, Julio had to forfeit a million dollars for coming in over the weight limit). And Andre Ward earned $6.5 Million in his rematch with Sergey Kovalev in 2017.
Money-wise, Martinez never had that breakout fight.
In 2015, FightSaga suggested Martinez should have come back to face then-unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin who had temporarily run out of available big-name opponents. At the time, Martinez hadn't been far removed from RING Magazine's Top 10 pound-for-pound list.
It's not yet known if Martinez will compete as a middleweight when he returns. At 45, can the 5'10" Argentine make middleweight anymore? Given he was already at an advanced age, 35, when he jaunted from super welterweight to middleweight, a return to the 160 pound division is not outside the realm of possibility.
Golovkin vs Martinez in 2021? ... Canelo vs Martinez next year?
(image courtesy of Round by Round Boxing)
Given Bernard Hopkins's success in his 40s, it would be unwise to count out Sergio Martinez.
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If Sergio Martinez fight Mayweather during his prime. I will go for Martinez he is very elusive and it's hard to hit.