By Ray Ender
Sergio Martinez is the middleweight king and ranked within the top 5 pound-for-pound in boxing, but he has made enemies among the Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fanatics, when he called Manny and Floyd out to a fight.
A lot of the Martinez detractors claim he is picking on smaller men, which is true, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. started in much smaller weight divisions before they found a home at welterweight (147-pounds), but can we really blame Sergio Martinez for calling out two of the sports biggest draws?
I don’t think we can blame Sergio, he is 37-years-old and at the peak of his career, he is ranked number 3 on most pound-for-pound lists, while both Pacquiao and Mayweather are ranked either 1 or 2 depending on who you ask, and both have won junior-middleweight (154-pounds) titles in the past, so, Sergio sees this as a viable opportunity to become the pound-for-pound best fighter while earning the most money he has ever made in his career.
What the Pacman and Floyd fans don’t like about Martinez is him constantly chasing guys smaller than him who are not at their best at 154-pounds and him not going up in weight to 168 pounds to challenge the best there. These diehard fans see Martinez as a threat even though they won’t admit to it. Yes, Sergio is a threat, he is no Antonio Margarito or past prime Oscar De La Hoya, he is fast, strong, and very elusive and skilled, along with being much bigger than Pacquiao and Mayweather he also has a lot of speed and stamina to rival either fighter. Skill can only take you so far in boxing but their comes a point in time when size plays a huge factor, and in this case after climbing several weight classes, Pacquiao especially would be at a huge disadvantage against Sergio because he is a completely offensive fighter and not a defensive specialist like Floyd.
Besides calling out Pacquiao and Mayweather, Martinez is calling out the very big middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. who rehydrates to 180 pounds for a 160-pound fight. Sergio is willing to go down as low as 150-pounds to fight Pacquiao or Mayweather, but he isn’t willing to fight the best guys at 168 because his manager and promoter say that Sergio is too small, even though, Sergio weighed in at 176-pounds 30 days before his fight with Paul Williams, and probably was close to 190-pounds before training camp. Sergio is not willing to fight guys like Lucian Bute or Andre Ward who are actually smaller than Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but he is willing to fight Chavez Jr. only because Chavez Jr. is a draw compared to the other two guys and beatable in his eyes.
Sergio Martinez and his promoter are not going to fight Lucian Bute, Andre Ward, Dmitry Pirog, Erislandy Lara, or any other top fighter from 154 to 168 because boxing is a business, those guys do not bring in the type of money that would benefit Sergio or his promoter, they would all be high risk and low reward, it’s only natural for Sergio’s promoter to make a fight with Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, or Julio Chavez Jr. because they would generate the most money. And fighting Mayweather for a low 80-20 split would still be much more money than they would recieve fighting Pirog, Bute, Ward, or Lara.
Sergio Martinez can fight Bute and Ward, but his reasoning is a bit hypocritical, he said he is too small, yet Pacquiao and Mayweather never put on much weight after weigh ins and started at a much lower weight than Martinez. Sergio Martinez will gain 10 to 15 pounds by the time of the fight, and has to cut a lot of weight before a fight, Pacquiao and Mayweather walk around at 148-52 pounds tops and enter the ring without rehydrating 10-15 pounds, giving their opponents a huge size advantage in the ring. Sergio Martinez is not too small for super-middleweight, if Manny Pacquiao can go from 106 pounds to 150 pounds, and prove his greatness against guys who will outweigh him by 20 pounds, Sergio Martinez can go up to 168-pounds and prove himself against the top guys there, and he wouldn’t have to drain himself to 150-154 pounds anymore, he would be fresh and fight closer to his walking around weight. Let’s not forget that after Pacquiao tested the waters at 150-pounds he admitted 150-pounds was too much for him and he found his limit at 147-pounds. It would be best if Sergio Martinez and is people just came out and said, “We will not fight other fighters because they will not give us the type of financial satisfaction compared to Pacquiao, Mayweather or Chavez Jr.” at least he would be honest instead of saying he is too small when he isn’t.
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