Sergio Martinez, counting down to his June 7 faceoff against Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden, took part in a Tuesday conference call to talk about his scrap, his training and foe Miguel Cotto.
The 39-year-old Argentina native said he's training in Miami, after training for a month in Spain. Through a translator, he said he's ready to rock and roll, and thanked all for taking part in the call.
He was asked about his knees, and he said they are feeling great, and he's been running fine, on the treadmill. He said he expects Cotto to be the lighter man in the ring, on fight night. He said he was on crutches for nine months following knee surgery, and that was hard, and it will all be fine come June 7.
He hasn't felt this level of confidence, that he will put a hurting on Martinez, since the rematch with Paul Williams, in which he scored a one-punch destruction, he said.
And is he close to 100%? He's just the same as he was when his knee was 100%, he said. The boxer was asked if he dislikes Cotto, which is what it maybe seemed like on the Max Kellerman Face Off which ran on HBO Saturday.
"There is no hatred, I'm a professional," the fighter said. The words are basically over, he said, now it is wait for the bell to ring, time.
His promoter, Lou DiBella, said tix are available from $750 down to $150.
He was asked if Sergio is a bit irked this time, and he noted that there was something in the air prior to the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout. He said he looked impressive, and that if the fight went longer, Junior would have gassed. He won 11 1/2 rounds, and that's impressive. He does indeed have power, he declared, and Dibella weighed in, and mentioned all the KOs he's notched. "He beat Chavez into a bloody pulp," Dibella said.
DiBella said that because the negotiation was tough, that may have bled into Sergio's mood. DiBella said that the knee is as good as it was before the Chavez fight, and that he saw some things in camp that weren't there in recent fights. He can move better laterally now, DiBella said.
Would he rather be in his early 20s? Sure, probably so...but a year off will be a "huge positive" for the middleweight champ.
I asked DiBella about the catchweight, which is supposedly 159 or less. He acknowledged it is indeed 159 pounds or less. "That is one of those concessions we had to make...the catchweight one pound off is a bit silly," DiBella said. But, Sergio has never weighed 160 anyway, so it's not a big deal to Team Martinez, he stated. He did say he found that request "annoying" and so did Sergio.
The placement on the poster, the naming of the fight, the catchweight, DiBella said all that annoyed him and Sergio, and he thinks that came from Cotto himself. But Sergio will focus just on the bout.
I also asked Sergio about Freddie Roach's recent statement to me that Cotto is basting him with body shots, and making him pee blood. "I just hope he doesn't hurt Freddie too bad, so Freddie can make it to the fight," Sergio cracked.
I wondered if he fears, or heck, even respects Cotto's power at middleweight. "Cotto doesn't have the same power at this weight than he did at 147, I'm the one with the power, I'm the power puncher of the two. But the most important thing, the most important factor will be the intelligence I use in the fight." He was later asked if he holds a large strength advantage, and said, again, ring generalship will be the ultimate key.
He said he is sparring the same amount as before, and isn't conceding anything because of age or injuries.
He doesn't care about Cotto saying he will be putting on muscle, and is only concerned with what he will bring to the table.
Sergio was asked if he feels that Cotto has dissed him in the leadup, not giving him proper credit as champ. The boxer said he doesn't feel it's about dissed, and he's just focused on the fight. The promoter said his guy will in the end get the credit he deserves, for beating great fighters and battling through stupid politics. Does he have to win this one to get proper universal credit? Shouldn't have to be that way, but it may be, said DiBella, "As far as legacy, I'm not going to pretend, this fight is huge," he said.
The boxer thinks he has earned universal respect already. Regarding his fight against Martin Murray, in Argentina, that homecoming vibe will differ greatly from the atmosphere in NYC, where Cotto is a cash cow, won't it? He said the judges won't factor in, because he will win by stoppage.
Dibella said "this fight is gonna be a brawl," and that Sergio is prepared. He said he won't predict what PPV the numbers will be, and doesn't think the fans really care about that.
Advisor Sampson Lewkowicz was also present on the call, and said that he echoed Dibella, regarding the import of the match.
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