New York, NY - (9/9/2011) - The #1 middleweight in the world, and top three pound-for-pound fighter, Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO's) is preparing for "Dazzling" Darren Barker (23-0, 14KO's) feverishly, respecting his foe's amateur pedigree and undefeated professional record and putting the final touches on another hard training camp with trainer Pablo Sarmiento and top sparring in Oxnard, CA. Martinez will be putting his WBC Middleweight Diamond belt and Ring championship on the line against the European Champion Barker, on Saturday, October 1st, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The show, entitled "Noche de 'Maravilla': Martinez vs. Barker" is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Sport, and Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. The long awaited rematch between Andy Lee and Brian Vera will open the telecast. The show will be aired live on HBO's World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.
"I have been training very hard and am expecting a tough fight out of Barker on October 1st," said Martinez. "Barker is coming here to the States undefeated and he intends to leave that way. I must be in top shape, both physically and mentally, to prevent that from happening. The fact that Barker is willing to step up and put his undefeated record on the line shows you that he has a lot of heart and that he is a true warrior, which isn't the case for all fighters."
Martinez went onto further comment on the current situation in the middleweight division, and lack of opponents willing to step up to face him, including current WBC belt holder, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"I would love nothing more than to fight Chavez and take back sole possession of my WBC belt. Chavez is the one who has been afraid and continues to avoid the fight. He also seems to be an expert at pulling out of fights. If he can defeat Peter Manfredo, Chavez will fight me like the man his father was, or I will fight a worthier challenger for the WBC Middleweight belt that is rightfully mine."
Tickets for "Noche de 'Maravilla'" are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.