Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Martinez eyes shot at Mayweather


Julio Cesar Chavez Jr takes a punch from Sergio Martinez in the fourth round of their WBC middleweight title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 15.

Photo: AFP

World middleweight champion Sergio Martinez would like a shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr, but said on Monday he would not lose sleep trying to pin down the elusive American.

“Mayweather skirts around things, so it’s complicated to focus on going after him,” the 37-year-old southpaw known as “Maravilla” (“Marvel”) said on a his first return home to Argentina since winning the title.

“I must look for my own path and if Mayweather appears, that will be phenomenal,” added Martinez, who beat Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for the WBC crown in Las Vegas last month.

“For me, there’s no doubt he’s the best boxer in the world. I always want to face the best, it would be a great opportunity for me,” he told a packed news conference at the Caesar Park hotel in Buenos Aires.

Mayweather is an undefeated fighter with titles in five divisions.

Before fighting again, though, Martinez needs to fully recover from a left hand injury and also have a knee operation.

“My left hand is improving well, but it still hurts a bit because I had two fractures that have welded well,” he said. “With my knee, I need to keep working with my doctor to prepare for an operation on Nov. 12.”

Martinez, who has emerged at the very top of boxing late in his career, after a decade climbing the ladder in Spain, said he expected to be fully fit to fight again in April.

“I’ll be ready to fight from April, I’ll need two weeks [to recover] after the operation, I’m nearly 38 and it’s not the same to have an operation as it is when you’re 20. I’m confident that after that, my body will be 100 percent. I’m not looking at any rival, today I’m the objective and I have to work twice as hard as before to defend this world championship I’ve got,” he said. “I try not to have contact with other boxers, the offers will come soon, in the next month and a half, and then I’ll have to decide who I choose [to fight].”

Martinez said that he would fight at least once in Argentina, but he was not sure when or whether it would be his last bout before retiring.

As a fan of River Plate soccer team, he would ideally like to fight at the club’s Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, but that would depend on numerous factors, including the time of year, since it would be in the open air.

An alternative would be the Luna Park, a famous home of Argentine boxing that has held many world title bouts, notably in the era of late world middleweight champion Carlos Monzon, with whom Martinez is sometimes compared.

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