Boxer Sergio Martínez to Visit San Antonio: Is He Still ‘Marvelous’?
Sergio Martínez at the People En Español Festival (all events at Henry B. González Convention Center, 200 E Market)
Noon Sat, Aug 31: Main stage (Q&A session)
12:30pm and 3:15pm Sat, Aug 31: Meet-and-greet at HBO Latino booth
11am Sun, Sep 1: Meet-and-greet at HBO Latino booth
Argentine boxer Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), world middleweight champion (World Boxing Council), will visit San Antonio’s Henry B. González Convention Center as part of the second annual People En Español Festival. He will be talking about his amazing life, answering questions and greeting fans at the HBO Latino-sponsored booth on August 31.
Considering the large Mexican and Mexican-American population in San Antonio, this is another strange decision on the part of People En Español: last year, the magazine invited Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto, who had destroyed Mexico’s Antonio Margarito in a rematch. Now, the magazine invites Martínez, who gave a boxing lesson to Julio César Chávez Jr., the son of Mexico’s greatest boxing legend ever.
Questions notwithstanding (we understand, say, Canelo Álvarez wasn’t available, but aren’t there any other great Mexican boxers available? Isn’t Juan Manuel Márquez a Mexican?), Martínez’s visit is an appealing one: he’s one of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxers (unofficially ranked at number seven by The Ring magazine, after years in the top three, just behind Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao), he’s smart, has great charisma and is always entertaining.
Martínez is a rare case of a 38-year-old man capable of competing at sport’s highest levels in spite of his age. It is a testament to his work ethic, discipline and his natural athleticism. But recent injuries and questionable performances in his last two fights will keep him out of the ring for the rest of the year, and some believe his career is in its last stages.
To make a long story short, doubts started after his fight against Chávez Jr. on November 2012 in Las Vegas: after Martínez outboxed and outpunched the Mexican for 11 and a half rounds, Chávez dropped him with two ferocious left hooks with less than 90 seconds in the last round. Instead of clinching or running (all Martínez needed to win the fight was to remain on his feet), he bravely fought back. He won a big unanimous decision, and after the fight it was announced he had broken his left hand and one of his knees. Seven months later, he returned to fight England’s Martin Murray in Buenos Aires, his first fight back home since 2002. He won a unanimous decision but was knocked down in the eighth round, and questions about his future remained.
In order to understand the current state of Sergio Martínez, it is necessary to go back in time. In mid-July, Martínez spoke with the Current on the phone from Madrid, Spain (where he resides) and he left no stone unturned.
After three years fighting in Argentina, you made your U.S. debut in 2000 and were knocked out by Antonio Margarito in Las Vegas. After that fight, you moved to Spain, resumed your winning record and returned to the States to suffer two disputed verdicts: a draw against Kermit Cintrón (the referee had stopped the fight but changed his mind when Cintrón protested) and a split-decision loss against Paul Williams, a bout many thought you won. Were those fights discouraging or they motivated you even more?
The only think I thought is that I needed an opportunity. I knew that, if only given a chance, I was going to make the best of it. The verdict in the Cintrón fight was lamentable, but the first Williams fight was a lot more even.