A sentiment that the most fervent of boxing fans have always shared is that we want the best to fight the best. On June 7th, we get our wish, with the accomplished Miguel Cotto fighting the undisputed king of the middleweight division in Sergio Martinez for the WBC Title at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
As we approach this event, however, the conversations within the media and among fans are more centered on Martinez’s recovery from his injuries, or lack thereof, than the actual matchup and magnitude of the fight.
Both of these fighters are future hall of famers with impressive resumes so it’s not a question of whether or not these fighters fall into the category of “best fighting the best” but more a question of whether or not we’ll actually see them at their best, or if we missed that opportunity forever.
Tha Boxing Voice caught up with the middleweight champ on Sunday and he assured us that his injuries are not a concern. “As far as we’ve been able to tell throughout camp,” Martinez stated, “the response I’ve shown to the treatment has been excellent. If the year of rest served for anything, it was to repair my injuries. It is not a worry at all for me personally, or for my trainers.”
Leading up to his title defense against Martin Murray last April, we heard a similar confidence from Martinez leading right up to fight night only to later find out that he re-injured his knee just a few days before the match and almost couldn’t move his arm due to a near elbow dislocation. Additional injuries sustained during the fight in Buenos Aires, complicated matters even further.
That having been stated, and putting rest, surgery, therapy and rehabilitation aside, how is his 39 year old body going to respond to being back in the ring against the always tough Miguel Cotto?
Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach believes that his fighter will stop Martinez in the middle rounds, noting that the aging Argentine will not be able to withstand Cotto’s pressure and relentless body attack.
When asked about Roach’s prediction, however, Martinez laughed and responded “That Roach… he’s always had a good sense of humor. He always has a good joke to tell.”
While dismissive of Roach’s prediction, Martinez does acknowledge that the combination of the Hollywood- based trainer and the Puerto Rican star is a fruitful marriage, “They are both talented professionals, and always apply themselves to their craft so it’s a great combination. What it won’t be, however, is enough to beat me.”