Sergio Martinez: “I feel that I will knock Paul Williams out and leave no doubts”

by Geoffrey Ciani - This week’s 92nd edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with Sergio Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) who became the recognized middleweight champion of the world when he upset Kelly Pavlik by unanimous decision back in April. On November 20, Martinez is scheduled to defend his WBC title in a rematch against Paul Williams (39-1, 27 KOs). When these two first met last December, Williams was awarded a majority decision victory in an explosive action-packed fight that probably could have gone either way. Martinez spoke about his future and reflected on some key moments from his career while also providing his opinions on the current boxing landscape. Here is what he had to say:

On his November 20 rematch against Paul Williams:

“I’m definitely very motivated because my goal and everyone has that goal is to fight the best while looking forward in your career in boxing. So I’m very motivated to fight Paul Williams in a rematch.”

His thoughts on his majority decision loss in his first fight against Paul Williams:

“I was happy with my performance but I was supposed to do a little bit more, and now I expect for myself to do better and I will definitely win this fight.”

On what he believes he could have done better in his first fight with Williams:

“Now that I know the division I need to concentrate on my punches. The delivery of my punches now is more confident after the win with Kelly Pavlik, so I have no doubt that I will win this fight and be victorious.”

His views on Paul Williams’ claim on last week’s show that he will knock Sergio out in the rematch:

“We have no doubt that this time if there is any KO, it will be Paul Williams himself that will lose the fight. However, everybody saw that he got hurt when he got dropped and that was not the case with me.”

On what it was like to silence his critics and win the middleweight title from Kelly Pavlik:

“Well we have more confidence now than before because of what I did with Kelly Pavlik. Definitely Paul Williams cannot take that power, and the way he fights he will not take that punishment. I am very motivated.”

On what was going through his mind when he was dropped with a straight left hand by Paul Williams in round one of their first fight:

“I was very confused. I didn’t feel the power of his punches, and then I realized I was standing the wrong way with my legs and that’s what happened. It was not really a punch. It was the way my legs were standing up.”

On whether he was surprised that he dropped Williams with a right hook later in that same round:

“It was not a surprise that he went down. He was definitely hurt contrary to him saying he wasn’t hurt.”

On whether he believed he would ever get a fair shake in another big fight following the close loss to Williams and the extremely controversial draw with Kermit Cintron:

“No, I had no doubts and I always have confidence in the judges. Regardless of the past, I’m always looking to the future, however, I know that I knew that if I could escape from getting hit hard by Kelly Pavlik I would come out victorious, and that’s what happened.”

His feelings on the controversial nature of his draw with Kermit Cintron in a fight most observers feel Martinez deserved to win:

“I was very frustrated. I couldn’t believe that any officials would do something like that to me, but that motivated me to do better every time to be sure that the next time they will have the right decision.”

On being stripped of the WBO title and his views on the fight where Dmitry Pirog beat Daniel Jacobs for the vacant belt:

“It was really very sad for me to find out that I got stripped from a title that I won in the ring. It was an honor to be the WBO champion, but besides that, the most important thing is for me to have the WBC title. They gave me my first opportunity to become a champion and my loyalty is for the WBC, regardless. For Pirog and Jacobs, I wanted to keep everything on the side. I don’t want to talk about it. The people know who the real middleweight champion is.”

On his early career stoppage loss against Antonio Margarito back in February 2000:

“I have no regrets. I couldn’t do anything about it because it was too early in my career. I was mismanaged. It happened the way it was supposed to happen. I lost the fight and there was nothing I could do about it. I was too green for that fight and I wasn’t my best at that time.”

His views on the upcoming fight between Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao:

“I definitely favor Manny Pacquiao. He’s too fast and too smart. Margarito will not touch him, so I strongly believe Pacquiao will win the fight.”

On whether he feels he is one of the most avoided fighters in boxing:

“I have always had a problem finding opponents or a challenge for myself. So I got used to this throughout all my career and now it’s much easier than before, but I always am motivated because I know it will come and when it comes, I will demonstrate who Sergio Martinez is.”

On how difficult it was making the decision to drop the WBC junior middleweight title after he beat Kelly Pavlik:

“It was not hard because I got it at 160, and when I got the fight with the middleweight champion and I won where I have the belt, so it was much easier to give up the belt at 154. Now I feel very comfortable and confident in this division.”

On whether or not we may ever see him return to the 154 pound weight class:

“If I have a chance to fight and it’s a big fight, I would go back to 154 in a heartbeat with no problem.”

On whether he was surprised that Kelly Pavlik did not exercise their rematch clause in an effort to win back his titles:

“It didn’t surprise me because after the amount of punches that he received and the punishment, it would be illogical for him to want that rematch. It would not be a good decision for him.”

His views on potential unification against one of the other three champions if he successfully defends his title against Williams:

“I feel that if I am victorious in this fight with Paul Williams that I will look for the big fights, and with Pirog, it could be a good fight so it would be interesting. If not, I have no interests in unifying. I am only interested in the big fights.”

On whether he would have any interest in fighting middleweight contender Andy Lee, who had expressed an interest in facing the winner of the Martinez-Williams rematch:

“I want to always fight the tough fights, and if Andy Lee emerges to the point where he’s at a level to challenge me, I would accept.”

Regarding some of the fighters he enjoyed watching while coming up in the sport:

“All of these names don’t need an explanation. I liked Cassius Clay before he became Muhammad Ali. I liked him at the beginning of his career, and I definitely liked Sugar Ray Leonard and some others, and Carlos Monzon.”

On what he believes is his ultimate key to victory in his rematch against Paul Williams:

“I feel that I will knock Paul Williams out and leave no doubts. Now I am much stronger than before and much more experienced, especially after the fight against Kelly Pavlik.”

On whether he still feels he is at his best given the fact he is now 35 years old:

“I don’t believe that a young 35 years is old at all. I still have another year or year and a half to continue learning and be at my best.”

On whether he would have any interest in having a match with Sugar Shane Mosley:

“He is one of the biggest names in the history of boxing. I would love to have that fight.”

On what he would like to say to all of his fans and the listeners of On the Ropes Boxing Radio:

“I want to say to all of them, don’t miss November 20 because you will see a great, great fight, and I will definitely rise to the occasion. Thank you all for following my career.”


For those interested in listening to the Sergio Martinez interview in its entirety, it begins approximately thirty-two minutes into the program.


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Article posted on 21.09.2010

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