Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez hangs up his gloves

After suffering a bad knee injury that continued to plague him for the past three years, former two division world champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) has decided to call time on his boxing career and hang up his gloves after 18 years in the game. Martinez, 40, announced the news last Saturday at the IBHOF banquet.

The news from Martinez has been expected for weeks now, as he recently revealed that his right knee, which he has surgeries on, hasn’t responded to rehab. Martinez could have continued fighting, but he would have been fighting with only one good knee.

In Martinez’s last fight over a year ago, he was beaten by Miguel Cotto by a 10th round stoppage. Martinez went into the fight with his right knee looking weak and unstable. Each time Cotto landed a jarring shot, Martinez’s knee would wobble. The victory for Cotto obviously was a hollow one, even though his trainer Freddie Roach tried saying that they beat Martinez at his best. It was clearly not a prime Martinez that Cotto beat last year, and it reflected badly on him for choosing Martinez rather than WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin as the guy to capture his 4th division world title against.

In retiring from boxing, Martinez has a lot to be proud of about his pro career. He captured world titles at both junior middleweight and middleweight. It took a lot of boxing fans by surprise when Martinez moved up in weight at 35 to defeat WBA/WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in April 2010. A lot of fans figured that Pavlik would be too young, too strong and too powerful for Martinez. But instead, the southpaw Martinez out-boxed Pavlik and bloodied and battered him with fast combinations. It was arguably the best overall performance of Martinez’s career, showing that he could beat a guy much bigger and stronger than himself.

In Martinez’s next fight in November of 2010, he knocked Paul Williams out cold in stopping him in the 2nd round. It was a beautiful left hand shot that Martinez nailed Williams with to get the knockout. A year earlier, Martinez had lost a controversial 12 round majority decision to Williams. Martinez had also been robbed of a knockout in his fight against Kermit Cintron in 2009 in a fight where the referee thought that Martinez had clashed heads with Cintron, causing Cintron to go down and stay down. In reality, Martinez had dropped Cintron with a left to the head, and Cintron was able to convince the referee that he’d been hit with a head-butt.

Martinez hurt his knee in his win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2012. Martinez was knocked down in the 12th round of that fight, and he injured his knee while falling to the canvas.