Sergio Martinez: A 7 Year Old, a World Champion and the Observer

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Padraig Ivory: When the hand was dealt for the young Sergio Martinez it was immediately evident that no picture cards had come to the table. From the outset a tough and challenging life lay ahead for the Argentinean native. Now 37 years removed from those humble beginnings that same boy has not only established himself as a picture card of the boxing deck, but rather emphatically as the undisputed poster boy of the middleweight division.

Imagine a scene 30 years ago in the city of Quilmes, Buenos Aires in which a successful, cigar wielding businessman, smartly clad in an expensive fitted suit is chauffeured through the working class city streets. Passing through a back laneway, safe in the comfort of his leather upholstered world, the small figure of a 7 year old Sergio Martinez momentarily reflects across the irises of his daydreaming gaze. Through the tinted glass the struggling city outside appears back and white, the colorless surroundings concealing the raw talent while simultaneously harvesting a determination deep within the undiscovered superstar.

Today the acclaimed ‘Maravilla’ is the gospel of them very streets that threatened to ignore him. The balance of the hard work expended and the fame that followed has combined to distance Sergio from the province of Buenos Aires.

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Q&A Session with Raul ‘El Tigre’ Casarez

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photo(Photo credit Adrian Hernandez) By Robert Jackson: In the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, middleweight/Jr middleweight pro Raul ‘El Tigre’ Casarez is a local legend. His amateur exploits that began at age 12 are well known to locals from Rio Grande City to Brownsville and throughout South Texas. El Tigre who sports a 19-2, 9 KO’s professional record has been tabbed to face Alfredo ‘El Perro’ Angulo for his comeback fight scheduled for November 10, 2012 in California. In Marines gym on the eastside of Edinburg, Texas this writer got a chance to observe Casarez’ training for his BIG fight and was granted a rare interview afterwards.

RJ: Hello El Tigre, How’s it going? You’re coming off of your biggest win over JC Candelo, what did winning that fight do for your career?

ET: Having fun, that fight was just another day at the office, something I love to do, having fun doing it.

RJ: Tell me about the name “El Tigre”, where it came from.

ET: I was 12 years old at the time I fought at Brownsville Texas regional golden gloves, at that time Octavio Saenz who worked for Univison was there and there was a world champion Nestor “El Tigre” Garza who fought out of Reynosa, Mexico and they (Saenz) said I fought like him and reminded them of him and they started calling me tigre and tigre grew up now I’m El Tigre.

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Tim Bradley – Robert Guerrero possible for December 15th

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Rob Smith: A fight between interim WBC welterweight champion Robert Guerrero (30-1-1, 18 KO’s) and WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) is being negotiated between Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank for December 15th in a venue still to be determined. If this fight can be put together it’ll be one of the rare recent occasions where the two rival promotional companies can work together.

Guerrero, who is very eager to get a big money fight, said on his twitter page on Monday “I want Tim Bradley, period! Golden Boy and Oscar De La Hoya make it happen! Fans want it, HBO Boxing wants it! No reason for it not to happen.”

It’s sad this may be the closest thing that Guerrero has gotten during his career to a big fight, and you can’t really call this a big fight, at least not compared to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

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Amir Khan could face Diego Chaves next

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Marcus Richardson: Amir Khan could fight undefeated WBA interim welterweight champion Diego Chaves (22-0, 18 KO’s) next on December 15th. In an interview at Ole.com, Chaves said that he’d been contacted by Khan’s people about a fight with him. Chaves doesn’t know how much he’d be getting and when the fight would take place if he agreed to take the fight. He’s just thinking it over to decide whether he wants to take the fight.

Chaves would undoubtedly be asked to move down to 140 to take the fight with Khan, because Khan has made it clear that he doesn’t plan on moving up in weight right now and who can blame him. Khan has lost his last two fights and his career is on the brink of being finished. Chaves is a risky fight for Khan, because this guy can punch and is in the same class as former Khan conquerors Breidis Prescott and Danny Garcia in terms of power.

The fact that Chaves is being asked to take the fight seems to suggest that Khan’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions need to find a guy with a good record and some ability before HBO will agree to take him for Khan’s next fight in December.

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Robert Garcia: “Nonito Donaire is a real Champion who doesn’t duck anyone”

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Joseph Herron: With the big Super Bantamweight showdown between IBF and WBO Champion Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) and WBC Champion Emeritus Toshiaki Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs) less than three weeks away, suspense is building among fight fans around the world for this terrific match-up.

The highly anticipated 12 round fight will not only determine the number one fighter in the packed 122 pound weight division, but will also crown a new WBC Diamond Champion.

Elite level trainer Robert Garcia expects to see the best version of “The Filipino Flash” at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on October 13th.

“Nonito is a professional and always performs at the highest level when faced with a tough fighter like Nishioka,” insists the Ring magazine’s “2011 Trainer of the Year” award recipient. “This is a challenging fight, but that’s what Nonito wants. He wants to fight the best fighters in boxing and I think that’s what everyone expects from him.”

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Buddy McGirt: “The fight with Sergio Martinez took Matthew Macklin to another level”

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Joseph Herron: After his one round blow out of former Junior Middleweight title holder Joachim Alcine on September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Matthew Macklin is considered once again to be among the best of the Middleweight division.

Despite losing his second world title opportunity to universally recognized Middleweight Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez earlier this year, the Irish puncher wasn’t discouraged as a result of the knock-out loss.

Renowned trainer Buddy McGirt is convinced that Matthew was actually encouraged by his gritty performance against the best fighter at 160 pounds.

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Chavez Jr.’s actions leave much to be desired

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Emilio Camacho, Esq. In life, some people have it better than others. For various reasons, not everyone has the same opportunities and access to resources. In this respect boxing is no different.

In boxing, having the right equipment, training facilities, nutrition, sparring partners, and money to cover personal expenses while training, can make a big difference in the performance of an athlete. This is an aspect of a boxer’s performance that is not readily apparent during the match.

On the one hand, Sergio Martinez represents one aspect of this idea. Martinez has stated that, in the year 2000, after paying all expenses, he made about $900 for fighting Antonio Margarito. Martinez was already in his third year as a professional boxer. He has often recounted how difficult it was to live and train with such a low budget while trying to compete at a world-class level. To this extent, it is remarkable that he has been able to reach the highest level of the sport. Today, Martinez is able to afford high-level training camps, nutritionists, quality sparring partners, and even a personal tailor to promote his image. In short, Martinez made it to the highest level under significant adverse conditions that often break the boxing career of many others.

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Trainer Ronnie Shields: “Boxing needs Emanuel Steward”

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Joseph Herron: Boxing is a symbiant industry and is very much like a family, in which everyone involved depends on each other. Currently, one of the sport’s most prominent figures is in need of prayer from the entire boxing community.

According to sources close to Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, the boxing icon underwent surgery last week to repair an undisclosed stomach ailment and is currently in recovery at an unnamed location.

While ambiguity encases the 68 year old boxing legend’s condition, everyone associated with the beloved trainer is absolutely certain that the world of boxing is a much better place when Emanuel Steward is involved.

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Vitali Klitschko: Corrie Sanders was my toughest fight

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photo

WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has a great deal of respect for former WBO heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders (42-4, 31 KO’s), who was murdered in South Africa this past weekend by three unknown thugs that robbed the restaurant where Sanders was celebrating a party.

Vitali said to the German news site Bild Plus “Corrie Sanders was the most difficult opponent I ever fought. Corrie was fast, could give and take a punch. His style was dangerous and did not suit me. I was very pleased to be able to win this fight.”

Vitali stopped Sanders by an 8th round TKO to avenge his brother Wladimir Klitschko’s 2nd round knockout loss to Sanders a year earlier in 2003. Wladimir never fought Sanders again after the loss and it’s perhaps wise that he didn’t. Sanders seemed to really have Wladimir’s number, and it might have been a bad idea for Wladimir to fight him again. Sanders almost knocked Vitali down at one point after connecting with a big left hand when Vitali tried to slug with him.

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Pacquiao has to beat Marquez impressively this time

Chavez Jr-Martinez, Sergio Martinez boxing image / photoBy Rob Smith: With Manny Pacquiao’s performances looking less and less impressive with each fight, Pacquiao now has to look especially good for him to be still considered as one of the best fighters in boxing. Getting beaten and/or winning controversial decisions isn’t helping him. You can’t look at Pacquiao’s last three performances against Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley and Pacquiao as a superstar type fighter. He lost to Bradley and should have to Marquez.

That’s two defeats in his last three fights. That’s terrible. While some boxing fans feel that Pacquiao deserved a win over Bradley last June, Pacquiao’s performance in that fight wasn’t superstar type material. Pacquiao just looked like an old guy that could no longer fight hard for three minutes of every round, and who also couldn’t cut off the ring to save his life.

If for no other reason that they can’t find another big money opponent to put him in with, Pacquiao will be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8th. With the Top Rank – Golden Boy rivalry limiting the number of options Pacquiao has in terms of opponents, sadly he’s reduced to fighting the same guys over and over again.

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