NEW YORK (November 24, 2010) – The Big Three — the ‘60s version of this troika was comprised of golf’s greatest of that era — Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. As the 21st century begins its second decade The Big Three has a new generation — boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Martinez — multi-division world champions possessing the comparable skill, charisma, excitement and professional success of their 20th Century predecessors..
Martinez, who held the WBC super welterweight title until June 2010, became the World Middleweight Champion in April, dethroning and bloodying defending champion Kelly Pavlik. He made his case for Fighter of the Year by starching two-division world champion Paul Williams in the second round last Saturday in Atlantic City to successfully defend his title.
Who’s the mythical pound for pound best?
“In my opinion a valid argument can be made for all three so let’s just number them 1A, 1B and 1C,” said Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella. “But I sure would like to see them prove who the best is inside the ring and Sergio is ready to concede his weight advantage to do it.”
“If Manny is willing to defend his WBC super welterweight title, I would come down to 154 pounds to challenge him for it as well as allow him to challenge me for my WBC middleweight title,” said Martinez. “It would be the opportunity of a lifetime. But I’m a realist and if he feels that he is physically too small to fight me I certainly understand that too.”
“Sergio is willing to fight next at 154 pounds — defending his WBC middleweight title as well as fighting for the WBC super welterweight title which would be vacated by Manny Pacquiao. That’s a pretty big concession, but if that’s what it takes to get Floyd Mayweather Jr., the WBC’s emeritus super welterweight champion, in the ring with him, Sergio is ready, willing and able. There is a lot of confidence behind his matinee looks,” continued DiBella. “The fans deserve Martinez vs. Mayweather and boxing needs it to continue its growth into the mainstream. I can work with any promoter to make the best fight with Sergio. It’s business – good business – and common sense.”
Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who trains in Oxnard, Calif., is 30-1-1 over the past 10 years, with his lone blemish, a highly disputed majority decision loss to Williams last December – a loss that was avenged via the knockout of the year last Saturday in front of millions of HBO viewers. He is scheduled to be sitting ringside with DiBella on Saturday at the MGM Grand for the HBO tripleheader featuring WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto’s title defense against Freddy Hernandez; WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez’s title defense against Michael Katsidis; and the 10-round rumble between Celestino Caballero and Jason Litzau.