(December 3, 2010 – New York, NY) The cornerman, the punch, and even the advisor bringing the prodigy to America were identical. The only thing that had changed was the fighter throwing the crisp overhand right that ended the fight in dramatic fashion.
Indeed, fans in attendance on Wednesday for DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing might have thought they were suffering a case of déjà vu when Javier Fortuna (13-0, 10 KOs) starched previously unbeaten Victor Valenzuela in one round in much the same manner that Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez knocked out Paul Williams on HBO less than two weeks earlier. Fortuna is trained by Gabriel Sarmiento and advised by Sampson Lewkowicz, the same team which backs the reigning middleweight champion, Martinez.
In just a matter of weeks, and in less than three full rounds of work, Sarmiento’s work has resonated around the boxing community and his name is becoming synonymous with both world class fighters and devastating knockouts. He also guided heavy underdog Lucas Matthysse to a brilliant performance in his controversial split decision loss to Zab Judah in November.
“In my mind it is clear,” said Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, which promotes Martinez and put on the show Wednesday night. “Gabriel Sarmiento is the trainer of the year. His work with Sergio Martinez, Lucas Matthysse and Fortuna speaks for itself. Gabriel told me he thinks Fortuna is the next Sergio Martinez; after watching the way he knocked out Valenzuela, it is hard to disagree.”
All three men – Martinez, Matthysse, and Fortuna – are advised by Lewkowicz, who is most known for introducing Manny Pacquiao to the American boxing audience. However, even Lewkowicz is singing the praises of Sarmiento for the job he has done molding his fighters into the world’s elite.
“Gabriel Sarmiento has by far earned his place as one of the best trainers in boxing today,” said Lewkowicz. “He has demonstrated that he is the trainer of the year with these grand performances on the big stage.”
Currently, Lewkowicz is in Indoensia with another of his star clients while Sarmiento is back home in Oxnard, California and already back in the gym with his star pupil, “Maravilla” Martinez.
“Sergio is as motivated as ever and is eager to get back in the ring,” said DiBella. “He believes there is still much more to accomplish.”