About a year ago, Sergio Martinez was the clear No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. You had Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., in whatever order, and then it was Martinez. There was obviously a huge fame gap between the top two fighters and No. 3, but nobody disputed that Martinez was a heavy hitter. In fact, a lot of people wanted to see him do battle with one of the two guys ranked above him – something he seemed really open to as well.
Things have changed a lot over the past 12 months.
On both the Yahoo! Sports and Ring pound-for-pound charts, Martinez is currently listed at No. 4. That’s not so bad, right? He only dropped one slot since his heyday. Well, yeah – but he has been getting jumped over. Andre Ward and Juan Manuel Marquez leapfrogged him on both lists, and you have to figure that Nonito Donaire will top him sooner rather than later, too.
The problem with Martinez is the same as it ever was: elite fighters are scared of him because he’s good; fans don’t know him because he isn’t good enough to catch their eye. And mind you, he is 37 years old right now – it’s not like Martinez will turn some sort of corner. He is what he is.
Over the past two years Martinez has defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker. The latter two bouts were won via knockout; the Chavez Jr. one came via unanimous decision. Despite it all, Martinez has generated relatively zero buzz.
Which probably explains why his camp is supposedly hoping to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. this year.
"The fight I want for Sergio is Mayweather. Right now I think that fight is still a possibility. But first comes Martin Murray in April, and then [in the fall] is a likely rematch with Chavez," Pablo Sarmiento, Martinez's trainer, told Boxing Scene.
Translation: we know we aren’t going to get a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., but we’d appreciate some buzz. Both guys have their 2013 calendars clogged up already, and that’s working under the assumption that Mayweather even wants to fight Martinez – which he likely doesn’t.