Remember that feud that was brewing before Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez stole any and all boxing-related headlines?
Well, it’s back.
World middleweight champion, Martinez, is not too pleased with the No. 2 pound-for-pound ranked fighter in the world these days. In fact, he’s so tired of Pacquiao’s unrealistic weight demands that he’s considering soling turning his attention to Floyd Mayweather Jr. to fulfill his lifelong goal of gaining some (read: any) respect from the mainstream fans who have no idea who he is.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the 2010 Fighter of the Year admitted this much.
“I feel as if I have achieved nothing yet in boxing. Nothing. If I quit tomorrow people would forget about me. I would even forget about myself.”
He also sounded anguished about how Pacquiao has treated him to date, and absolutely ripped the Filipino champion to shreds.
“It's a disgrace what they (Pacquiao's camp) are asking,” Martinez said. “It would be better if they just said they didn't want to fight me, because they know I'll knock him out.
“I don't know when the last time was that Pacquaio took on one of the best pound-for-pound fighters,” Martinez said. “Marquez today is not the fighter he was five years ago. I just need one chance, one fight against either one of them (Pacquiao or Mayweather). I think I deserve to be where I am.”
Remember, once upon a time Martinez challenged Pacquiao to a bout at 154 pounds. When both Pacquiao and Bob Arum balked at that offer, Martinez made the necessary concession and said he would come down to 150 pounds. At which point, of course, Pacquiao moved the goal post yet again.
And that’s precisely why Martinez is shifting his attention to Mayweather.
“We are working on a long-term plan to stabilise my weight at 154 pounds in case a fight with Mayweather can be organised,” Martinez said. “To be considered the best pound for pound I just need this little push, a great fight with one of the two.”
Of course, Martinez will need to get in line. Pacquiao and Mayweather, ideally, will have dibs on one another for a May 2012 showdown that everyone wants to see.
And, really, Martinez didn’t exactly earn a shot at either of the top two pound-for-pound kings with his latest showing. His last fight was a ho-hum bout against Darren Baker, who challenged Martinez impressively right up until the eventual 11th round knock out. Many expected Martinez to roll over Baker much as they expected Pacquiao to destroy Marquez – but neither lived up to expectations.
That’s not to say that Martinez shouldn’t get his shot to shine, but certainly not at the expense of a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather 2012 dream match.
For now, he can take solace in lobbing shots at Pacquiao through the media – something that relieves his tension all the while ensuring that he doesn’t waste valuable main event space this coming May.