Is “Maravilla” Coming Back to Boxing?

By Marc Livitz on July 19, 2018
Is “Maravilla” Coming Back to Boxing?
Martinez is making a return to boxing at the age of 43 for reasons other than just boxing.

Sergio Martinez was box office. Why on Earth, for reasons other than money, would he want to come back now…

Social media was alight with rumors and confirmations of sorts that Sergio Martinez is planning a comeback.

“SERGIO MARAVILLA MARTÍNEZ anuncia su regreso al boxeo. La Federación Argentina autorizó hoy renovar su licencia. Entrena en España. Tiene 43 años. Parece un desatino. La última que hizo, vs Cotto, no debió pelearla. No tenía rodillas que lo sostuvieran. @AztecaDeportes”

Roughly translated, the tweet above indicates that Sergio Martinez is making a return to boxing at the age of 43 for reasons other than just boxing.

It really wasn’t so long ago that Sergio Martinez was mentioned as one of the best pound-for-pound talents in all of boxing. The unorthodox style of fighting, the all-excitement approach and to many, the easiness on the eyes. Movie star good looks of which some said was similar to that Rudolph Valentino, although it didn’t take ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ to convince him to retire a few years ago. The last time we saw “Maravilla” (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) in the ring, not many of us were likely able to avoid making comparisons to days gone by, when the Argentine fighter was quick, agile and crafty. By contrast, his output against Miguel Cotto four years ago at Madison Square Garden let us know that four horses or as many ghoulish riders weren’t needed to toll the bell on his boxing career. His legs were gone.

He suffered a right knee injury in September 2012 when he put on a masterful night of pugilistic brilliance in the ring with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. The sold-out crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas was beyond electric, as this writer can luckily attest. For eleven full rounds, he put the spoiled son of a boxing legend on a string and spun him like a yo-yo. Round twelve, however is what we all remember and will likely never forget. Chavez, Jr. floored Martinez after connecting with several hard shots. The fall sent Sergio awkwardly to the canvas. On the way down, he twisted his knee and although he rose to his feet and won a widely scored unanimous decision, he was never the same after that night.

The following April, he was back in the squared circle and this time took part in a homecoming in his native Argentina. In front of a packed stadium in Buenos Aires, Martinez looked a bit more than just worse for wear and needed a thunderbolt of luck from the ringside judges to get the decision win. Englishman Martin Murray scored a knockdown in the eighth round, but that wasn’t enough.

Then came the bout with Cotto fourteen months later, in June of 2014. “Maravilla” wasn’t so marvelous, as he was knocked down three times in round one and received a standing eight count in the ninth. He was never in contention and the contest was over after round ten. This was unfortunate and it may have set off a chain of events with affects still felt to this day. Miguel Cotto beat a hobbled Sergio Martinez as a middleweight. Most handlers wouldn’t have dared put Cotto into the ring with Martinez a few years earlier and this isn’t just due to the differences in weight class.

Cotto’s win over an aged, former great put him in prime position to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez the following year. He served as yet another rung on the ladder of Canelo’s climb to prominence after he’d been embarrassed by Floyd Mayweather in 2013. Though not a shutout loss, Cotto was out of his league. As time progressed, Canelo fought a few ‘beer cans,’ comparatively speaking, in Amir Khan (whom it should be noted jumped up two weight classes to face him), Liam Smith and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Then came that night last September in Las Vegas. Think “degrees of separation” can’t exist in boxing? Maybe they do, indeed. More than a few, as in more than many feel that Canelo was given a gift draw against middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. That’s an argument for another day.

Who among us remembers where we were and if we were doing anything other than staring at the TV screen on November 20, 2010? Sergio’s second round knockout of Paul Williams was beyond legendary. It’s one we watched over and over again. He scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over Kelly Pavlik six months earlier. The list is a bit short in terms of his exposure on American television, but it’s far more than noteworthy. Sergio Martinez was box office. Why on Earth, for reasons other than money, would he want to come back now?

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Paul "The Punisher" Williams vs Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (II)

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  1. Lucas McCain 05:24am, 07/20/2018

    PM,  If that’s the case, it’s a relief!

  2. Paul Magno 11:53am, 07/19/2018

    Just some additional info here, but, apparently Martinez and his people have denied that he’s coming back to fight professionally…Apparently, he’s doing a documentary about his life and part of that project involves him engaging in exhibitions with some amateur fighters—and that requires a boxing license…

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