Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez has not fought since his Argentina homecoming fight 13 months ago, a tight decision victory against Martin Murray. The reason: injuries.
For the second consecutive fight, Martinez injured his right knee, broke his left hand and suffered a cut over his eye. Those were the same wounds he suffered in his previous fight, a lopsided decision against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September 2012.
Now the 39-year-old Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), who had surgery on his right knee after both fights, is set to return to action after the long layoff and will defend his title for the seventh time. Martinez will face Miguel Cotto, who is seeking to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a world title in four weight classes when the two fighters meet June 7 (HBO PPV) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Of course, much of the prefight discussion has centered on the health of Martinez’s right knee.
“Maravilla” had a media day Tuesday at his training camp in Miami and, to no surprise, proclaimed himself healthy and fit to fight.
“This training camp has been tremendously efficient. Everything has exceeded all of my expectations,” Martinez said through a translator. “The Miami weather and atmosphere has made this [my] most memorable camp in recent history. I couldn’t be happier with the way things have gone thus far.
“I feel great. The time off has allowed my injuries to properly and fully heal, and my entire body has never felt better.”
Martinez is so enthusiastic about his conditioning that he believes he will win the fight and send the 33-year-old Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) into retirement.
“I know that Cotto is working very hard for this fight with [trainer] Freddie Roach, but there is no doubt in my mind that this will definitely be his farewell fight to what was a great career,” Martinez said.