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Sergio Martínez (boxer)


Sergio Martínez (boxer)

For other people named Sergio Martinez, see Sergio Martinez (disambiguation).
Sergio Martínez
Real name Sergio Gabriel Martínez
Rated at Light Middleweight (154 lb)
Middleweight (160 lb)
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Reach 75 in (191 cm)
Nationality Argentina Argentine
Born (1975-02-21) February 21, 1975 (age 39)
Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 55
Wins 51
Wins by KO 28
Losses 2
Draws 2
No contests 0

Sergio Gabriel Martínez (born 21 February 1975) is an Argentine professional boxer. He is the current Lineal, The Ring, and WBC middleweight champion.[1][2][3][4]

Martinez was previously in the light-middleweight division, where he held the WBC light-middleweight title (Interim then elevated to full status champion), as well as the WBC Latino title.[5][6] Also, he has competed in the welterweight division, where he held the WBO Latino title.[7]

Martínez is currently rated as the number five pound for pound best boxer in the world by most sporting news and boxing websites, including Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Yahoo! Sports. He is rated as the no.4 pound for pound boxer in the world by The Ring.[8] In 2010 he received The Ring and BWAA "Fighter of the Year" and The Ring "Knockout of the Year" awards, resp. Martinez holds notable victories over former world champions Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Sergiy Dzinziruk and Julio César Chávez, Jr..

Early life

Sergio Martinez was born on 21 February 1975 in Avellaneda to parents Hugo Alberto Martinez and Susana Griselda.[9] Shortly afterwards the family relocated to the nearby city of Quilmes, which is also in the Buenos Aires Province. His father worked as a construction worker and metal worker, a trade which Sergio Martinez joined along with his two brothers, Sebastian and Hugo Jr.. Martinez was bullied as a child in his "dirt-poor rural village."[10] Before boxing, Martinez was a keen cyclist and football player and it was not until 1995 that he decided he would become a boxer. After being trained by his uncle, Ruben Paniagua, Martinez began boxing as an amateur and compiled a record of 39–2 (39 wins to 2 losses), the losses came by way of majority decision and knockout. His boxing career suffered a major setback in August 1996 when he broke his left hand, forcing him out of the sport for a year.[11] Although he considered competing for Argentina at the 2000 Olympics, he decided that he was too old to wait the two and a half years and chose to turn professional in December 1997.[12]

Professional career

Early years in Argentina

Martínez at the age of 22, had his first professional fight on December 27, 1997 in Ituzaingo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The opponent for his professional debut, Cristian Marcelo Vivas, was disqualified in the second round, giving Martínez his first win. Martínez fought the first 17 fights of his career in his native Argentina, compiling a record of 16–0–1. The only blemish on his record at this point occurred in his third fight, a draw against Mario Javier Nieva over four rounds. Martinez rematched Nieva four months later and won a six-round unanimous decision.[13]

After facing a relatively low level of opposition for his first 17 fights in Argentina, Martínez fought overseas for the first time, travelling to the United States to face Antonio Margarito on the Erik Morales-Marco Antonio Barrera I undercard. The fight took place on February 19, 2000 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The contest started badly for Martínez as Margarito scored a knockdown in the first round. Although Martínez recovered and had some success in the early rounds, he was hurt by a number of punches in round seven leading to a stoppage by the referee, thus handing Martínez his first loss. Following the Margarito fight, Martinez returned to Argentina and fought eight times, all victories, from April 2000 – February 2002. During this run of fights he won the Argentina welterweight title after outpointing Javier Alejandro Blanco. He successfully defended the title once, knocking out Sergio Ernesto Acuna in the seventh round, before being stripped of the title.[13]

Relocation to Spain

After his final fight in Argentina, a February 2002 win over Francisco Mora, Martinez decided to relocate to Spain. It was there that he began his partnership with his current trainer Gabriel Sarmiento, who worked out of a gym in Azuqueca de Henares. During his time in Spain, Martinez also worked jobs such as; nightclub bouncer, dishwasher, construction worker and did modelling jobs for Adidas and Nike. From April 2002 – May 2003 he fought four times in Spain, all eight-round fights that he won against weak opposition, two of his opponents had lost their last six fights. This was to change in his next fight however, as he took on Richard Williams in England for the lightly regarded IBO Light Middleweight title. Martinez, who entered the ring as an underdog, having had only eight days preparation,[12][14] won a unanimous decision. Although Williams scored knockdowns in the second and eleventh rounds, he was close to being stopped in the final round and the scorecards were heavily in Martinez's favour.[15] He defended the IBO title twice in the United Kingdom; a twelfth round knock-out victory of Adrian Stone in Bristol was followed by a rematch against Williams in Belfast, on this occasion Williams was stopped in the ninth round. Over the next two and a half years, Martinez won seven fights in a row back in Spain, six of which were against boxers who had losing records.[13]

Light Middleweight

Martinez vs. Cintron

Martínez claimed the Interim WBC Light Middleweight Championship on October 4, 2008, beating Alex Bunema via an eighth round retirement.[13] On February 14, 2009 Martinez fought to a majority draw against Puerto Rican Kermit Cintron. The fight was controversial for a number of reasons; during the seventh round Martínez knocked Cintron down with a clean left hand shot and the referee reached the count of ten and waved the fight off. However, this was disputed by Cintron, who claimed that the knockdown was a result of a headbutt but actually the headbutt which Cintron claimed to have happened was actually an extremely powerful and accurate cross from Sergio Martinez. Cintron's protestations led to the referee overturning his decision and the fight continued. The fight went the twelve round distance and the scorecards revealed a draw, many ringside observers felt that the decision was a robbery and that Martínez easily outboxed Cintron and should have gained the victory.[16]

On May 21, 2009, WBC Light Middleweight Champion Vernon Forrest was stripped of his title due to a rib injury that would leave him out of action indefinitely. Because of the injury and his inability to fight Sergio Martínez, Martínez's interim title was upgraded to full WBC title status.[17]


Martinez vs. Williams I

On December 5, 2009 Martínez fought Paul Williams in a non-title middleweight bout at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall in a fight that was later described as a fight of the year candidate. In the first round Williams and Martinez would both knock each other down once. Martinez would then seem to control the next 2 rounds with effective power punching. Then Williams seemed to narrowly take control of the fight when he seemingly won rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7 by landing hard left hands to the side of Martinez' head. Rounds 8–10 then signified that the fight would be close on the score-cards when Martinez won those rounds by repeating what he did in rounds 2 and 3. Then in the final 2 rounds (11–12), both warriors began to fade although the exchanges remained very closely contested, although Williams was far more active and therefore would seemingly win those final 2 rounds based on the fact that he was far more active in the last 2 rounds of the fight. That would turn out to be the case as Williams would escape with a majority decision victory with scores of 114–114, 119–110 (for Williams) and 115–113 (for Williams).

Martinez vs. Pavlik

After an impressive performance against Paul Williams, Sergio Martínez stayed at middleweight and challenged the Ring Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik for his lineal title, as well as his WBC and WBO titles. The fight took place in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on April 17, 2010. Martínez defeated Pavlik via unanimous decision in a bout which saw Martínez overcome a knock-down in the seventh rounds to go on subsequently dominate a majority of the remainder of the rounds in the fight. Pavlik had cuts above both eyes for several rounds, which did not stop bleeding; he said they affected his vision and performance.[18] Although there was a rematch clause in the contract, Pavlik chose not to enforce it, stating his desire to move up in weight.[19]

The victory over Pavlik earned Martínez the Middleweight Championship of the WBC, The Ring and the WBO.

With Martínez winning the Middleweight Championship, he was required to make some decisions regarding his conflicting WBC Light Middleweight title. The sanctioning organizations for boxing recognize that boxers may choose to move up or down in the weight categories, yet they also wish to make all championship belts available to challenge. As such, their rules prohibit a fighter from simultaneously holding belts in multiple divisions. This prohibition includes holding a title with one sanctioning organization while also holding a title in a different weight class with a different organization. Eight weeks after the Pavlik fight, when Martínez failed to announce a preference to be a Light Middleweight or a Middleweight Champion (the WBO rules allow ten days to decide), the WBO stripped him of their Middleweight title.[20] A week later, Martínez did inform the WBC that he was willing to vacate their Light Middleweight title and maintain his WBC Middleweight belt.[21]

Martinez vs. Williams II

On November 20, 2010, Sergio got a chance to avenge his loss to Williams. Both fighters were ranked among the top six pound-for-pound fighters, and Williams came into the fight as the Ring No. 2 ranked Middleweight. Many speculated that this would be a fight of the year candidate. Approximately one minute into the second round, Martínez knocked Williams out with an over-the-top left hand to retain his title. The knockout was called by many as the knockout of the year. Williams stated to Max Kellerman after the fight, "He caught me with a punch I did not see."

Sergio Martínez's next fight was against undefeated Sergiy Dzindziruk on March 12, 2011 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, winning by TKO in 8 rounds. Dzindziruk, the WBO Light Middlweight Champion, was knocked down five times in the fight.[22] Martinez was also awarded the WBC Diamond belt.

Martínez then fought undefeated EBU Middleweight Champion Darren Barker on October 1 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. He knocked Barker out with an extremely powerful right hook and put Barker to his knees in the 11th round.

Many boxing analysts and experts said that Darren Barker has the skills and ring generalship to one day become a champion, but that his skills were not perfected enough to do anything against Martinez. The first few rounds showed that Barker was actually able to make Martinez uncomfortable in the ring and give him more trouble than expected. Throughout the fight, Barker consistently gave Martinez problems, while never hurting him or really ever winning any of the rounds, he gave Martinez a challenge by coming in but not giving much offence to let Martinez counter or land anything clean. He also managed to get Martinez's nose to bleed early in the rounds by an upper-cut. Martinez, however, fought through the difficulty and eventually found openings which led to a knock-out of Barker, in the 11th with a right hook.

Martínez vs. Macklin

Sergio successfully defended his The Ring title against the No. 3 Ring Middleweight Matthew Macklin of Ireland on March 17, 2012 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. Macklin was coming off a very impressive performance against Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm prior his fight with Martinez, a fight that many felt Macklin won, but he lost a controversial decision to Sturm in Germany. Macklin unexpectedly threw vigorous hooks and jabs that left Martinez behind on the scorecards and left Martinez in a sense of urgency. The Madison Square Garden crowd was largely pro-Macklin. The fight was featured on BBC's boxing schedule for 2011: "18: Madison Square Garden, New York, USA, Sergio Martinez beat Matthew Macklin by 11th-round KO (The Ring middleweight). ".

Martinez struggled in the first half of the fight, with Macklin able to time Martinez very well, which neutralized much of Sergio's offensive attack (and would even score a knock-down on Martinez in the seventh round). Martinez was able to turn the tide in the later rounds, finding his range with his left hand. After scoring two knockdowns in the 11th, Macklin's corner stopped the fight shortly before the 12th round.

Martínez vs. Chávez Jr.

Martinez fought Julio César Chávez Jr. on September 15, 2012, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada for Chávez Jr's WBC Middleweight title. Martinez won by Unanimous Decision after surviving a 12th round knock down following a dominant performance over the first 11 rounds.

Martinez out worked and out landed Chávez throughout the first 11 rounds of the fight, in dominating fashion. Though Chávez had his moments trapping Martinez in the corner on the ropes, Martinez fought Chávez and used his fast lateral movement to avoid and neutralize Chávez' offensive attack. Chávez hurt Martinez in the 12th round, sending him to the canvas half-way through the round. Martinez got up with a little over 1 minute left in the fight, and rather than clinch or hold on to Chávez, Martinez continued to throw and trade blows with the Mexican. Despite being fatigued and clearly hurt, Sergio Martinez managed to hold and survive the thrilling 12th round. Martinez won the fight by unanimous decision, by the scores of 117–110, 118–109, and 118–109. After the fight, it was revealed that Martinez had broken his left hand (as early as the 4th round) and torn his right meniscus, the latter of which would require surgery.[23][24]

After the fight, Chavez tested positive for cannabis.[25] As a result, he received a fine of $20,000 and was indefinitely suspended by the World Boxing Council.[26]

The Bleacher Report, ESPN, and The Los Angeles Times all gave round-by-round reports on the fight.

After his surgery, Martinez confirmed his next title defense would take place in his native Argentina,[27] in what would be his first fight in his home country since leaving for Spain in 2002. News agency Reuters reported that Martinez could make his first title defense against British fighter Martin Murray on April 27, 2013 in Argentina.[28] Martinez defeated Ring Top 10 Middleweight Martin Murray by unanimous decision.

Fighting style

A southpaw, Martinez is known as a fast and athletic fighter and his style has been described as "crowd-pleasing",[29] partly because of his tendency to fight with his hands down when he is out of range of his opponent.[30]

Personal life

Martinez currently resides in Madrid, Spain


Martinez has been presented with an award for helping bullied children. He has also championed the cause of domestic violence against women. He attended a news conference to support legislation involving the Violence Against Women Act. Martinez was quoted as saying: "With domestic violence, no one wanted to touch the subject with a 10-foot pole. I was interested in the issue that a boxer, who dishes out violence, could also be thoughtful and do something and people would listen to someone like me. I thought I could have the most impact by speaking out on the issue."[10]

Professional boxing record

51 Wins (28 knockouts), 2 Losses (1 knockout), 2 Draws[31]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd.,Time Date Location Notes
Win 51–2–2 United Kingdom Martin Murray UD 12 2013-04-27 Argentina Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires Retained The Ring & WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 50–2–2 Mexico Julio César Chávez, Jr. UD 12 2012-09-15 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained The Ring and won WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 49–2–2 Republic of Ireland Matthew Macklin TKO 11 (12), 3:00 2012-03-17 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained The Ring Middleweight title.
Win 48–2–2 United Kingdom Darren Barker KO 11 (12), 1:29 2011-10-01 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained The Ring Middleweight title.
Win 47–2–2 Ukraine Sergiy Dzinziruk KO 8 (12), 1:43 2011-03-12 United States MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut Retained The Ring and won WBC Diamond Middleweight titles.
Win 46–2–2 United States Paul Williams KO 2 (12), 1:10 2010-11-20 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained The Ring & WBC Middleweight titles.
Win 45–2–2 United States Kelly Pavlik UD 12 2010-04-17 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won The Ring, Lineal, WBC, & WBO Middleweight titles.
Loss 44–2–2 United States Paul Williams MD 12 2009-12-05 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Non-title middleweight bout
Draw 44–1–2 Puerto Rico Kermit Cintrón MD 12 2009-02-14 United States BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida Retained Interim WBC Light Middleweight title.
Win 44–1–1 Democratic Republic of the Congo Alex Bunema RTD 8 (12), 3:00 2008-10-04 United States Pechanga, Temecula, California Won Interim WBC Light Middleweight title.
Win 43–1–1 Armenia Archak TerMeliksetian TKO 7 (10), 2:14 2008-06-07 United States Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut
Win 42–1–1 Dominican Republic David Toribio UD 4 2008-02-16 United States MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 41–1–1 United States Russell Jordan TKO 4 (10), 0:59 2007-12-06 United States Paradise Theater, New York, New York
Win 40–1–1 Romania Pavel Florin Madalin RTD 4 (6), 3:00 2007-10-06 Spain Polideportivo Sage 2000, Madrid, Madrid
Win 39–1–1 Mexico Saul Roman KO 4 (12), 2:25 2007-04-27 United States Grand Plaza Hotel, Houston, Texas WBC Light Middleweight Title Eliminator.
Win 38–1–1 Cameroon Oliver Tchinda KO 5 (8) 2006-10-07 Spain Pabellon La Solidaridad, Fuenlabrada, Madrid
Win 37–1–1 Romania Vasile Surcica UD 12 2006-05-26 Spain Poliesportiu Insular Blanca Dona, Ibiza, Balearic Islands Retained WBC Latino Light Middleweight title.
Win 36–1–1 Venezuela Presente Brito TKO 1 (8) 2006-04-01 Spain Estadio Rayo Vallecano, Madrid
Win 35–1–1 Georgia (country) Tamaz Tskrialashvili TKO 6 (8) 2005-11-04 Spain La Cubierta, Leganés, Madrid
Win 34–1–1 Colombia Alvaro Moreno Gamboa KO 2 (12) 2005-10-05 Spain La Linea, Andalusia Retained WBC Latino Light Middleweight title.
Win 33–1–1 Armenia Albert Airapetian KO 11 (12) 2005-03-04 Spain León, Castile and León Won WBC Latino Light Middleweight title.
Win 32–1–1 Portugal Jorge Teixeira Pina RTD 5 (8), 3:00 2005-01-07 Spain Pabellon Municipal, Lugo, Galicia
Win 31–1–1 United Kingdom Richard Williams TKO 9 (12) 2004-04-17 United Kingdom King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland Retained IBO Light Middleweight title.
Win 30–1–1 United Kingdom Adrian Stone KO 12 (12), 1:50 2003-10-09 United Kingdom Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, Avon Retained IBO Light Middleweight title.
Win 29–1–1 United Kingdom Richard Williams UD 12 2003-06-21 United Kingdom M.E.N. Arena, Manchester Won IBO Light Middleweight title.
Win 28–1–1 Ghana Frank Oppong UD 8 2003-05-09 Spain La Cubierta Palazo de Toros, Leganés, Madrid
Win 27–1–1 Nicaragua Miguel Ángel Pérez KO 1 (8) 2003-02-07 Spain Cubierta de Leganes, Madrid, Madrid
Win 26–1–1 Romania Vasile Surcica UD 8 2002-07-12 Spain Campo de Futbol Las Americas, Parla, Madrid
Win 25–1–1 Colombia Alvaro Moreno Gamboa UD 8 2002-04-26 Spain Barcelona, Cataluña
Win 24–1–1 Argentina Francisco Antonio Mora UD 10 2002-02-02 Argentina Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires
Win 23–1–1 Argentina Sergio Ernesto Acuna TKO 7 (12) 2001-10-27 Argentina Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires Retained Argentina (FAB) Welterweight title.
Win 22–1–1 Argentina Javier Alejandro Blanco UD 10 2001-09-08 Argentina Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires Won vacant Argentina (FAB) Welterweight title.
Win 21–1–1 Argentina Enrique Areco RTD 8 2001-07-14 Argentina Ce.De.M. N° 2, Caseros, Buenos Aires
Win 20–1–1 Argentina Elbio Felipe Gonzlaez TKO 6 (10) 2001-05-19 Argentina Nueve de Julio, Buenos Aires
Win 19–1–1 Argentina Adrian Walter Daneff KO 4 (12) 2000-06-16 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires Won vacant WBO Latino Welterweight title.
Win 18–1–1 Argentina Javier Alejandro Blanco UD 8 2000-05-05 Argentina Santa Rosa, La Pampa
Win 17–1–1 Argentina Raul Eduardo Bejarano UD 6 2000-04-15 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Loss 16–1–1 Mexico Antonio Margarito TKO 7 (10), 2:57 2000-02-19 United States Mandalay Bay, Paradise, Nevada
Win 16–0–1 Argentina Paulo Alejandro Sanchez UD 10 1999-10-22 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 15–0–1 Argentina Silvio Walter Rojas UD 10 1999-10-09 Argentina Círculo General Belgrano, Ciudad Evita, Buenos Aires
Win 14–0–1 Argentina Walter Fabian Saporiti TKO 2 (8) 1999-09-11 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 13–0–1 Argentina Ariel Gabriel Chaves UD 10 1999-08-28 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 12–0–1 Argentina Paulo Alejandro Sanchez UD 10 1999-07-17 Argentina Villa Dominico, Buenos Aires
Win 11–0–1 Argentina Silvio Walter Rojas UD 10 1999-06-26 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 10–0–1 Bolivia Elio Vaca Anglarill UD 8 1999-05-15 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 9–0–1 Argentina Jose Antonio Perez UD 8 1999-04-17 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 8–0–1 Argentina Ignacio Ramon Caceres RTD 4 (6) 1999-03-19 Argentina Club Argentino de Quilmes, Quilmes, Buenos Aires
Win 7–0–1 Argentina Arnaldo Gabriel Molina RTD 5 (6) 1999-03-05 Argentina Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires
Win 6–0–1 Argentina Gabriel Leonidas Leiva TKO 3 (8) 1998-12-04 Argentina Estudios Canal 9 TV, Buenos Aires
Win 5–0–1 Argentina Luis Alberto Baldomir RTD 5 (6) 1998-09-04 Argentina Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires
Win 4–0–1 Argentina Juan Mauricio Marino UD 6 1998-08-22 Argentina Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires
Win 3–0–1 Argentina Mario Javier Nieva UD 6 1998-07-25 Argentina Estadio F.A.B., Buenos Aires
Draw 2–0–1 Argentina Juan Mauricio Marino Draw 4 1998-03-14 Argentina Estudios de America T.V., Buenos Aires
Win 2–0 Argentina Julio Cesar Villalva TKO 1 (6) 1998-02-20 Argentina Cipolletti, Rio Negro
Win 1–0 Argentina Cristian Marcelo Vivas DQ 2 (6) 1997-12-27 Argentina Ituzaingó, Buenos Aires Professional boxing debut.

Titles in boxing

Major World Titles:

Minor World Titles:

The Ring/Lineal Championship Titles:

Regional/International Titles:

Special Titles:


External links

  • BoxRec
Preceded by
Richard Williams
IBO Light Middleweight Champion
June 21, 2003 – 2004
Title next held by
Mihály Kótai
Title last held by
Javier Castillejo
WBC Light Middleweight Champion
Interim Title

October 4, 2008 – May 21, 2009
Preceded by
Vernon Forrest
WBC Light Middleweight Champion
May 21, 2009 – June 16, 2010
Title next held by
Manny Pacquiao
Preceded by
Kelly Pavlik
WBO Middleweight Champion
April 17, 2010 – June 1, 2010
Title next held by
Dmitry Pirog
WBC Middleweight Champion
April 17, 2010 – January 18, 2011
Status Changed:Emeritus champion
Succeeded by
Sebastian Zbik
Interim Champion promoted
The Ring Middleweight Champion
April 17, 2010 – present
Preceded by
Julio César Chávez, Jr.
WBC Middleweight Champion
September 15, 2012 – present
Preceded by
Manny Pacquiao
The Ring Fighter of the Year
Succeeded by
Andre Ward
BWAA Fighter of the Year
Preceded by
Lionel Messi
Olimpia de Oro
Succeeded by
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