By Jonny Stapleton
Sergio Martinez enjoyed ‘top of the world’ views from the Empire State building in New York yesterday, but despite having a similar boxing vantage point still refuses to look past Matthew Macklin’s March 17 challenge.
As Pound for Pound number 3 the Argentine is just two places shy of being top of the world boxing pile and the American media seem obsessed with potential Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao dust ups.
The ‘real Middleweight champion of the world’, as Lou DiBella continuely bills him, was happy to survey all around him yesterday, but claims it would be dangerous to look past the Irish middleweight.
Speaking ahead of his St Patrick’s Day clash with Macklin in Madison Square Garden Martinez was adamant the only ‘big fight’ he had in mind was Saturday’s clash.
“People keep talking about big fights down the line and mentioning Mayweather and Pacqiuao but this is my big fight for now. I am focused on Matthew Macklin and Saturday
’s big fight. Everyone keeps asking me about the future and certain fights. I can honestly say I have no idea what comes next. March 17 is the only date in my mind and Matthew Macklin is the only name that matters.”
Throughout the build up in New York this week Team Macklin have often murmured about Martinez’s age. They believe at 37 the best middleweight in the World might not be able for the intense all action approach Macklin has promised to bring since the fight was agreed.
The experienced veteran however claims he is at his peak and warns it will still ‘Maravilla’ Martinez and not ‘Marvellous’ Matthew Macklin after he knocks the Irish fighter out on Saturday.
“I might be 37, but I fell like I have just started boxing. I am fit and in great shape. I am at my peak. My training camp went excellent and I feel great. I am preparing to win by KO and I am ready to achieve that on Saturday night,” he added.
A lot has been made of whether or not former Tipperary underage hurler, Macklin should go into the trenches and try and brawl Martinez on Saturday. Stars like Darren Barker and Andy Lee have warned a war would suit the Argentine. Martinez himself believes it is his foes best tactic.
“Matthew produces his best when he is aggressive and imposes himself on the fight. So I have no reason other than to expect that from him on Saturday and we have prepared with that in mind.”
He may be a two weight world champion who has seen it all in his career, but at 37 Martinez will realise another of his dreams tomorrow night. The star of the Lou Di Bella Promotional camp seems genuinely excited about fighting in the Garden this weekend.
“Fighting in Madison Square Garden is a dream come true. Boxing has enabled a lot of my dreams to come true and this is another one. I am excited about fighting in the Mecca of boxing.”