By Mitch Abramson
Christian Martinez, the talented junior welterweight from the Bronx who’s been plagued with hand troubles and hasn’t fought in a year, is off the Dec. 3 card at Madison Square Garden because of more hand troubles, his manager, Craig Hamilton, told BoxingScene.com on Thursday.
Martinez was adamant on fighting on the undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito even though his left hand was hurting him, intent on showcasing his talents in front of his hometown fans. But injuries precluded that from happening. Martinez re-injured his left hand last week while working out in the gym as he was hitting the heavy bag, Hamilton said. X-Rays revealed a broken bone in his left wrist, Hamilton said. Martinez will undergo surgery shortly and will likely be out of boxing for another 4-6 months.
“If Christian is going to have any chance of being the fighter we all know he can be, this is it,” Hamilton said. “He has to get the surgery done and he has to give himself a chance to heal so he’s not going to be starting and stopping and starting again [because of injury]. When he’s pain free and healthy, he’s a formidable fighter, and this gives him the best chance to fulfill the potential that we all see in him.”
Martinez, who is Puerto Rican, was willing to fight on the show alongside Cotto with an injured left hand, he told Boxingscene earlier this month, just to be on the grand stage one more time before the year is up. Martinez is promoted by Top Rank, and had shown impressive potential early in his career, streaking to 4-0 with four knockouts before suffering a setback, losing a close decision to Jose Peralta Alejo Oct. 30, 2010.
Martinez, who is now working with trainer Victor Roundtree, didn’t appear to have his usual bounce in his step and didn’t look to be in tip-top condition for that fight. Because of that performance, Martinez looked at the Dec. 3 show as a chance to redeem himself. Top Rank left a slot open on the undercard for Martinez to fight provided that he was medically cleared.
“He’s a prideful kid,” Hamilton said. “He knew a lot of Puerto Ricans would be there [on Dec. 3]. He wanted to be on the card to show what he can do. His left hand is a tremendous weapon. He has a tremendous left hook that when he’s right can take anyone out with one shot. We want Christian to be totally healthy when he comes back. He’s impatient to come back, but this is not a huge setback compared to where he’s been. He'll be back.”