By Mike Coppinger
With little opposition for middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in the barren 160-pound division, fans and observers alike have pushed for the 36-year-old Argentine to move up to the talent rich super middleweight division, where the likes of Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell ply their craft.
But Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella scoffs at the very idea, thinking his fighter is too small.
“No, that’s so stupid,” remarked DiBella on the prospect of Martinez going up to 168 for a big fight. ‘I’m sick of listening to idiots suggest it, and quote me on that, idiots. He is the smaller guy at every weigh-in. He’s smaller than [Darren] Barker, he’s smaller than [Sergiy] Dzinziruk, he walks around at 168. These ’68 pounders walk around at 190.
“He weighs in for fights at 156, 157, 158. He’s a very small middleweight. At ’68, he would just be overpowered. I’m not gonna do the [Manny] Pacquiao thing where you go pick a guy bigger than you who sucks. If he’s gonna fight a ’68 pounder, it would have to be a [Lucian] Bute or that level of guy. And frankly, the majority of those guys he’s too small for.
DiBella didn’t completely rule out Martinez moving up in weight, though, offering a possible exception.
“If Carl Froch were to pull off what a lot of people are gonna think is an upset and beat [Andre] Ward, that might be one guy down the line that could match-up with Sergio, because Carl’s not a big ’68 pounder.”
Mike Coppinger is a regular boxing freelancer for USA TODAY and Ring Magazine. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, the Ring Ratings Advisory Panel and the Yahoo! Sports Boxing Panel. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger.