Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Fighting At MSG Dream Come True For Sergio Martinez

By Jake Donovan

Madison Square Garden served as the backdrop for when true title lineage was reestablished in the middleweight division. Bernard Hopkins manhandled then-unbeaten three-division champ Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad, lending confirmation to long time de facto status as the best middleweight in the world.

The fight took place on September 29, 2001. There hasn’t been another middleweight championship fight to take place in the main room since that night. That status changes this weekend, when Sergio Martinez makes the 7th defense of his World champion as he faces Miguel Cotto in their highly anticipated championship showdown (Saturday, HBO PPV, 9:00PM ET).

The closest Martinez has come to playing the World’s Most Famous Arena occurred two years ago (March ’12), when he rallied to knock out Matthew Macklin in the 11th round of their championship fight on St. Patrick’s Day. The bout took place in MSG’s The Theatre, often referred to as “the basement” due its location below the main level of Madison Square Garden.

Saturday’s contest will take place in front of a sold-out crowd in the main room, reestablishing a couple of past traditions. Not only have many of the greatest middleweights of all time played the Garden, but Martinez also gets to pay homage to the legends of his native Argentina who’ve also made it a point to ply their trade at the historic venue.

“It has been a major dream of mine to fight at Madison Square Garden in the big room,” Martinez (51-2-2, 28KO) revealed in the most recent entry of his four-part blog for HBO. “I never would have imagined that I would be headlining a main event over there if you asked me that 10 years ago.

“To fight at Madison Square Garden where great Argentinean boxers fought like Oscar Bonavena and Carlos Monzon is the grandest honor that any Argentinean boxer could possibly have. The Argentinean community in New York has always been very supportive of me, and I expect an incredible atmosphere similar to a World Cup soccer match.”

Cotto (38-4, 31KO) has represented Madison Square Garden like no other fighter in this era. His fights have sold more tickets at the arena than any other boxer in the 21st century.

Playing to the massive contingent of Puerto Ricans (by birth or by heritage) living in New York, the Boricua superstar has transformed ‘The Garden’ into the unofficial headquarters for the Puerto Rican Day parade festivities, with the annual celebration taking place on the 2nd weekend in June. Saturday will mark the fifth time in his career that a Cotto fight at the Garden precedes the parade, with the 33-year old boasting a 4-0 record on such occasions, in addition to a stoppage win over Yuri Foreman at Yankee Stadium on the same weekend in 2010 as well.

However, the 33-year old is not invincible at the venue. His last performance at Madison Square Garden was also his lone loss there – or anywhere in New York City – when he was outpointed by then-154 lb. titlist Austin Trout in Dec. ’12. Still, this weekend’s event is being sold as a coming home party for the Puerto Rican superstar, a perception Martinez plans to dramatically change once the bell sounds.

“Miguel Cotto says Madison Square Garden is his home, but come June 7th he will be evicted,” Martinez vows. “I will prove that I am one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PRPOWERPUNCHES on 06-02-2014

[QUOTE=JakeNDaBox;14615549]By Jake Donovan Madison Square Garden served as the backdrop for when true title lineage was reestablished in the middleweight division. Bernard Hopkins manhandled then-unbeaten three-division champ Felix ***8216;Tito***8217; Trinidad, lending confirmation to long time de facto status as the…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Benavidez: I Was Told Gavril Suffered a Broken Jaw, Broken Nose Vincent Feigenbutz With Controversial TKO of Ryno Liebenberg Video: Angel Garcia Post-Fight Reaction To Rios Knockout, More Video: Danny Garcia Post-Fight Reaction To Rios Knockout, More Video: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter- Confrontation in Las Vegas Photos: Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter - Face To Face, Trade Words Yordenis Ugas is Ready: I Want Errol Spence Next! Victor Ortiz Not Happy With Draw: I Did Enough To Win! Danny Garcia Drills a Very Game Brandon Rios in Ninth Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard David Benavidez Beats Down Ronald Gavril, Wins Decision David Benavidez vs. Ronald Gavril II - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Yordenis Ugas Stops Ray Robinson in Seven, Secures Spence Shot Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz Battle To a Majority Draw Benavidez Intends to ‘Destroy’ Gavril, Solidify Spot in Division Caleb Plant Easily Out-Boxes ‘Porky’ Medina, Remains Unbeaten Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios - CompuBox Historical Review Eubank Jr: Did I Underestimate George Groves? Maybe. Hamed Rips Eubank Jr: He Should Retire, Not at Level He Thinks He Is! George Groves vs. Chris Eubank - CompuBox Punch Stats Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios - LIVE Results From Las Vegas George Groves Decisions a Bloody Chris Eubank Jr. George Groves vs. Chris Eubank - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Alexander: My Power Surprises People; Ortiz Will Be No Different Ronald Gavril: I'm a Smarter, Stronger Fighter Than Benavidez Sauerland: I Want To See Best Fighting The Best Every Year! Tony Bellew Sides With Groves, Dave Coldwell Picks Eubank Groves vs. Eubank - LIVE Results From Manchester Lolenga Mock vs. John Ryder in Play For April Otto Wallin vs. Adrian Granat Set for April 21 in Sweden Arum: Loma-Linares Fallout Proves Deceitful Nature of HBO! Groves vs. Eubank - CompuBox Historical Review George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr. - Stats & Stakes Photos: Ray Beltran Wins Bloody Fight With Moses For WBO Belt Eubank: I'm Willing To Die in The Ring To Win - Groves is Not! Golden Boy Prez: Arum Must Be Flexible To Make Loma-Linares Daily Bread Mailbag: Thurman-Crawford, Spence, Charlo, Golovkin Photos: Shakur Stevenson, Bryant Jennings, Kavaliauskas Win Frank Warren Tabs Groves To Beat Eubank, Explains Why Video: WBC Prez on Wilder-Ortiz, Usyk-Gassiev, 175 Title, More
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement