by David P. Greisman
Sergio Martinez was indeed still hobbled by a past knee injury going into his April 27 defense of his middleweight championship against Martin Murray, according to Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, who confirmed the lingering issues in an interview with Dan Rafael of ESPN.com.
While Martinez won Saturday by unanimous decision, he was given a tough fight by Murray and often looked less mobile than he usually appears in the ring. Martinez suffered torn ligaments in his right knee during his win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last September and had surgery in November, just five and a half months before the Murray fight.
“He was never fully recovered from the knee surgery,” DiBella told Rafael. “The knee was OK early in the training camp, but it wasn’t perfect. But with three weeks left in camp, it got much worse. He probably would have postponed the fight if it was in a normal arena [instead of in front of tens of thousands at a soccer stadium in his native Argentina]. He was damaged goods going in against Murray.”
DiBella also gave credit to the performance of Murray, who suffered his first pro loss and is now 25-1-1 with 11 knockouts.
Martinez improved to 51-2-2 with 28 knockouts. DiBella tweeted shortly after Saturday’s fight that Martinez — who also broke his left hand against Murray in what the promoter told Rafael was a different spot than the fracture he suffered against Chavez — will likely not fight again for the remainder of this year.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org