By Rey Colon
Roman 'Rocky' Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KO's), the junior lightweight champion of the WBO, said he has no qualms about facing undefeated Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KO's) on September 21 in Puerto Rico in an HBO main event. But, he did say the purse must fall in line with the importance of the fight and HBO's interest in the match. He says the outcome of the fight will be different and there won't be a weight advantage for Garcia.
Martinez sat ringside in Dallas last weekend and watched his close friend, Juan Manuel Lopez, get wiped out in four rounds by Garcia. Last Friday, Garcia was unable to make the featherweight limit and was two pounds overweight. If Garcia is unable to make weight for Martinez, the champion has promised to walk and he doesn't care about taking a payoff like Juanma did last Saturday. Garcia forked over $150,000 for Juanma to move forward.
"This will not be the same as the Juanma fight. A fight at 126 and 130 pounds is not the same. I'm going up in weight more or less like him, I'll be 140-pounds or so [on the night of the fight]. He will not have an advantage as he did with Juanma. It will be a different fight. If he does not weigh 130 for our fight, he will have to get down to it or there will be no fight. This is professionalism. I would be defending my title and I've sacrificed to get it. If you want [to fight for my title then you] to have to weigh 130 or less," Martinez said.
"To make weight you have to be in the best physical condition. And work is required for months. Making weight is a big responsibility. I work and I will not give away the title by allowing him to have an advantage by letting him step into the ring at a much higher division. Money is important but I'm still the champion and I'm not going to risk that. If he wins, he will have to do it fair and square with no advantage. If not, the fight won't happen. I will not allow myself to get played with tricks. If he doesn't make weight, no fight."