By Rick Reeno
Sampson Lewkowicz, adviser to WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28KOs), says his fighter will prove the critics wrong when he enters the ring on June 7th to defend his world title against former three division beltholder Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. HBO Pay-Per-View will carry the fight.
Some experts believe that Martinez's age, and several tough fights, have caught up with the Argentine star. Although he's been able to continue winning, he suffered several injuries in fights with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Martin Murray. Martinez was down in both fights and was forced to deal with a lot of pressure, but Lewkowicz points out that Murray and Chavez Jr. were "much bigger than Martinez" and "giants compared to Cotto."
Lewkowicz expects Martinez, rehabbing injuries since last April's win over Murray, to be 100% healthy as he enters camp.
"I think anyone who is saying that or thinking that, needs to come down to watch this fight personally at Madison Square Garden or see it on pay-per-view, because I can honestly guarantee to you right now - that whoever believes that about Martinez will believe something totally different when the fight is over. Anyone who thinks Martinez is finished, will be thinking the opposite on the morning of June 8th," Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com.
The negotiations to finalize the fight were dragging on for weeks, as both sides banged heads on numerous topics. Lewkowicz admits the negotiations were "the toughest of my long career" but it taught him to "stay very patient and very positive."
After everything was agreed upon, Lewkowicz says he was very pleased with the package offered by Top Rank and Cotto's team.
"I'm not looking for anyone to give me any advice and throw stones through a crystal house, like other promoters. I'm at this moment working very closely with Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum and I've been treated better than anybody else has treated me before, and he gave me the opportunity," Lewkowicz said.
Although Lewkowicz did not mention anyone specifically, his next set of comments were likely directed at the recent war of words between Arum and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
"My father always taught me, two bad things don't make a right. You need to treat old people with dignity, especially when he is responsible for many fighters becoming their own promoters and he's given jobs to a lot of people who learned this business," Lewkowicz said.