By Mike Coppinger
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is taking somewhat of a stay-busy fight, as he will face lightly-regarded Darren Barker on Oct. 1 in Atlantic City.
In the barren middleweight division, there are no big fights for Martinez right now, but there are plenty of big fighters south at 147 and 154, and Martinez would certainly move down to junior middleweight for the right fight, according to Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella.
“He can get down to ’54, but he really re-sculpted his body when he moved up (to 160) for Pavlik,” said DiBella. “He’s already seen [nutritionists], his most comfortable weight is right between ’54 and ‘60. So, he can go down to ’54, but below ’54, he hasn’t been there in years and years. And he’s not a young kid, at 36, shrinking down that far [is difficult].”
One such big fight Martinez that could be made at junior middleweight is with Floyd “Money” Mayweather, a fight DiBella would welcome.
“I think that Mayweather’s the only guy that I can see [taking the fight],” said the New York-based promoter. “Pacquiao’s too small and Floyd’s defense is so great, that Sergio would have problems penetrating it. So that’s the most interesting fight and I also think that it’s much, much more likely that Mayweather would fight Sergio than Pacquiao.”
DiBella see’s Mayweather-Martinez as a real possibility, but only if once again the biggest fight in boxing is unable to be made.
“I think the only way it’s possible is if they can’t get their shit together and make Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Mike Coppinger is a regular contributor to both USA TODAY and THE RING Magazine. He is 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. Write to him: firstname.lastname@example.org.