Pirog Reflects on Maciel Win, Responds to Sergio Martinez

By Alexey Sukachev, Vladimir Begin Jr. ( and Yuri Tarantin (

On Saturday, March 26, Dmitry Pirog (18-0, 14 KOs), the WBO middleweight titleholder and the only active Russian fighter to hold a credible piece of world championship in any of seventeen weight classes, had a hard night and needed to dig a little deeper for a difficult victory over uncharacteristically durable and resistant Argentinean Javier Francisco Maciel (18-2, 12 KOs).

Several days after, Pirog was contacted by and discussed about the fight and his future prospects, including a possible showdown with the world #1 ranked middleweight Sergio Gabriel Martinez. Here is what he had to say:

“Firstly, I want to thank Team Martinez for taking some time to watch my fight in Ekaterinburg thus proving indirectly that they consider my possible candidacy for their next bout, at least theoretically."

"For those who are disappointed with the fact that my win wasn’t as sparkling as it had been expected by many fans beforehand, I need to remind everyone that it takes two people to tango, not one. The fact that I became the WBO champion in Las Vegas, which is a Mecca of boxing, doesn’t automatically mean I’ll stop all my future opponents within four rounds. In fact we planned to fight more sound and, at the same time, more entertaining opponents than Maciel, who is very inconvenient and who can spoil a fight in his favor. Unfortunately, a chain of circumstances prevented an Ishe Smith fight and my collisions with other notable names, and Maciel was the best of the remaining crop. I could have chosen a lighter opponent and to knock him out cold but I chose to please my fans with some credible opposition."

"When I became the WBO champion of the world, my team applied for unifications with other champions in my weight class. If I remember it right, Team Martinez insisted that I’m not known in America and that HBO won’t spare any money for an unknown figure which makes the fight worthless. That was the main spoken reason for a failure in negotiations. Sergio ended up fighting Ukrainian Sergey Dzinziruk, who fought only once in two years, who fought only once in America before and who is a newcomer from a smaller weight class. So much for that TV interest, which however didn’t result in any cancellations."

"Though I’m not an American, “The Ring” readers assessed my abilities by putting me in the third position with “KO of the Year” nomination. I was approached by fans on streets and I gave them my autograph, which speaks for itself."

"Sergio Martinez is a magnificent fighter who is considered to be the best middleweight in the world, and rightfully so. That is exactly the reason why I say I want to meet him in the ring. You can become the best (or even simply better than you are) only by fighting the best. Is it too early to speak about this fight? Excellent, I’ll wait a bit. I’m not in hurry. Earlier I dreamt of becoming champion of the world and I achieved it. Now I want to unify belts in my weight class. And it’ll surely come my way. I’m not in a hurry. I’ll wait and gradually become the best middleweight in the world by making just a single step at the time”.

Shortly thereafter BoxingScene contacted Dmitry for some more comments regarding the last fight.

- Dmitry, are you satisfied with your Saturday performance?

- Definitely, I am. We have done everything we had planned before with my team. It wasn’t an entertaining fight and it wasn’t a walk in the park by any means but I’m content with that. Given some harsh circumstances – I had cervical pressure, and was down earlier with flu and had some other problems – I did everything that I could. I’m ok with this fight. Absolutely.

- Not everyone was satisfied with your performance though. How can you respond to your critics?

- I cannot knock my opponents out in every given fight. Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and even Sugar Ray Robinson – all of them (and many others) had their off-nights and not every one of their wins was spectacular. What some people don’t realize is how good Javier Maciel is in fact. He is a strong fighter, a good boxer, who I want to give props to for this fight. He came in as an underdog but didn’t surrender and fought to the end. He gave me a good fight. Certainly, he wasn’t particularly clean and he sometimes punched me behind the back of my head and he also delivered several low blows but that is it. He had some technical flaws and showed them. But he wasn’t fighting intentionally dirty. He will surely be back for some more.

- Maciel is a highly awkward, unorthodox fighter. Was it the right choice to use the same tools you have used in Jacobs fight? Maybe it would have been better to box a bit more orthodox against him, wouldn’t it?

- I assume we applied the best possible tactics. My team did good work, and Maciel didn’t surprised us with anything. I think a chosen way of fighting was optimal against this particular opponent. Make no mistake though. This Argentinean isn’t the best choice for anyone. He knows how to make you look bad in the ring.

- You were hit flush in the eighth and rocked a bit. It looked like you tried to find safety in clinches. Isn’t it too much for a “simple title defense”?

- We are talking boxing, man. Boxing isn’t choreography. You do get hit here. Hit really bad. That is what boxing is about.

- In the tenth round referee Benji Estevez deducted a point from you for a shoulder push. Was it an honest decision by the referee?

- It was his right to do so. Personally, I view it the other way. Maciel got dangerously close to me and he should have been put away not to make any headbutts. That’s why I have used my shoulder.

- Can you compare Maciel to Jacobs in any way?

- No, I cannot do so. They couldn’t be compared just because they are different fighters. You know an old proverb. If boxer A beat boxer B and boxer B beat boxer C, that doesn’t mean boxer A will beat boxer C. He can easily lose to him.

- What is next for you?

- I’m coming back in a short time. I haven’t had the opportunity to rest and I’ll soon be back to the gym. I’m looking for some big fights in America. And I’m ready for them!

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LeadUppercut on 04-03-2011

[QUOTE=daggum;10321017][B]if pirog is a nobody what is dzinziruk?[/B] a junior middleweight nobody! you can't possibly use that lame excuse and get away with it. how is martinez gonna make more money fighting dzinziruk or manfredo? do you just repeat what…

Comment by daggum on 04-02-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;10320936]You were on track, but then you tripped over your own feet..... " [I]martinez has his pick of any opponent in the middleweight division to fight[/I] " Correct !! " [I]but 2 fights in a row he's..... make it clear…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 04-02-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;10320936]BTW..... How are you getting on with my three questions ?[/QUOTE] No, they will not go away, nor will they answer themselves.

Comment by LeadUppercut on 04-02-2011

[QUOTE=daggum;10320848]you obviously have no clue how boxing works lou. martinez is the shot caller not pirog. martinez has his pick of any opponent in the middleweight division to fight and he chooses to fight a junior middleweight and manfredo. the…

Comment by daggum on 04-02-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;10320775]That is plainly fkn dishonest dude :nonono: You are well-aware that I think Pirog is not ready, and that he will be murked by Martinez. And, you are well-aware that the following comment was directed at [B]YOU !![/B] We can…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (61)
Top Headlines Video: Freddie Roach on Thurman-Garcia, Lebedev-Gassiev, More Mason Menard's Fight Now Off Due To Bookkeeping Issue Molina Still Wants Danny Garcia Fight: He Has Holes in His Armor Video: Manny Pacquiao Talks Camp, Retirement, Vargas, More Demetrius Andrade Very Motivated as Jack Culcay Clash Nears Photos: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work at Wild Card Gym Canelo Says The Ball is in Golovkin's Court: Accept The Offer! Ricardo Mayorga Crashes Into Taxi, Pursued For 200K in Damages Canelo Eager To Prove WBO Prez's Prediction of Mayweather KO Vences: A Win Over Casey Ramos Will Open A lot of Doors For Me Photos: Juanma, Vazquez Explode in Very Tense Final Presser Ustinov's Manager Expects WBA To Order Klitschko Title Fight Premier Boxing Champions Reveal Season 3 Schedule Helenius Faces Basile on 12/17, Chisora Rematch Eyed For March Arthur Abraham Shelved For Three Weeks Due To Elbow Injury SHO's Espinoza: Mayweather Won't Even Joke About Ring Return Curtis Stevens-De La Rosa Added To PPV Portion of Kovalev-Ward Briggs Claims Haye Used His Name: He Backed Out of Our Deal Cuellar Vows To Take Mares Out - Targets Frampton, Santa Cruz Klitschko: No Retirement, Joshua Fight Will Be Biggest in Years Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Juanma Repulses Me, I Will Knock Him Out! Jarrett Hurd vs. Jo Jo Dan Set, Jorge Cota is Now Out Badou Jack Thinks Ward-Kovalev is 50-50, Leans Ward With Pick De La Hoya Not Concerned With The Return of Richard Schaefer Andre Ward: Kovalev Won't Bully Me - He Tires, He Gets Frustrated Arum: Trump Thought of Andy Ruiz When He Said 'Bad Hombre' Tino Avila Wants To Dominate Ramirez, Fight For Title in 2017 Molina: Look at My Wilder Fight, I'll Raise Hell Against Joshua! David Haye: In 2017 I Will Be Heavyweight Champion - I Know It! De La Hoya To Critics: I Strongly Feel Canelo-Golovkin Will Happen Taras Shelestyuk Aims To Follow Gold Path of His Olympic Mates Brandon Rios a Free Agent, No Longer a Top Rank Fighter Katie Taylor Mulling Pro Move, Heading To Eddie Hearn? Fenech: Mundine-Green II is Bullsh*t Fight - Must Be Stopped! Nonito Donaire: I Want The Frampton vs. Santa Cruz Winner Next! Jack Doesn’t Take Much From DeGale’s Tough Fight with Medina Joshua's Fight Will Land on Showtime - Price, Jennings or Molina Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Could Air on CBS in Prime Time George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown

Latest Active Forum Threads