Pound-for-pound boxer Sergio Martinez is putting a lot of work in the gym, as the big fight with WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is inching closer. The HBO Pay Per View fight takes place on September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In a recent Q&A session with HBO, Martinez discussed his charitable contributions.
Martinez - You’re involved with multiple charities and causes, you participated in a TV dance competition back home in Argentina, and you generally represent the sport with class. Do you consider yourself an example that a boxer doesn’t have to take on a thuggish persona to be a world-class fighter?
"I believe that as a professional athlete in the public eye, it is my duty to be the voice to the individuals and groups that cannot be heard. This is very close to my heart, and that is why I devote my time to many causes to bring awareness to these issues.
"I would agree with that statement that you do not have to act with a negative demeanor or a thuggish attitude in order to be a world-class fighter. In the end the people that you are trying to impress with that attitude will not be there to help you once your career is over.
"What is important is dedicating yourself to your profession and acting like a professional, and with hard work and a good clean lifestyle, you can possibly be a world class fighter. In my whole life, I have never drank alcohol or smoked tobacco, always ate healthy, and always stayed active.
"I believe this is physically the recipe to being a world class fighter. But it is also a mental challenge to get to that level. You have to be prepared mentally, and if you have some of the nuisances that come along with a thuggish persona, then it will be very difficult to reach that level of being a world class fighter.
"The up and coming fighters that will be on the world stage have to be cognizant that once you are in the public eye and have a public forum, that it is a great opportunity to give a voice and recognition to those that are less fortunate and bring awareness to social issues that normally wouldn’t get the attention.
"My goal is bring awareness to end bullying in schools and end domestic violence against women. I believe with the platform I have, I could help out."