(Oxford, CA ) - Newly crowned world champion Sergio Martinez won the biggest fight of his career last Saturday night, a stunning and emphatic decision over Kelly Pavlik to capture the WBC and WBO world middleweight championship belts.
Now, he’s joining a fight of even greater significance.
In the wake of the tragic murder of Edwin Valero’s wife Jennifer Viera, and Valero’s subsequent suicide, Martinez is making his voice heard, taking a stand against violence against women.
“I love and respect women. Violence against women is simply unacceptable. The great number of cases, too often involving athletes, requires action.” said Martinez. “I have always confided in my mother and consider myself to be a momma’s boy; women must be respected, not abused.”
Like in the ring, where Martinez is known to back up his words, he promises that his stance against domestic violence is more than just lip service. He plans begin a campaign in the boxing community to reinforce that fighting is meant for the ring, not for the home.
“Sergio is going to petition the different sanctioning bodies and the different boxing dignitaries to make them know he is serious in this effort,” said Martinez’s advisor, Sampson Lewkowicz. “We can create a foundation that makes a world of difference to women everywhere.”
Martinez has also asked his promoter, Lou DiBella, to enlist the help of the Boxing Promoters Association in this effort.
“I am proud of Sergio for attempting to use his newfound fame to help address a terrible problem, which must be eradicated,” said DiBella.
It is the hope of Martinez that as he travels the world as a champion, he will be able to help spread this message.
“My middleweight championship gives me a voice,” said Martinez. “I will use this voice in an effort to protect women from senseless violence and abuse.”