The boxer who beat Lionel Messi into second place as Argentina’s sports star of the year, has big plans for 2013.
WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez said in Buenos Aires on Wednesday he would stop Briton Martin Murray within eight rounds in his next title defence in April.
Martinez, who was voted Argentina's sport personality of the year on Tuesday night, ahead of goal-scoring football hero Messi, will make his first defense since beating Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in Las Vegas in September.
The fight will take place in Buenos Aires on April 27, possibly at the Velez Sarsfield soccer stadium.
"Murray is a great sportsman; to be respected. He's young and strong. It's great that he wants to give his all but the fight won't go past the eighth round," Martinez told reporters on Wednesday.
Murray, the WBA's top-ranked middleweight, said he respected Martinez as an excellent fighter.
"He began at the bottom and today he's the most powerful in the division. But I'm better and can beat him," said Murray.
"It will be a great opportunity for me to show the world who I am."
Martinez, known as Maravilla (Marvel) is regarded as one of the four best boxers in the world, pound for pound. Murray is promoted by former world champion Ricky Hatton.
The 37-year-old Martinez’s professional record stands at 50-2-2, including 28 knockouts. Murray is 30 years old and has won 25 fights and drawn once. Tags: Sergio Martinez , Martin Murray , Martinez-Murray , Martinez vs Murray