By Rick Reeno
Sampson Lewkowicz, the adviser to middleweight Sergio Martinez, has fired back at some of the recently published comments from Banner Promotions President Art Pelullo, who handles the career of WBO champion Dmitry Pirog. Pelullo issued a statement after reading that Martinez had finalized a deal to face unbeaten Darren Barker on October 1. According to Pelullo, Martinez "has no interest" in fighting Pirog because of the danger involved.
“I understand that Sergio Martinez is going to be fighting Darren Barker on October 1. I have known Lou DiBella, Martinez’ promoter, for over 20 years and we are personal friends. I have been in the fight business for over 25 years and I know how the business works. The Martinez camp never spoke to me about Dmitry Pirog. Clearly, they have no interest in the fight because it is a very dangerous fight for Martinez," Pelullo said.
Lewkowicz doesn't see any danger involved with Pirog, and says Pelullo should focus on building his fighter's credentials in the United States.
"Martinez has no fear of fighting Dmitry Pirog. Martinez will fight anyone. Artie knows Lou for 20 years and I know Artie for 15 years but that doesn't grant you the opportunity to get a fight. Instead of focusing on friendship, he should focus on promoting. Darren Barker is better than every fighter on Pirog's record. Barker brings the UK television and the international attention. Pirog doesn't bring anything to the table. He had one fight in the United States with Danny Jacobs and never fought here again," Lewkowicz said.
"Artie should focus on creating a name for Pirog in the United States, instead of having him fighting taxi drivers overseas. He can come to the United States and earn his shot at Martinez, or he can continue fighting in Russia for rubles."