By Chris Robinson
It’s hard to understate the kind of impact that the social-networking site Twitter has had in the sport of boxing in recent times.
And while the site is a great platform for anyone involved in boxing to spread news in 140 characters or less, Twitter has also caused its share of feuds and mini-beefs along the way.
This past Friday, international advisor, matchmaker, and promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, known best for his work with lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, got caught up in a little bit of drama with the always-outspoken strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
Ariza works with such stars as Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Jorge Linares, as well as WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
And while Martinez, who used to hold the WBC belt before being inexplicably stripped last year, has been clamoring for a bout with Chavez, the people behind the young champion have guided him in other directions.
Perhaps frustrated with his fighter not landing the fight he truly desires, Lewkowicz found himself in a bit of a tiff with Ariza on Twitter, as the argument basically boiled down to Sampson claiming that Chavez Jr. was a scared fighter while Ariza fired back by claiming that Martinez needed a better promoter behind him and that Julio got more people to attend his weigh-ins than Martinez did his actual fights.
Lewkowicz was in the city of Cebu in the Philippines this past weekend as he officially handed his fighter Johnriel Casimero the interim IBF light flyweight belt he had won on February 10th in Argentina but still found time in his busy schedule to address his recent spat with Ariza.
While having obvious respect for Ariza’s abilities as a coach, Lewkowicz feels that he pushes the envelope a little too often.
“I will not put myself on his level,” Lewkowicz would state. “I believe that he’s probably one of the best strength coaches that is in the market, but he wants to be more than that and he doesn’t gain respect for that. He’s losing respect.”
As far as the shots at Martinez’s popularity, Lewkowicz couldn’t actually dismiss them but simply feels that Ariza needs to stay in the lane of training his fighters as opposed to anything else.
“He needs to speak in what he does best, and not to get involved in the promotional way,” Lewkowicz would state. “And to be so rude, regardless of if he’s right or wrong, it’s wrong because it’s not his job to do anything else but to train. I will not go to his level and I will not dignify it anymore. It was my fault to dignify it the first time.”
Lewkowicz landed in New York hours ago in advance of Martinez’s HBO-televised showcase against Mathew Macklin this Saturday night inside of the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
Calls to Ariza to get his side of the story were not returned but hopefully he can be tracked down in the coming days.
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected] and www.Twitter.com/CRHarmony