by David P. Greisman
Before Sergio Martinez’s fight with Miguel Cotto, the question had been about whether the injuries Martinez suffered to his right knee and left hand in his 2012 win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and his 2013 win over Martin Murray would have an affect on his performance.
After Cotto defeated Martinez on Saturday in Madison Square Garden in New York City, knocking him down three times in the opening round and scoring a stoppage when Martinez did not come out of his corner for the 10th, Martinez and his team said there were no excuses for what happened — just credit to the opponent that did it to him.
“You've got to know when to win and you've got to know when to lose, and I give all congratulations to Miguel Cotto,” Martinez was quoted as saying afterward.
Martinez did not attend the post-fight press conference, but rather was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons, as the fighter said he felt as if he still had not recovered from the punches he took in the first round.
“The one thing he wanted me to tell all of you is that there were no excuses,” said Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella. “There was no problem with his knees. There was no problem with his hand. That he got caught in the first round by a great puncher, Miguel Cotto. He never recovered from that punch. … He was dizzy, basically, throughout the fight.
“Obviously he was taking a terrible beating,” DiBella soon added. “He wanted everyone to know again that this was Miguel Cotto’s night. Miguel beat him pillar to post.”
Martinez’s trainer, Pablo Sarmiento, did speak to the press briefly afterward.
“Cotto was superior to Sergio tonight,” Sarmiento said through a translator. “There’s nothing else to say. He never got back from the knockdowns in the first round.
“It was not about Sergio being cold,” he soon added. “It was about Miguel doing a good job. Sergio showed his heart by extending the fight into the ninth round.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]