By Alexey Sukachev
After reading several of the pieces involving the verbal battle between Lou DiBella, promoter of top middleweight star Sergio Martinez, and Russia’s Kirill Pchelnikov, the co-promoter and financial supporter of WBO middleweight beltholder Dmitry Pirog (19-0, 15 KOs), BoxingScene.com reached out to another member of Team Pirog to get his opinion on several topics.
2007 & 2008 Russian promoter of the year, German Titov, spoke with BoxingScene regarding Pirog's future, DiBella's refusal to stage a Martinez-Pirog battle, and Erislandy Lara’s recent challenge.
On Lou DiBella’s recent reply - “Actually, there’s nothing which surprised us in his reaction. They were offered $3 million for a fight with Dmitry but they chose to turn down that deal while barely making $1.2 million for Darren Barker. It’s explainable. The twilight of his career is quickly approaching, and Sergio Martinez doesn’t want to risk his titles and his reputation against fairly little-known opponent. All he has in his mind are Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, the only fights which can earn him more money. The truth is those contests are barely negotiable."
"It looks like Martinez will end up battling Matthew Macklin which is a much safer choice. I can’t see why that fight won't happen since Lou DiBella recently signed Macklin to a contract. Surely, it’s a safety-first mindset but it’s his right to fight weaker opponents instead of harder and more thrilling challenges. However, our offer is still on the table, so he is free to come back to us for more negotiations. But we won’t wait for Martinez forever”.
On Erislandy Lara’s recent verbal attack - “That’s funny. We are ready to fight this Cuban guy but only if HBO or Showtime are going to televise this event, and hence pay us some money. We don’t want to fight Lara in Russia, and he is making a big mistake if he thinks we can offer him the same sum of money that we already offered to Martinez. The Argentinean is the champion of the world and he's still in his prime. Oppositely, Lara is just a good boxer. He was robbed against [Paul] Williams – that’s true – but that’s it. And I remember another Mexican guy [Carlos Molina] being robbed against Lara just a fight before that. Not that we plan to duck Erislandy. However, there’s no demand for him and we can hardly offer him more than we offered Javier Maciel or Gennady Martirosyan. If he’s ready to fight us for that type of money – so be it”.
On Pirog’s future - “Dmitry comes back to the ring in February. We are eager to fight either on HBO or on Showtime against various opponents to enhance our stature overseas. One guy, which can be a possibility, is IBF champion Daniel Geale. We are interested and we are ready to fight the Australian. I think it can be a nice fight. If not, we shall consider returning to Russia but America remains our priority”.