By Keith Idec
ATLANTIC CITY — If you’re intrigued by the idea of Sergio Martinez moving up to battle Bernard Hopkins, Lucian Bute or the Andre Ward-Carl Froch winner, don’t get your hopes up.
His handlers said Sunday after the undisputed middleweight champion’s 11th-round knockout of Darren Barker that, if anything, he’ll head down in weight for the right fight, not up.
“I will not allow him to fight at 168, put it that way, ever,” said Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez’s adviser. “So whoever comes with 170 or 168, my promoter [Lou DiBella] and myself and our team will not allow it. [Martinez] can say whatever he wants, but he will not fight at super middleweight. He’s too small for 168.”
The 5-foot-10 Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) weighed in Friday at just 158 pounds for his 160-pound championship match against the 6-foot Barker (23-1, 14 KOs), who weighed 160. Martinez weighed just 165 pounds on HBO’s unofficial scale Saturday night.
“He’s smaller than every one of these guys he’s fighting at middleweight, every one of them,” DiBella said. “[Victor] Ortiz weighed the same thing in the frigging dressing room before [he fought Floyd] Mayweather as [Martinez] just weighed in a middleweight championship fight. He weighed in at , eating every meal all week, including cheesecake at the press conference.”
Martinez didn’t seem interested, either, when HBO’s Larry Merchant asked him in the immediate aftermath of beating Barker about possibly moving up to 170 pounds to challenge Hopkins, if the 46-year-old Hopkins defeats Chad Dawson in their light heavyweight title fight Oct. 15 in Los Angeles.
“One-seventy is a lot of weight for me,” Martinez said. “Before the fight [against Barker], I was 165.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.