by David P. Greisman
World Boxing Council officials are denying a report from earlier this week that the sanctioning body would move to make middleweight champion Sergio Martinez a “champion in recess” if he were to need more than six months to recover from injuries suffered in his win April 27 over Martin Murray.
That report came from Mexico-based boxing writer Erika Montoya, who tweeted the news following a media conference with WBC President Jose Sulaiman on Tuesday.
But in the days after, both Jose Sulaiman and the WBC’s executive director, Mauricio Sulaiman, told BoxingScene.com that this is not the case.
“It is false. It seems that people like to have a story to build their Twitter and their web pages,” Mauricio Sulaiman said via email on Wednesday. “The WBC is very proud of Sergio Martinez, who defended his title only three days ago. Anything said is pure speculation and false statements. The WBC has all the respect to our great champion, who won with a huge heart, coming back to win the 11th and 12th rounds to retain his WBC world title. Sergio and his team will visit our president in Mexico and will bring the medical certificates.”
Added Jose Sulaiman via email on Thursday: “I do not believe that any in the WBC made such a statement and especially in such a short time after the fight. Sergio Martinez has been a great WBC champion, and we are very proud of him, 100 percent in his support.”
Montoya, reached via email on Thursday, stood by her report.
Earlier in April, the WBC named titleholder Andre Ward a “champion emeritus,” citing injuries he’d suffered that had “left him out of the ring for long periods of time.”
“First, Andre sustained a broken hand after conquering the WBC championship versus Carl Froch in December 2011, which kept him out of the ring until September 2012, when he defeated WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson,” the WBC said in a news release. “Andre was set to fight Kelly Pavlik when he suffered yet another injury which required surgery and has kept him out of the ring for eight months, and it is yet uncertain as to when he will resume his boxing career.”
The designation allows Ward an immediate fight with whomever holds the title upon his return.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]