By Michael Woods
No one should really be surprised, should they, that former two division world champion Sergio Martinez has been working out, whittling down, getting into fighting trim, at age 43, four years after his last fight.
Nobody should really be blown away that Martinez, who announced his retirement, after battling a spate of injuries for a few years, in June 2015, is floating the comeback trial balloon. That came one year after he looked sub-par in his middleweight title defense against Miguel Cotto, at Madison Square Garden in June 2014.
His body had sent him a signal, no mas. The brain was willing, the urge to compete was present, but the betrayal of the vessel meant that the Argentine knew he had to find other things to take up his time.
And he did…
For a spell…
But the urge to compete kicked in. The bones and muscles rested, and then stopped send him signals, aches and pains telepathy, to remind him to leave his record at 51-3-2. No one should be THAT surprised, because it’s death, taxes, and boxers coming back. Damned near inevitable.
“It is OK that Julio Cesar Chavez wants to fight me again as I would only come back to face him or another big name of my generation like Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao,” Martinez, who turns 44 in February, told World Boxing News.
”For me, this is a big challenge and I love challenges. I am training since months ago and I am not joking about this. If he really wants it we can do it.”
And his crew up for the return to the arena? Advisor Sampson Lewkowicz, would he be up for a Martinez comeback?
“I advised Sergio not to fight any longer, however I will be with him always,” Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com.
This is familiar ground for any fight game insider who has toiled the war-rooms for any length of time. It’s a hard situation to grasp and handle. Do you turn up your nose, on principle, refuse to be involved because you know that the athlete who you’ve come to love has seen better days? Or do you stay on board, somewhat hesitantly, out of loyalty, as you would stand by a family member who has veered off course and is engaged in some sort of iffy doings?
And, of course, the money factor. Martinez has that name recognition. That coupled with the curiosity factor, the fact that there will be not shortage of people who would want to see if he could confound Father Time, means that there would be a market to watch Sergio box, and some prize money to be put up to fuel the effort.
No one should be that surprised.
Please feel free to listen to Woods' podcast, "Talkbox."