By Rick Reeno

In a story causing some major headlines overseas, especially in Puerto Rico, Argentinean fighter Sergio Medina, during a radio interview with hometown station FM Aires, claimed that he received death threats during the weigh-in for last Saturday’s Las Vegas clash with WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez. The fight took place on the HBO pay-per-view undercard to De La Hoya-Pacquiao at the MGM Grand.

Medina not only accused Team Lopez, he also accused the actual sanctioning body, the WBO, of threatening his life and ordering him to take a dive in the first round.

"During the weigh-in they told me that if I didn't throw the fight in the first round, I wouldn't leave the United States alive," Medina said. "What hurts me more is that I was prepared for twelve rounds, but I had to throw the fight because I felt a lot of fear. I was nervous before the fight and did not want to fight. It is known that there was a certain amount of money being paid out if Juanma stopped me in the first round. I swear on my daughters that what I say is completely certain.  They threatened me so I threw the fight."

When contacted for comment, Sampson Lewkowicz, Medina’s agent in the United States, was fully aware of the story and said he was “sick to his stomach” with the serious accusations that Medina was throwing around. 

Lewkowicz strongly denied his fighter’s story and wanted to clear the air on everything that went on before and during the actual weigh-in.

“When he got his first opportunity to fight Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista and lost, he thanked me for the opportunity and asked me to get him another opportunity. He earned his next opportunity that was given to him by the WBO [to fight Lopez],” Lewkowicz said.

“When he came to America, to Las Vegas, - I personally picked him up and took him to the hotel. I normally don’t do that, but I thought this kid was very emotional and I treated him like my child. I never spent so much time with a fighter, but he is very emotional and thankful and I couldn’t resist being with him. Before the weigh-in, he was already worried about being overweight. We weighed him and I think it was a half pound over. I told him don’t worry about it. My own son went and bought him chewing guy and his father took him for a long walk and he spit. He went on the scale at the official weigh-in and made 122-pounds.”

“I was next to him at the time of the weigh-in and his father [Manuel Medina] was next to him. Nobody and I mean absolutely nobody said anything to him. Nobody was aggressive towards him as some people are during weigh-ins. Team Lopez was very professional. Nobody on the team talked to him and the only thing I heard was the WBO supervisor wishing both fighters good luck in Spanish.”

Lewkowicz believes his fighter might be suffering from some form of a mental sickness. It’s the only explanation that he can rationalize for Medina making such wild accusations. Lewkowicz plans to head out to Argentina and demand that the local commission suspended Medina’s boxing license to conduct a thorough medical examination to determine if the fighter is mentally stable.

“I don’t accuse Sergio Medina as being a liar. What he says is too big to be called a lie. I accuse him of most likely having a sickness. Besides him losing his hearth on the first punch [of Lopez], I think the man is sick.  The only thing in his favor is that he is a hero in his hometown of Buenos Aires and I think the reporter who first interviewed him, asked him if he was threatened and that opened the door for him to create that story,” Lewkowicz said.

“On Monday I will be in Argentina to clarify the situation and will ask for a full investigation of the person who interested him and ask for the commission of Buenos Aires to suspend Medina to evaluate his state of mind. He needs to be checked by a doctor to see if there is anything wrong with the kid. I can guarantee to you, my personal guarantee, that the WBO wished him nothing but good luck, that was all, and the second thing – Team Lopez conducted themselves in a very professional manner. There was absolutely no conversation whatsoever and I was between both of them.”

“I expect that Sergio Medina will apologize to everyone involved and this will close the scenario forever and then he should retire. He committed [career] suicide with this story. Maybe he would have gotten another shot in the future, but not anymore. Not after something like this. He should retire.”