by David P. Greisman
Last month, Sergio Martinez spoke bluntly about the poor condition his knees are in.
“I am aware of my age. I have 40 years and my knees seem like someone of 90. I have trouble walking,” the former middleweight told Univision Deportes, via Google Translate.
Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, spoke about this with BoxingScene.com on April 9, though he didn’t specifically say what Martinez will do.
“I think Sergio’s given you a pretty good clue on things. Sergio will make whatever announcement he’s going to make when he’s ready,” DiBella said, adding later: “I’m pretty sure Sergio will be making an announcement about his future in the not-too-distant future.”
Martinez had said going into his fight with Miguel Cotto last year that he his hand and knee were healed. When Martinez was left on stiff legs after suffering multiple knockdowns in the first round — his trainer stopped the fight much later in the bout — Sergio and his camp said that wasn’t due to lingering injuries, but rather due to the heavy blows.
“There’s no hindsight. I think he believed at the time that he was [ready],” DiBella said. “Obviously what happened in the ring showed that there was a real problem. He went to the top knee surgeons in the world after the fight. I think some of the advice he’d gotten in Spain from doctors there wasn’t the same advice he’d have gotten from the top knee guys in New York. Sergio Martinez would never defraud the audience or himself. He wouldn’t do that. He went into the fight believing he could do it and that his knee would hold up.
"Obviously he had very severe knee issues, and he had knee issues that were with him for fights long before that fight,” DiBella soon added. “His knee wasn’t perfect for [Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.] or probably any of the other fights he had. But he was used to fighting through pain and thought that his knee would hold up and would be OK for the Cotto fight. He still may very well have been concussed. He got hit hard. But obviously his knee’s an issue.”
So what did the top knee doctors tell Martinez?
“They were looking at the potential for doing a major, major surgery,” he said. “They wanted him to go through some rigorous physical therapies first. He did that. And then you read the quote I read.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]