It is one of the most anticipated match ups in boxing, Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto. It is a fight that has been talked about on and off for the past few years, but with Cotto’s recent return in October in which he looked impressive by quickly stopping Delvin Rodriguez, talks heated up again and it seems this fight could become a reality if the camps can come to terms.
In this special “On The Ropes” interview, I speak with the manager of Sergio Martinez, Sampson Lewkowicz to discuss the potential Martinez vs. Cotto bout and get his thoughts on Sergio’s return to boxing after a long lay off and surgery. Sampson also talks about Martinez’s last fight against Martin Murray and why his fighter got injured in the match. Additionally Lewkowicz gave his views on who will be to blame if the Martinez-Cotto fight does not happen, and how that fight compares to the one that never happened, Mayweather-Pacquiao. Here is what Sampson Lewkowicz had to say.
Jenna J: Sampson, there has been a little hang up in the negotiations for the Martinez-Cotto fight. If Sergio Martinez doesn’t get the fight with Miguel Cotto, do you think he’s still targeting coming back at around June to be fully healed?
Sampson Lewkowicz: Yeah, maybe in May, or June.
Jenna: Well, seeing as Sergio had surgery on his knee again after his last fight, he hasn’t gone back to the gym yet and had a chance to test it out. Is that something that once you get him back to the gym you’re truly gonna know the time table?
Lewkowicz: Yeah that will most likely be in the month of February. He will go back when he finishes all his treatment on the last week of January, the doctor will give him the results and depending on the way he’s feeling, but he’s feeling very good.
Jenna: What options out there do you see for Sergio if the Cotto fight falls through?
Lewkowicz: Well most likely he would fight in Argentina, because the people will like to see him again.
Jenna: There have been many rumors regarding Sergio’s last fight saying he was not fully healthy going to it. Did he mention anything to you before that bout?
Lewkowicz: No, that’s not true. He fought before with small minor (injuries) but regardless, he’s a warrior that will fight and will never tell you the truth if he’s hurt or not, but Martin Murray he went in with the plan to hurt the knee. It’s very hard to see it on TV but if you were ringside, you would see that every time that he clinched, he hit him knee against knee.
Even though he denied, we have pictures that show that the knee got in contact many times during the fight, he did it on purpose. It was like Martin Murray was the local guy, doing all kinds of fouls and infractions and the referee didn’t put attention on that.
Jenna: Sampson, people have been wanting to see Sergio in there with Gennady Golovkin for a while.
Lewkowicz: Sergio wants that fight, Sergio believes that he can beat him, but he needs to be healthy to beat him.
Jenna: So you guys would want to make sure that he comes back and fights healthy once before you talk about that kind of fight?
Lewkowicz: That is correct.
Jenna: Well if he does get that fight with Miguel Cotto, Cotto’s a smaller guy coming up. How do you think that fight goes?
Lewkowicz: Well based on the age, walking from the dressing room to the ring he can age. We expect that not to happen but you never know, that is a 50-50 fight that people like to see.
Jenna: You say it’s gonna be 50-50, but a lot of people would say that Miguel Cotto only has that one win against Delvin Rodriguez, his previous two fights he fought Mayweather and Trout, and he didn’t look that good against Trout. Honestly how do you think Sergio does if he’s healthy?
Lewkowicz: No, because it depends on the motivation too. He’ll be well motivated to bring history to Puerto Rico, so that will make the extra percentage to be a 50-50 fight.
Jenna: Same thing can be said about Sergio though, they say that he always rises to the occasion when it’s a big fight and a big name. Do you think we will see the best Sergio next time out?
Lewkowicz: Oh definitely, if this fight happens, Sergio will be probably be equal or better than he was with Chavez Jr. Hopefully without seeing round 12 (laughs).
Jenna: One more question Sampson, if that fight doesn’t happen between Martinez and Cotto, what is the main reason for it not happening?
Lewkowicz: It will be shameful for both, actually more for Cotto of his demand, but it would be shameful for boxing because already we lost the best fight that could happen, Mayweather and Pacquiao, and it was because the ego was bigger than their ass with both of them. I hope that that is not the case with the second best fight, which would be Martinez-Cotto.