By John F. McKenna (McJack)
WBC Diamond and The Ring middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KO’s) is understandably upset that the World Boxing Councul (WBC) failed to honor their promise to give Sergio a mandatory title shot with WBC full middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-1, 31 KO’s). At this point Martinez, who at 36 is in the twilight of his career, feels that he was double crossed by the WBC governing body.
At the recent WBC convention at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Chavez was mandated by the organization to defend his title against Sergio by the end of March 2012. Martinez was surprised when a couple of days later he was contacted by WBC president Jose Sulaiman and asked to step aside so that Julio could fight Antonio Marco Rubio on February 4th in Texas. Of course “Maravilla” refused to step aside. Sergio’s surprise turned into amazement when the WBC then issued a press release stating that he had agreed to step aside.
In his frustration Martinez stated that he would no longer fight on the cable giant HBO network. Sergio feels that HBO has not done anything to support him although he has done everything they have asked of him.
The problem Sergio has in landing a major fight and the reason he is bypassed and overlooked in all likelihood may all come down to a simple case of economics. Martinez started his professional boxing career relatively late in life and although he is now one of the elite fighters in boxing, his ratings on HBO are relatively mediocre. His viewership ratings are not nearly as good as Chavez who was blessed with having the same name as his illustrious father.
Boxing is a business and just like any other business, it’s all about the money. That is why promoters and the cable and TV networks put up with the shenanigans of some of the elite fighters in the game. When those fighters marketability diminishes they soon find out that those who used to shower them with attention are no longer interested. The list of once great fighters who die alone and in poverty is endless.
The brutal truth is that time is running out for Sergio to land a fight in which he receives the amount of money he feels he deserves.