Martinez running toward a mirage

Tis but a blink since I wrote on the fairytales we whisper to ourselves on entering our forties. The type former champion Sergio Martinez has, alas, succumbed to, adding Instagram filters to the truth of his middle age. In actuality, several months passed before the 45 year old ducked between the ropes for a thankfully tame encounter with Joes Miguel Fandino.

The regret of the knockout victory he scored is the oxygen it has afforded his view of the flickering light of his long past prime. December, subject to the COVID restrictions the boxing hotbed of Torrelavega, Spain may impose, will see Jussi Koivula, a 36 year old Welterweight out of Finland, offer the required minimalism in obstructing the furtherment of Martinez’s dream.

Koivula’s 24-7 (9ko) record is a presentable buffet that belies a pauper’s table of credibility beneath; no wins against a fighter with a positive record since 2015 and defeat whenever propelled beyond the cold comfort of the Scandinavian boxing scene.

There seems some assurance then that the Martinez ‘comeback’ will wander into 2021, and a sense of foreboding grows that a second victory will encourage more ambitious matchmaking. Of course, as night follows day, the dream will reveal itself for the nightmare it truly is eventually and where once it promised reward, it will snatch something further from the Argentinian.

At 45, heading for 46 in February, Sergio seems destined to have to learn the foolishness of his return the hard way. The boxing way. For it has no sentiment. Neither for its greats nor its nobodies.

Like gravity. Or taxes. Or truth. Boxing gets you in the end.

2 thoughts on “Martinez running toward a mirage

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  1. Interesting article and you are basically correct in all you say about boxing being the eventual winner. It will beat anyone over time. Sergio however is a little different form many, if not most, boxers. He has lived an exceptionally clean life and so (perhaps like Bernard Hopkins) may still have a lot to offer in his late 40s. These easy fights are necessary if he is to know just how far he can go on this his second coming. I trained with Sergio when he was giving boxing classes and eeking out a living in Madrid just before he broke into the big time beating Richard Williams to win the lesser regarded IBO title. Once he went to America and got in with Lou DiBella he got bigger fights and was destined to reach the top – in my opinion. His problem was never one of age but of injury. If his knee holds up he will progress to bigger fights for sure. It is a big ‘if’ however, massive actually. I believe he would have easily beaten Cotto in his last real fight had his injury been truly healed. I was at that fight and it was hard to watch (even more so surrounded by New York Puerto Rican supporters). I do not agree with boxers fighting on at that age but form what I know of the man he is honest and intelligent enough to know. Hence these relatively easy test fights. We shall see when and if he steps it up. Right now he is ranked something like 80th at middleweight but is probably capable of beating most of the boxers above him until you reach maybe the top 25. His lifestyle means that he never walked around more than a week or two training to make fight weight. Alcohol has never passed his lips, or so he says – and I for on believe him. So to quote that old saying, right now for Martinez, age is just a number. Let’s see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris,
      Thank you for writing so eloquently on Martinez. He has always been a wonderful professional. But fighters don’t improve in their forties, physiologically, he cannot be that which he was in his 20/30s. If the comeback is governed by pragmatism then he may escape unharmed. And I hope he does. Its a peculiar gratification seeing them back, as it helps all of us delude ourselves that we are still in an active generation, one of meaning, of being central, vital.
      But his time has passed. As has ours, and the landscape would be clearer without them, his contemporaries, Soliman and Bika are also back soon. He’s not alone.


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