With a few weeks remaining before Sergio Martinez makes his first middleweight title defense in nearly a year, rumors abound regarding his physical health. Having suffered an assortment of ailments to his knee, elbow and shoulder in the last two years, many wonder if Martinez is on borrowed time as he prepares for his pay-per-view bout against Miguel Cotto.
From his training camp in Miami, Martinez confirmed that injuries have hampered his camp and resulted in near unbearable workout sessions.
“Because I train 6 days a week for an average of 8 hours a day, I am always in constant pain. There are some days when I am so sore that I cannot even walk but I push myself because I know that I have to push myself to be the best fighter in the world,” said Martinez today in his weekly blog post. “I know that I have to put in more hours than your average fighter because I didn’t grow up a boxer. I started very late in this sport, so that is why I have to train so many hours and put in a lot of work in order to perform at the level that is expected of me and for me to come out victorious.”
“I struggle with joint pains, knee pain, and shoulder pain,” Martinez continued. “Without my physical therapist, Dr. Raquel Bordons, I would not be able to train today, and probably would’ve had to retire due to my injuries.”
The June 7 Cotto fight will be Martinez’s seventh title defense.
It’s a given that no boxer goes into a bout completely at 100% — a normal 6-8 week camp will produce a few (hopefully) isolated injuries. But Martinez’s confession has to worry his fans considering that he’s been hobbled by a bum right knee, broken left hand, and elbow problems recently. His movement and left hand are unquestionably his biggest assets. If they are significantly diminished, the Argentinian champ will be in trouble next month. In addition, there are rumors going around, most recently mentioned this morning by RING Magazine’s Doug Fisher, that Martinez hasn’t sparred much this camp for fear of aggravating his injuries.
With all that said, we also can’t dismiss the possiblyof this being smoke n’ mirrors from Martinez to lull Cotto’s side into a false sense of confidence. Luckily, we only have a few weeks left to find out the truth.