Marcos Maidana vs. Sergio Martinez in Sight?
Former two-division world champ Marcos Maidana was in the gym, planning for his long-awaited comeback in April. Then, the entire sports world got shut down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The heavy-handed Argentine, who lost about 45 lbs. to get back into fighting shape, hadn’t competed in the ring since 2014. His last two bouts, big-money paydays against Floyd Mayweather, were thought to be cash-out farewell fights.
However, the competitive juices started flowing again and Maidana announced his comeback plans.
Now, as this pandemic lockdown continues, word has it that “El Chino” may be lining himself up for a major all-Argentina event against countrymen and fellow retired former two-division world champ, Sergio Martinez.
“I would be interested. It would be necessary to set a date. If it’s a fighter like Martinez and if I am not physically well prepared, I can’t win. I don’t want to lose. If I feel perfect, I can accept any challenge,” Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) recently said.
Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs), in return, was eager to express his enthusiasm for this proposed showdown.
“If there is a fight to be done with Chino, it would be an honor. He is a historian. In 100 years, he will be talked about, just like me, as two of the best of this era. Sharing a ring with him would be an adventure. Just imagining how it would be when we would do the press conferences, the face-offs. As an experience it would be great,” Martinez told Outside the Ring.
“It would be great for me to be in the ring with Maidana…It would be great. I would have to see how it develops in the immediate future. Maidana has not boxed for five or six years. He has to see how he feels when he has to make the weight, when he has to really train to fight. I have to see how I feel when I have to make the weight.”
Martinez was last in the ring back in 2014, when he dropped his WBC middleweight title to Miguel Cotto via stoppage.
Of course, there are some logistics issues to work out before Maidana-Martinez could be put together.
The 37-year-old Maidana last competed as a welterweight and had ballooned up to cruiserweight in retirement. Right now, he’s reportedly at (or around) the middleweight limit. Meanwhile, the 45-year-old Martinez last competed at middleweight but had to move up to 200+ lbs. for a fairly recent movie role. If this bout gets made, it’s likely that it will take place at some weight limit between 160 and 175 lbs.
Then, there’s the question of where to stage this fight. There’s always big money to be had in the U.S., but this all-Argentina clash needs to take place in Argentina. Any soccer stadium in the nation would be filled to see two of the nation’s all-time greats do battle. And, because Argentina shares a similar time zone as the U.S., this bout could easily be picked up for maximum exposure by one of the American broadcast outlets. Some may say that it’s never ideal for a 45-year-old and a 37-year-old to be facing one another after a 6-year layoff. But there’s no denying that this is an intriguing matchup and, definitely, a bankable event.
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