"Martin Murray is a dangerous opponent. He is an interim champion for WBA and is undefeated, which I feel is his strength because of his confidence going into the fight. He has never tasted defeat and he wouldn't have taken the fight if he thought he was going to lose," stated middleweight king Sergio Martinez, who talked about his April 27 return to the ring when he defends his crown against the undefeated Martin Murray. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: Hey Sergio, congratulations on a great year last year. I know you are coming off of surgery. How are you physically?
SM: I feel great; my rehabilitation went well. Dr. Angel Villamor is one of the best in the world and he has worked with the King of Spain as well as Rafael Nadal. I am now back in the gym doing light training before my official training camp begins.
PC: Going into your fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., you said you would beat him from pillar to post and you made good on that. How did it feel to not only get the fight you always wanted, but to do exactly what you said you would do in the process?
SM: In my mind, I could not picture the fight going any different than it did for the first 11 1/2 rounds. He did catch me with a left hook that knocked me down, but I got up and fought back because I wanted to finish the fight with a knockout.
It also felt like a vindication to get my title back that was lost in an office, and not in the ring. I believe if you are champion, you must defend your title like a champion. Not to get the title and then say you need to get better and more seasoned while saying you are a champion.
PC: What are your thoughts on him testing positive for marijuana after the fight?
SM: It is unfortunate because you must have respect for the sport and your fans. Boxing is the only sport where if you are not training properly 100% of the time, it will show in the ring. If we have a rematch, I would request for Olympic-style drug testing to keep the integrity of the sport and the boxing match intact.
PC: Martin Murray is next in line. You gotta be pumped to fight in your native Argentina for the first time in over 10 years.
SM: I have been asking my advisor Sampson Lewkowicz and my promoter Lou DiBella for this opportunity for many years and now my dream of defending the same belt that Carlos Monzon held will be happening in my home country.
PC: What do you think of Murray as a fighter and what do you feel are his strengths?
SM: Martin Murray is a dangerous opponent. He is an interim champion for WBA and is undefeated, which I feel is his strength because of his confidence going into the fight. He has never tasted defeat and he wouldn't have taken the fight if he thought he was going to lose.
PC: Murray will mark your 7th opponent out of your last 8 who was either undefeated or had just one loss. How are you able to compete at such a high level against younger guys who are also at a high level at 37 years of age?
SM: I attribute it to my lifestyle when I am not training. I always stay in shape, eat very healthy, and do not drink alcohol or smoke. I also stay very active when I'm not training, mentally and physically. I need to keep my mind and body sharp for my boxing style.
PC: You were ringside when Juan Manual Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao. What was your initial reaction when you witnessed that and how much did it remind you of your knockout of Paul Williams?
SM: I was truly shocked, as everybody else who was in the arena. I never would've thought the fight was going to end the way it did. The crowd reaction reminded me of when I knocked out Paul Williams because you felt the energy coming from the arena after the KO.
PC: Over the last year, you met Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. What was each of those experiences like for you?
SM: Being very appreciative of the history of boxing, I was very excited to meet Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. I grew up watching them, and to shake hands with them and have conversations with them about the sport we love felt amazing. It is something I could never imagine would've happened when I was younger living in Argentina.
Bob Arum introduced me and my business partner, Miguel Angel De Pablos, to Mitt Romney at the Pacquiao vs. Marquez match. He was a very nice person to meet, but I do not follow American politics so the effect wasn't the same as meeting Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.
PC: Barring any injuries, how many times would you like to fight this year?
SM: After fighting Martin Murray on April 27th, I would like to defend my title again in the fall on HBO Pay-Per-View.
PC: Thanks for your time. I look forward to seeing you back in the ring in April. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
SM: I would like to thank all of my fans for their support during my career and to make sure to watch me April 27th on HBO.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]