"He obviously believes, and I'm screaming about how depleted he's gonna be at 50, but he believes at 50, he won't be that depleted. He's gonna be depleted, but he believes he wins at 50, so that's why he's saying he'll fight Floyd at 50. Had he not changed his physiology, he wouldn't be able to do that, and that's what he's done...Look, I want him to get the big fight. I want him to get the pay-per-view fight. We'll take 20% to fight Mayweather at 150. And by the way, a guy that can make 150 can't fight a guy that's walking around at 190 and that fights at 168, period. He ain't fighting Bute and he ain't fighting Ward. It's not happening. He's not that big. It's not happening. But, we'll fight Kirkland. We'll fight Chavez. I would love for the opportunity. At 80/20, in a fight that the oddsmakers probably will have Mayweather as a very slight favorite, with Mayweather making 80% of the money and him having a handicap having to go down to 150, it's a fascinating fight and Mayweather could make probably a good portion of the money he would make fighting Pacquiao. And you and I know Pacquiao ain't fighting Mayweather," stated promoter Lou DiBella, who made it crystal clear that middleweight king Sergio Martinez is serious about coming all the way down to 150 pounds in hopes of facing undefeated pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather. You don't want to miss what else he had to say. Check it out!
BT: Lou, you recently had a lot to say regarding some comments that Larry Merchant made about Sergio moving up in weight to face the likes of Lucian Bute or Andre Ward. I know you insist that he's too small for them because he's truly a natural 54-pounder, but obviously he's shedding some pounds to make the weight. I mean, when he fought Williams, his weight for the WBC 30-day weigh-in was 176 pounds.
LD: You're 100% right about that weight, and that was sort of out of character. He basically thought that he was going to get robbed if he fought the other guy [Williams] again, and he went into that fight with the intention of being big, and he was, but after that fight, they went back to Spain, got a nutritionist, and basically changed his body with an idea of trying to go down to 54 and get a big fight. That's what my instructions have been ever since then, try to go down and get a big fight. He basically restructured himself and everything changed. He had never weighed anywhere near that between fights before. If you go over his fights after that, he went back and started working out with a nutritionist and basically since then, his weights have been way down. This has been the case his last couple of fights when he walked in with this remarkably low weight on fight week, and that's one of the reasons why, I mean, I think he came into the week weighing like 55 or 55 1/2 or something, but he never got above 57 1/2; that was the weigh-in weight. Also, if you look at his bone structure, he's not a big guy. Last night [the night of the fight], he weighed 64 in his dressing room; 64 1/2 in the dressing room before the fight. Macklin gained about 16 or 17 pounds. Sergio gained 7, you know?
BT: I've met Sergio a few different times and I wouldn't necessarily say he's a small guy. If I had to guess, I'd say he probably walks around at a good 170-175.
LD: You're points are not off, but still, even with your point, he went into the second fight with Paul believing he had to knock him out and trying to be bigger because Paul towered over him. But since then, he's smart enough to realize that there are no big fights for him with anyone that's going to fight him at 60, so he made an effort to take his body down. He obviously believes, and I'm screaming about how depleted he's gonna be at 50, but he believes at 50, he won't be that depleted. He's gonna be depleted, but he believes he wins at 50, so that's why he's saying he'll fight Floyd at 50. Had he not changed his physiology, he wouldn't be able to do that, and that's what he's done.
BT: I gotcha. He still looks pretty solid at 160 though. That was a helluva performance to step it up the way he did after they scored that knockdown in favor of Macklin. How is he able to be so successful stopping these guys at 160?
LD: His advantage is speed. His advantage is not size or power at middleweight. He's knocking guys out at middleweight like he never knocked them out at welterweight or 54 because, like he said last night, his game is to break 'em down; chop 'em down like a tree. His game is to go out there, make the guy lose a step, and then time them, and by the time the guy loses a step, his speed becomes power and he can take the guy out. Early in those fights, you know, it looked like Macklin was backing him up and he was hesitant to come forward, Barker hung with him early like no one thought he would, the Pavlik fight was even through 8 until he just took over, but what he does with these bigger guys is he slows them down another step. Besides the fact that they're already slower than him, he takes them down another notch in speed and then he turns on the switch and he takes them out. He takes them out not because he punches harder than them. He takes them out because they can't see his shit coming, you know? Even Dzinziruk, who's a 154-pounder, I said to Dzinziruk after the fight, "You've never been knocked down in your career as an amateur or as a pro. You just went down 5 times and got knocked out. Is Sergio a big puncher?" He said, "No! No, honestly, I've been punched a lot harder. I didn't ever get punched so many times where I didn't see it coming."
BT: (Laughing) Do you feel like HBO might be trying to push him in the direction of a Ward or Bute fight?
LD: I mean, I know that Larry Merchant was standing on press row and all last night he's screaming about Ward and Bute, yet they continue to put Chavez at 182 pounds in with little guys who are a notch below world-class. Look, I'm going to talk to Bob and Todd on Tuesday and there might be a deal we can do. I mean, if Chavez is really saying he's going to fight Sergio in September, right, if he really said that and he wants to keep the title and doesn't want to get stripped and wants to keep the title with [an optional defense in June against Martin] Murray, then let them put half a million dollars in an escrow account and if Chavez chickens out in September or winds up getting a huge fight and therefore has an excuse to chicken out, then the half a million goes to Sergio. And then you know what? Maybe we shut up about the fucking BC title and say, "Fuck it! We'll just continue to defend being the best middleweight."
BT: If that happens though, then what's the backup plan?
LD: All I know is this. First of all, Merchant's commentary I thought last night was so fucked up. Honestly. And then I also thought that people are missing a point with this guy [Martinez]. They're watching a guy with like Roy Jones athletic ability. I thought the greatest compliment I ever heard paid to Sergio was by Roy Jones. It was in a fighter meeting and Sergio was in the room or whatever and they said to Roy, "Roy, just out of curiosity, who does he remind you of? You know, you've been around a long time. Who does he remind you of?" He said, "Me in my prime." People should be grateful that they're getting an opportunity to watch this guy fight. I'm grateful, as a fan. People should be grateful. Look, I want him to get the big fight. I want him to get the pay-per-view fight. We'll take 20% to fight Mayweather at 150. And by the way, a guy that can make 150 can't fight a guy that's walking around at 190 and that fights at 168, period. He ain't fighting Bute and he ain't fighting Ward. It's not happening. He's not that big. It's not happening. But, we'll fight Kirkland. We'll fight Chavez. I would love for the opportunity. At 80/20, in a fight that the oddsmakers probably will have Mayweather as a very slight favorite, with Mayweather making 80% of the money and him having a handicap having to go down to 150, it's a fascinating fight and Mayweather could make probably a good portion of the money he would make fighting Pacquiao. And you and I know Pacquiao ain't fighting him [Mayweather]. At this point in Pacquiao's career, it's a fucking death match. It's a sensational fight and it's a sensational promotion. If you find anyone that you can put Floyd Mayweather in there where he's only a 7 to 5 favorite, it's going to be a huge fight.
BT: It's definitely a fight that the diehard fans would love to see. I'm just not sure if the powers that be will think of it as a huge fight if they don't consider Sergio to be a big draw.
LD: He's never had an opportunity to be in with a guy that makes you a draw. You're a draw on pay-per-view if you're in with the right dancing partner. He doesn't have the right dancing partner. He's not a draw? Let me tell you something, fucking Dawson and Hopkins sold 2000 tickets. Donaire did a gate of $250,000. He did a gate last night of $650,000 at the Garden, plus. It sold out. Not one ticket left. Now it wasn't the big room, but 5000 tickets is 5000 tickets. And the argument that Macklin sold it, no, the fight sold out. The fight sold out, okay, the way he and Mayweather will sell out whatever 20,000 seater you want to put it in at any casino. And when you put Floyd in with a Latin guy...you don't think this guy's promotable? Full page of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times this past week. I mean, the fact is he's fighting real guys, but you ain't gonna fight in a 20,000 seat room fighting Dzinziruk or fighting Paul Williams. Every gate he's had in his last four fights has been over half a million bucks. Bernard Hopkins can't say that. I mean, no one in boxing, no one, I mean, Chavez can't even say that. I mean, I'm not saying Chavez is not a bigger draw. Obviously his name is Chavez and if you put him in the right Mexican place, he's gonna draw. We're a sport that hasn't had a Superbowl in 7 or 8 years. That's pathetic, man. That's pathetic. We haven't had a World Series, we haven't had a Superbowl, we haven't had an NCAA finals, we haven't had the equivalent in years. There's not a heavyweight title fight that anyone has given a fuck about in years. And Mayweather-Pacquiao, which is the only fight the general public has any awareness of, hasn't happened.
[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]