Boxing: Argentina's Martinez not retiring yet

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2014 01:28 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2014 09:28 PM

Former world champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina is not retiring yet despite sustaining a heavy beating at the hands of Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto in his most recent bout last June.

Martinez, coming off a long lay-off due to injuries, was knocked down four times by Cotto and was eventually stopped in the 10th round.

He took some time to contemplate the next step of his career, but eventually told his adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz, that he plans to continue fighting.

"Miguel De Pablos (Martinez's business manager) and I met with Sergio at his home in Madrid, and he says he is 100 percent healthy and ready to do what it takes to return to the very top of boxing," Lewkowicz told ESPN.com.

Martinez was favored to beat Cotto but was ambushed by the Puerto Rican in the opening round and was never really in the fight.

"Against Cotto, Sergio was badly hurt in the opening round from the first left hook that landed. After that, he remembers only pieces and had very little control of his body and especially his legs," Lewkowicz said.

"He fought entirely on instinct. It was the worst night of his entire career, and he is coming back to prove he is a superstar fighter who just had a bad night," he added.

Martinez's manager, Lou DiBella, said they are targeting a return in early 2015 against a "real, legitimate" opponent, and not a "stooge."

"He (Martinez) will not allow himself to come back against a stooge. At the same time, he's not going to come back against King Kong. The idea is for him to face a real, legitimate professional, a top-15 kind of fighter and then go from there," said DiBella.

"If he's okay, he wants one more opportunity to win a title," he added.

In his prime, Martinez was one of the best boxers in the world, pound-for-pound, but knee injuries slowed him down considerably and led to his loss to Cotto.