Sergio Martinez isn't banking on getting a date with Floyd Mayweather over the next few months.
It's a familiar refrain we've heard countless times before when it comes to Mayweather: He's hard to pin down, he haggles over the finances and the terms of the fight until neither contender is remotely interested anymore.
But now that it seems a Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao superfight could be on the horizon for sometime next year, perhaps Mayweather should pencil Martinez into his calendar. Perhaps a bout with the WBC middleweight champion could provide him with a good old tune-up before Pacquiao, the main event.
Martinez is certainly game. This week, he told Rex Gowar of BoxingScene.com:
I must look for my own path, and if Mayweather appears, that will be phenomenal. For me, there's no doubt he's the best boxer in the world. I always want to face the best, and it would be a great opportunity for me.
It could also be a great opportunity for Mayweather.
Of course, it's important to consider the implications of a loss could have on a potential-but-probably-happening Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, which could finally be coming into fruition after years of speculation. A loss could wipe that fight off the table. Lots and lots of money would be at stake, as would an event that ranks as one of the most anticipated in boxing history.
But you also have to consider the idea that Mayweather needs a tune-up before taking on Pacquiao. Badly.
Mayweather hasn't been in the ring since taking on Miguel Cotto in May and handily beating him in a unanimous decision. Since then, he has spent two months in jail, and that's pretty much all that has been on his agenda.
It's no secret that it is going to take time and work for him to get back into the kind of shape required to beat Manny Pacquiao, assuming that fight actually happens. There is no better way for Mayweather to test himself than against a middleweight who is desperate to face him—and who, in all likelihood, Mayweather should beat, especially considering Martinez is likely to undergo surgery in the next few months and should be ready to go again by April, according to Gower.
After taking down Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Martinez proved that he has the goods to draw the requisite amount of interest to make this fight worth Mayweather's while. Whether he has the goods to defeat Mayweather is less clear—but very unlikely.
The goal isn't for Mayweather to jeopardize his undefeated record before taking on Pacquiao; the goal is to get back in the ring and get back into a rhythm.
In that sense, Martinez could be an excellent option.
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