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Sergio Martinez fought just once in 2013. In April, he made a homecoming to his native Buenos Aires to defend his lineal middleweight title against unbeaten, but unheralded, Martin Murray.
Martinez was knocked down in Round 8 and escaped with a close, unanimous decision. After the fight, Martinez went in for surgery, making 2013 the second straight year he has gone under the knife.
The next time Martinez steps into the ring, he will be 39 and will have undergone multiple surgeries in the past two years. This is not an ideal situation for any fighter, let alone one who relies on an athletic style to the degree Martinez does.
Every boxing publication and website I read has been speculating that Martinez's first fight back will be against three-division world champion, Miguel Cotto. Cotto is a future Hall of Famer, but it's hard for me to view him as a credible threat to Martinez, who will have Cotto beat by three inches in height, seven in reach and will have considerable advantages in explosiveness and athleticism.
If Martinez is serious about remaining the lineal champion at middleweight, he's got a lot more reason for concern than Cotto, though. Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin are both undefeated, both have belts and both have high KO percentages.
They also both deserve to fight for the lineal title. In 2014, Martinez ultimately needs to defend or get out of the way.