Two news items today from middleweight champ Sergio Martinez. He returns to the ring on October 1, against European middleweight champion Darren Barker and he signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with promoter Lou DiBella.
Here's the release from DiBella's office:
NEW YORK, NY (June 14, 2011) – On Tuesday afternoon in New York City, WBC Middleweight Diamond Champion and universally recognized top-3 pound for pound fighter, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs) signed a new multiyear, multimillion dollar deal that will keep his promotional interest with DiBella Entertainment (“DBE”) for the foreseeable future.
“This is an important day for DiBella Entertainment,” said DiBella. “Sergio Martinez has proved in his recent run of fights that is no challenge he fears and that there is no challenge he cannot conquer. Together, we will look to make the biggest fights against the biggest names in boxing and we won’t stop until ‘Maravilla’ is universally recognized as, pound for pound, the best in boxing.”
Martinez, 36, originally linked up with DBE in 2007 and has gone 7-1-1 over the span. The only blemishes on his record during that time were a close decision loss to Paul Williams in a fight widely heralded as the 2009 Fight of the Yea and a universally criticized draw versus former champion Kermit Cintron in 2009 in a bout where most people thought Martinez should’ve been awarded a knockout in round seven and then had done more than enough to win after 12 rounds.
After a victory over Kelly Pavlik in win the middleweight crowd in April, 2010 and a stirring second round knockout to avenge his loss to Williams in November, Martinez was named the 2010 Fighter of the Year.
Martinez began 2011 in a big way in March, stopping previously unbeaten Sergiy Dzinziruk in eight rounds.
“I’ve never had any doubt that DiBella Entertainment is the best promoter in boxing,” said Martinez. “I have no doubt that we will continue to do great things together. This is exactly what I wanted.”
Also in attendance at the signing, which took place at a local stationary store just a few blocks from DBE’s midtown headquarters, was Martinez’s longtime adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz.
“This is about finishing what we started,” said Lewkowicz. “I believe that in Sergio Martinez t we have a grand champion who is the best fighter in the world.’’
Martinez is scheduled to return to the ring October 1 on HBO against European middleweight champion Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs).