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Lou DiBella: Martinez-Sturm possible for the fall or early 2015


Citing that both men are now in similar stages of their respective careers, Lou DiBella thinks a fight between Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm is a distinct possibility.

No one knows for certain what Sergio Martinez has left in the tank – or perhaps everyone knows it except for Sergio himself. Quite frankly, most people view his last outing against Miguel Cotto as surefire evidence that his time has now come and gone. Yet despite looking terribly immobile and unstable in the ring, Martinez surprisingly announced he would not hang up the gloves. With his promoter, Lou DiBella, backing up his decision, DiBella now has some early designs on putting Sergio up against fellow-fading-fighter, Felix Sturm (39-4-2, 18 KOs), according to his interview with RingTV. This is all contingent of course, on Martinez actually being able to – well you know – stand upright in the face of a slight breeze.

Talking about the prospective fight, DiBella had this to say:

“I know Felix, and I have great respect for him,” DiBella told RingTV.com. “I think both guys are at similar stages of their career and it’s certainly something worth talking about.”

“Sergio still has to go and be checked out by a doctor in New York. That’s scheduled for mid-September.” he said.

“Then we haven’t discussed specific fights, or any kind of hard line on a time frame, but I will reach out to Felix‘s people and have a conversation with them. We’re going to consider all alternatives but I know Sergio is too great a champion to want to return against someone ordinary. But at the same time he’d want to return against somebody that’s credible and in a fight that’s a big fight and I think maybe for both sides this may be an interesting possibility.

“But at this point in time all it is is a possibility. I may have some conversations with Felix‘s people shortly but I don’t think from our end we’ll be deciding anything for a couple of months.”

While we aren’t exactly close to hearing any official announcement on Martinez’s ring return, Felix Sturm was more than happy to hear his name being mentioned as a potential opponent.

“Fighting Sergio Martinez is certainly a great option,” said Sturm. “I always said I would welcome a fight against him and I still do. If he and his team are really interested in a fight, they can reach out to us. And if the right deal can be made – why not?”

Candidly speaking, I think you would be hard-pressed to find any middleweight who wouldn’t be happy for a chance to finish off what’s left of Martinez. He still carries some name value (though deteriorating prestige), and he’s pretty much as vulnerable as a wounded Gazelle in the savannah.

Sturm is himself coming off a disappointing performance where he gave up the IBF middleweight title to 40-year-old Sam Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs) this past May. Being 35-years-old now, Sturm is certainly no spring chicken and has some question marks of his own to answer. He clearly isn’t in as bad of shape as is Martinez, but Sturm still thinks he can make his way back to championship form.

“My last fight was disappointing but I proved time and time again that I’m a true fighter,” Sturm said. “I will get to the top again, I promise that.”

“Sergio is still a great fighter, despite the loss against Cotto. Even great champions lose but they will always get back up.”

So although this fight isn’t nearly as intriguing as it would’ve been a few years back, when they were both in their primes, would anyone look forward to this match-up? Or is it just a case of two elder-statesmen unwilling to call it a career?

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