"First things first, my number one thing for 2011 is to become the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world this year. I'm going to fight whoever I need to fight to get to that goal...My immediate goal is to win this fight. I am going to win this fight, and in fact, I'm going to win this fight by knockout. I expect a tough fight from Serhiy because he is a tough fighter and a smart fighter, but I have committed myself to this training camp, and it's a very hard training camp. I'm going to give 100% and I'm going to give my fans what they deserve, a great show," stated middleweight king Sergio Martinez, who took time out of his busy schedule to speak with FightHype.com as he prepares for his upcoming March 12th clash with WBO jr. middleweight champion Serhiy Dzinziruk. Check out what he had to say about the fight, his future plans and much more.
PC: How is everything going and how was your trip to New York to promote the fight?
SM: The trip went really well and it was very positive and it was a good trip. I was excited to go out there and start the show basically. All of the best to Lou DiBella, the WBC and Jose Sulaiman. They treated me like a king and it all went well.
PC: Congratulations on all of the accolades and accomplishments you received in 2010. What are your goals for 2011?
SM: Thank you so much for the congratulations. I'm very grateful for that. First things first, my number one thing for 2011 is to become the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world this year. I'm going to fight whoever I need to fight to get to that goal.
PC: It all starts with Serhiy Dzinziruk on March 12th. What do you know about him as a fighter and what type of fight are you expecting?
SM: My immediate goal is to win this fight. I am going to win this fight, and in fact, I'm going to win this fight by knockout. I expect a tough fight from Serhiy because he is a tough fighter and a smart fighter, but I have committed myself to this training camp, and it's a very hard training camp. I'm going to give 100% and I'm going to give my fans what they deserve, a great show. That's what they expect from me and I hope Serhiy does the same thing.
PC: You seemed very comfortable in your two fights against Paul Williams, so I take it the fact that Serhiy is a southpaw doesn't bother you at all?
SM: (Laughing) I may have looked comfortable in that fight with Paul Williams, but he is a freaking tough fighter (laughing). He throws a lot of punches and he is a very smart fighter. In the case of Dzinziruk, it's going to be more of a technical and strategic type of fight. It's going to be a different fight and approach than the Paul Williams fight. He is a southpaw like Williams, but this fight will be more of a chess match. He is a different fighter.
PC: In many observers eyes, you haven't lost a fight in 10 years. How did you overcome the Kermit Cintron situation, as well as the close decision loss to Williams in the first fight, to have so much success now?
SM: I don't have any secrets or pills or anything special. All of my success has been a production of my hard work. I take care of my body in and out of the ring and I really focus on my work. I commit myself 100% on my training and that's what brings me results.
PC: You've always showcased great boxing skills and movement, but now you have also displayed one-punch knockout power. Do you think that will hurt you in trying to land fights with guys like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the future?
SM: Yes, absolutely that's going to prevent a lot of fighters from wanting to fight me in the future, especially fighters like Mayweather and Pacquiao. Most importantly, I've punched really hard throughout my entire career, but since the Williams knockout, people are noticing it a little more and appreciating my work. I've always packed a punch and they may not necessarily knock you out, but they are like razor blades.
PC: Being that you got a late start into boxing, who are some of your boxing influences and do you still get on a soccer field from time to time for conditioning?
SM: I come from a traditional boxing family. My uncles and my dad used to all watch boxing and we all appreciated boxing, so I come from that environment and I appreciated that and they have all been very supportive. I feel boxing is easier than soccer, so no, I don't really do any soccer things too much anymore. I may do some drills here and there, but nothing where I'm out there playing. It is much harder than boxing.
PC: It's been a few fights since you've had to make 154 pounds. How is your weight coming along and will it not be an issue in this fight?
SM: No, it's not a problem, especially if I had to fight a Pacquiao or Mayweather. To fight one of those guys, I would do whatever it takes to get down to that weight. I've prepared my body to stay at 160 pounds, but to make weight is not a problem.
PC: How have you handled being hit with a great deal of success in the States because? You still seem to be very humble and grounded. And how are you received in Argentina when you return?
SM: I've been received really well here in the United States and I definitely appreciate all of the support from all of the fans; the boxing fans throughout the whole world. That means a lot to me. When I go back home, initially, I wasn't as accepted, but since my last fight, I am accepted well and it's very nice to go home and be taken back with open arms, and that's a very nice feeling.
PC: Best of luck to you in March. I appreciate your time and it was a pleasure to have you on the site. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
SM: Thank you for your time and this great interview. I will have to charge you $2,000 if that's okay (laughing).
PC: Man, you already have all of the good looks; now you want to take my money (laughing)?
SM: (Laughing) Big hug to you Percy; hi five! I actually want to do comedy after I'm done with boxing. I'm a jokester (laughing). I want to thank my fans and all of the people that support me and I want everyone to tune in on March 12th because you're going to see the best Sergio Martinez. I am training very hard. It's the best training camp of my career and I'm going to give it my all. I want to give everyone a big hug for their support and thanks for everything.
[WRITER'S NOTE: FightHype would like to thank Carlos Gomez for setting up this interview and Cicilio for translating for us.]
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]