Sergio “Wonder” Martinez considers that the first title he won, that of the IBOIt is the most important belt of all the ones in his showcase, despite being a little recognized organism. And the reason is, because of the situation of poverty and deficiencies in which he found himself.
To obtain world championships, the first triumph of Wonderful it must have been in the face of a harsh reality. His beginnings in the activity were not easy, as well as it was difficult for him to maintain relative continuity. But, almost unexpectedly, a championship came into his life to give him the message he needed: he deserved great things.
The world title most valued by Maravilla
Still in his stage as a professional boxer, the Quilmeño faced deep hardships, until the break came. For the press and the general public, the world championship of the International Boxing Organization (IBO) it does not acquire great relevance. It is a chocolate organism, but Sergio “Wonder” Martinez, who won that title on June 21, 2003, did. For him, it was the world.
“There is a title that, for me, is the most important of all that I could have won. And it is a title that is not so recognized, that of the IBO“, He said Wonderful in interview for Super Sporty. “I won it in 2003, and 15 days before I couldn’t tell you what I was doing. I was queuing at Caritas to order a bag with food. On June 12 they called me to combat, on June 4 they had cut off my electricity, on May 5 they had cut off my water. I was screwed ”.
At that moment, Wonder Martinez lived in Spain. He had left Argentina in 2001, in the midst of a brutal economic crisis for the country, but also to try to rebuild his career and life, after a traumatic defeat against Antonio Margarito in 2000.
He was a boxing instructor, and also worked as a security in a bar. He had fought in May, and had a hand injury. They called him to notify him that in nine days, he would fight against Richard Williams in Manchester, in dispute of the world super welterweight championship of the IBO.
“I had an injury to my left hand. It took a month to do only weights, “he explained. Sergio Martinez in Stray animalsBack in 2012. “He didn’t do boxing, because his hand was hurt. I talked to a boy from the gym, and I told him that in eight days I was fighting for a world title, and I had no physical rest, air, strength, flexibility or anything. He gave me some proteins, to make me strong, crush me and gain air ”.
At forced marches, Sergio prepared his appointment with destiny. It was nine days, which made it last as if it were three months.
“It was a shock, a change, a turning point in my life. I got to my house, I started writing what to do day by day ”, he recalls Wonderful. “The following Wednesday I trained at five in the afternoon, at nine at night, and at one in the morning. He was crazy, he needed it. The next day, I trained at eight in the morning, and I went to do all my work. I trained like a savage ”.
The fight would be in Manchester, England, and until there it was Wonder Martinez, without knowing the rival, to seek to be crowned with the title of an unrecognized body.
“I traveled to London on Sunday,” he recalls. “They had me for a whole day to do my medical check-ups. He had to travel to Manchester. I had no idea who my rival was (Richard Williams), I didn’t know anything, but I was already at the dance ”.
The fight was not easy for Sergio Martinez.
“I didn’t care about the city, if it rained, if I slept on the ground or in a bed. I was going to win ”, he sentenced Wonderful. “They put a lot of obstacles on me. They didn’t give me a gym, they didn’t tell me where to go for a run. They gave me a weight gym, it wasn’t boxing. It was all very precarious, but it was fucking awesome. The stadium was packed. In the first round, he touched my forehead and made a mark that lasted two months. I couldn’t find my distance, I didn’t feel comfortable, it hurt when he hit me. It broke everything, I had broken bones all over the place. It’s the truth”.
Among everything lived that night, Sergio “Wonder” Martinez remembers to this day the mouth guard you used to measure yourself for the first time with Richard Williams by the title of that body.
“Today, I have a $ 250 mouth guard. That day, I had a mouth guard for three euros. It was like putting a horseshoe in your mouth. When the fight was over, he was bleeding a lot from his mouth. I was happy to have won, but they had to do more than 200 stitches (stitches) in my mouth, because of the blows that he gave me and because the mouth cut me in a tremendous way ”, he emphasized Sergio Martinez.
“In the third round, I went down. My father came to England that day. Three days ago, I had no passport, no money, no idea of anything. My father came to Manchester, and I saw the light, ”said the Avellaneda-born man. “I fell, and stood up. He did not know where he was. I looked to the left, because I knew my father was there, and I was ashamed. I survived that round, and from there I won the fight. “
“I remember telling Williams: ‘Now I kill you’. In the fourth round, I started boxing at my distance and he stopped seeing me, touching me, hitting me… In the seventh, he broke two of my ribs with a hook. I sat down, and felt something dig into me. I was screwed, I had the whole fight left. To survive, to move in my distance and to crush it. He finished the last round in agony. I did not give him a drop of air, “said the boxer.
“Winning that fight was the most incredible thing. Impossible to describe. I can tell you how I felt, but I’m lying to you. This topped everything. When i went with Paul williams I was already a man, with a great team around me. That day I was alone, against everyone there, alone! ”, He said. Martinez, with a lump in the throat, charged with emotion.
And so, Wonder Martinez he was crowned world champion with a title from a chocolate organism. For him, due to his precarious situation, it represented a before and after in his life.
Sergio Martínez’s shortcomings in his childhood
Nothing was easy for Sergio “Wonder” Martinez, not even in his first years of life. Not to mention the beginning of his career.
Being born and growing up in the mid-70s in Argentina was not easy. Even more so if the family bosom of the context was made up of working class workers.
The mother of Sergio MartinezBesides being a great administrator, she was a housewife and cleaned homes to earn more money.
“We always had a very nice family,” he stated. Susana paniagua, mother of the fighter, for a report of Telefe News. “My children, very good boys. They went to school, but they have not been able to go to secondary school, due to our economic situation. We try to educate them as well as possible, and all three equally ”.
“His brothers, after football, turned to boxing. Sergio remained as is. He went to the gym of one of my brothers, and he told him that he wanted to be fit to perform at his club. On the second day, they put the gloves on him. He didn’t take them off anymore. He was about 18 years old, ”said Mrs. Paniagua. “I always supported him, but it hurt a lot. I would get sick when he was going to have his first fights, I would stay in bed ”.
For his part, the father of Martinez He dedicated his life to the smithy, and always counted on the help of his children to give strength to his trade.
“I had a blacksmith shop. He made assemblies of sheds, sheds and all that stuff. My three boys worked with me. We worked together ”, he narrated Hugo Martinez. “I started talking to friends. One that had an iron sale, we bought some woods and made a ring with stands. We organized about 20 fights for Sergio. If we wanted him to become world champion… We were already flying high ”.
Diego Armando Maradona, an essential distraction for the Martinez family’s tough economy
On the occasion of the death of Diego Maradona, Sergio Martinez He dedicated some moving words to him in which he perfectly painted what the soccer star meant during his childhood and youth.
Full of sincerity and with an almost tangible representation of the story, Martinez He captured his feelings in an Instagram post.
Eternally thank you. For sporting glory but, above all, because you made us all feel equally happy. That for me is enough. Reading some comments I feel moved by such crudeness and irrationality.
Who criticizes, blasphemes, who forgot or never even lived ‘something’ of what Diego hit the field, on the soccer field, he just didn’t understand that Maradona He was able to cross all sports barriers and here I will say ‘my why’:
Because Diego he was able to ‘help’ my mother to forget our poverty, our lack, our lack of a plate on the table. That’s what Diego did. It made us forget how poor we were.
I am grateful. My mother, I am much more sure.
She more, much more than once, did not have a plate of food to put on the table. And there it was. Diego, so that we forget what we lacked.
So that we smile proudly, having it wrapped in the blue and white.
Our Diego. The one of the people.
The one who lived a million times, a million lives. The one who destroyed, one by one, those many lives that were granted to him.
Diego Armando Maradona. Thanks for everything Diego.