RING middleweight titleholder Sergio Martinez is depicted nude in this month’s ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, whose cover features U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo.
The selection of the 36-year-old Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs) follows that of eight-division and WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao, who debuted in the magazine last year along with athletes such as Dwight Howard and Serena Williams.
“We were happy that he was selected, and this is another mode of promotion,” said Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella.
“To be included in that magazine, which does tremendous circulation and is one of their top issues, that’s a big deal. We’re happy that he’s in there.”
Also in the magazine are the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin, the St. Louis Rams’ Steven Jackson and the New York Mets’ Jose Reyes.
MELSON OVERCOMES PAIN FOR STEM CELL GAIN
Junior welterweight Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson was able to secure a unanimous decision over Russ Niggemyer (2-4, 2 KOs) to improve to 6-0, with three knockouts on Oct. 1 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
A resident of White Plains, N.Y. and active army reserve who graduated from West Point, Melson donated his entire $1,500 purse to justadollarplease.org, an organization which raises money for America’s first clinical trial using stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries. It’s a cause in which he became interested after meeting a woman who was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
But Melson was dealing with more than just Niggemyer on Saturday night, having spent four hours of the previous Thursday hospitalized while suffering from complications having to do with a kidney stone.
“The whole time I was in the hospital, I was thinking, ‘Man, I’ve sold so many tickets that I just can’t miss this fight’ And this was before I knew what it was. Then I knew that it was a stone, and that eventually, it would pass and that the pain would be gone,” said Melson.
“Thank God, I was able to perform, and the guy never hit me with a body shot that made me want to pee it out. I told my coach, but I didn’t tell my manager until after the fight because I didn’t want to make him worry.”
How did he do it?
“Listen, I’ve trained to go to war,” said Melson. “That training has helped me to disassociate myself with things and to focus on the task at hand.”
RAMOS’ FANS SAY HE HAS MOST CHARACTER
The 23-year-old Ramos (20-0, 9 knockouts), of Santa Ana, Calif., dominated the 29-year-old Rodela (15-5-3, 6 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., before a hard left to the body forced him to collapse to one knee.
Rodela never rose to beat the 10-count of referee Raul Caiz Jr., as the bout came to an end at the 1 minute, 57-second mark of the fifth round.
STIVERNE’S ON A ROLL
Stiverne reeled off four striaght first-round knockouts after losing to King, and has stopped his past four, including former title challenger Ray Austin.
A native of Canada who was born in La Plaine, Haiti, Stiverne is ranked third behind Chris Arreola (33-2, 28 KOs) and Alexander Dimitrenko (32-2, 21 KOs) by the WBC, whose titleholder is 40-year-old WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs).
The 27-year-old Williams is 19-1, with 15 KOs, and co-promoted by Rumble Time Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.
At the request of his longtime promoter Steve Smith, Williams moved from a tough environment in St. Louis to Youngstown, Ohio.
“Boxing has saved me,” said Williams, a 2004 National Golden Gloves champion explained. “I turned my life around when I left St. Louis for Youngstown.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org