The sentence stems from an argument involving Mayweather’s ex-girlfriend and two of their children last September.
“The WBC officially has not decided anything yet,” said Sulaiman, in defense of his organization’s decision not to strip Mayweather Jr. of thier belt. “Beating a lady is highly critical, [but] it is not a major sin or crime.”
Lewkowicz said Martinez was angered by the comments.
“Definitely, Sergio is outraged at the comments of Jose Sulaiman. Sergio plans to say some things tomorrow, and, that is, that definitely, he’s very, very disappointed with the WBC. I’ve gone to several events with Sergio, who has gone to several charity events, and he has refused to get paid for that,” said Lewkowicz.
“Sergio never has asked for a dime because he does these things from his heart. Sergio only wants to send a message, and he doesn’t want to get paid or recognized like other champions or like any other figures in sports. He doesn’t want to get paid to have a dinner with people or to sign autographs. This kid’s feelings, they are for real.”
Martinez is also expected to address the situation with Chavez, who will face Rubio on a card that will also feature Nonito Donaire in his junior featherweight debut against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
Martinez had earned the undisputed middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Kelly Pavlik in April of last year. He followed that up with a second-round knockout of Paul Williams in November, a rematch of their 2009 fight that Williams won by a controversial majority decision.
Martinez was forced to give up his WBC belt for fighting Sergei Dzinziruk in March on HBO, a fight Martinez won by an eight-round KO. The WBC then elevated Sebastian Zbik to the status of full champion and mandated that Zbik face Chavez, who dethroned him by a unanimous decision in June.
In the absence of a bout against Chavez, however, Martinez will face RING No. 3-rated middleweight Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KOs) on March 17 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
It is unclear whether or not Martinez’s move will include a refusal to pay the WBC’s sanctioning fee for what is being called it’s “Diamond” belt.
“Sergio Martinez will not say tomorrow that he will never fight again for the WBC, because his only goal was to be the middleweight champion for the WBC, and to honor his idol, who was Carlos Monzon. But he wants to get that title back, and he knows that the only way to get that title back is to force the public to demand that Chavez either fight or give up the title. So, Sergio Martinez still is loyal to the WBC, because he wants that to be his history,” said Lewkowicz.
“But tomorrow, he will say that he is not fighting for the WBC, but that he is fighting for THE RING Magazine title, which is the most logical. He’s supposed to fight for the title against Macklin. He’s the best middleweight, and he wants to fight the best. So he will be fighting for THE RING Magazine title on March 17 against whomever that is, most likely, it will be Macklin.”
WBC president Jose Sulaiman’s official statement of clarification:
“I would like to clarify my feelings about some recent comments of mine, and apologize for not finding the right words in English – there are many times when I cannot find the right words to express what I really mean. The comments attributed to me are a complete misrepresentation of my true feelings.
“I am a devoted husband and father of two daughters, and have three wonderful granddaughters, as well. The Virgin of Guadalupe is my superior saint. I am the person that developed female boxing, and I am the person in the WBC that has always been concerned with the protection of women in the ring. I have always been a strong supporter of women’s rights and the protection of women in society. Those are the facts – everybody knows me.
“In my comments, I just meant to say that I have always been in the corner of all the boxers of the world. They are my greatest heroes and, good or bad, I will always be in their corner. I know Floyd Mayweather personally, and I know that he’s a good person. I know that he accepted a plea deal for a serious offense, and I did not intend to make light of that.
“The judge sentenced him to 90 days, which I think is fair. But I know that Floyd is a good human being with a good heart, and I am confident that he will redeem himself with his actions in the future. I just wanted Floyd to know that the WBC will always stay strongly in his corner.”
Photo by Craig Bennett, Fightwire Images
Photo by Javiel Centeno, Fightwire Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org