Martinez won the undisputed middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Kelly Pavlik in April of last year, then followed that up wiith a second-round knockout of Paul Williams in a November rematch of their 2009 fight that Williams won by a controversial majority decision.
Named Fighter of The Year by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America for 2010, Martinez was then forced, however, to give up his WBC belt for fighting Sergei Dzinziruk in March on HBO, a bout Martinez won by an eighth-round KO.
Martinez was then demoted to “Diamond” belt titleholder after the WBC elevated Sebastian Zbik to the status of full champion and mandated that Zbik face Chavez, who dethroned Zbik by a unanimous decision in June.
“The only title that I’m going to defend from now on is the one that I conquered by defeating Kelly Pavlik, which is THE RING Magazine title,” Martinez said of his upcoming bout opposite Macklin.
Ward made a similar proclaimation after being awarded THE RING belt during the post-fight press conference following his win over Froch.
“I love all of the belts. I want to get all of the belts. I want the WBO and the IBF. I want to get all of the hardware. But THE RING Magazine belt I think solidifies any questions about who is the best in the division,” said Ward.
“You can no longer be called a titlist if you hold THE RING Magazine belt. You’re a champion. And, there’s no sanctioning fees, so I love it. I love THE RING belt.”
Ward entered the Super Six tournament after consecutive unanimous decisions over Henry Buchanan and Edison Miranda.
Prior to facing Abraham, Ward won a non-tournament war with RING No. 5-rated Sakio Bika over 12 rounds.
“Ward is a great champion, so that would be a spectacular fight,” said Martinez. “And I’m open to it. Let’s do it.”
Photo by Fightwire Images
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org