Sampson Lewkowicz was in Mexico with RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez when word came in that WBA titleholder Gennady Golovkin had knocked out Matthew Macklin on Saturday night with a single body shot.
Macklin, who had gone 11 hard-fought rounds and even dropped Martinez in their 2012 bout, was stopped in just three rounds against the unbeaten Kazakhstan native.
Afterwards, Macklin told HBO commentator Max Kellerman: “Without a shadow of a doubt, [Golovkin] is definitely the best I’ve ever fought,” stirring up the question as to who is the best fighter at 160 pounds.
Golovkin, in his limited English, expressed his interest in a clash with Martinez as well, which is gaining traction as one of the sport’s most requested showdowns today.
When Lewkowicz received word of the outcome from his son Nathan, he immediately put out the word that Martinez is a fighting champion.
“He would be very, very happy to face [Golovkin] because Martinez would never walk away from any fight and is sure that he will toy with him,” said Lewkowicz, who is back in Las Vegas, Nev. with Martinez. “The style of the ‘Three G,’ you cannot compare it with the ‘Three A’ that is Martinez. I believe that Martinez is superior to Golovkin.”
Martinez will have to wait to back up those claims, however. Lewkowicz, the adviser who has guided the Argentine southpaw to junior middleweight and middleweight titles, said Martinez won’t be ready to fight again until March or April of 2014 because of another injury to his right knee that will require a second surgery in a year to repair.
Martinez, 38, sustained a partially torn right meniscus in his dominant decision victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last year, and aggravated the injury in his close decision victory over Martin Murray in April.
“Physically, he’s in pain,” said Lewkowicz. “Most likely we need another surgery on the knee. I’m not a doctor but I can tell you that I was with him and I feel his pain. Always he’s touching his knee, he cannot stretch his knee, too.”
Lewkowicz said that a doctor in Argentina recommended that Martinez stabilize the knee for a couple of months then go for an operation, which will likely take place within the week.”
Martinez (51-2-2, 28 knockouts) has made six defenses of the middleweight title he won in 2010 with a decision victory over Kelly Pavlik, and has gone on to defeat the likes of Paul Williams, Serhiy Dzinziruk and Darren Barker in defenses.
The 31-year-old Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs) has defended his belt eight times, but against lesser fighters than the opposition Martinez has faced.
Lewkowicz wasn’t personally impressed with Golovkin’s victory over Macklin, believing the 31-year-old Macklin to be past his best.
“Golovkin hasn’t fought anybody,” said Lewkowicz. “Absolutely nobody, and you look over Paul Williams, Kelly Pavlik, Dzinzurik, they never were the same after Martinez beat them. Why is it different with this Irish guy? Same way.”
Lou DiBella, who promotes Martinez as well as Macklin, feels that any discussions on the subject of a Golovkin fight are “premature” until Martinez can heal himself from injuries.
“Sergio Martinez reached out to Sampson and me today; he said that history will show that he has embraced every challenge available to him in his career,” DiBella stated in email to RingTV.com. “His legacy will be that he was always willing to fight the best. Right now, his concentration is on healing and rehabilitation and he will not fight until sometime in the first half of 2014. He wanted to make it clear that he is willing to fight Gennady Golovkin in the future.
“Any conversations now about timing would be premature and inappropriate. Tell all your little Twitter followers to calm down and enjoy watching Golovkin in the meantime.”
Lewkowicz said that Martinez would likely be ready for action around March or April, but that an immediate showdown with Golovkin is out of the question.
“I’m the adviser and I would not do that to him,” said Lewkowicz. “He will fight him but I will not do that because you need to be 100 percent. That is my call, only my call. If it’s Martinez, he will fight right away with him on the first fight but it’s not what I want for my fighter, and since I’m being paid as an adviser, he needs to take my advice.”
Lewkowicz still feels confident in his fighter’s chances once he’s back to full strength.
“He will toy with the ‘Three Gs’ because, first of all, he never fought even close (to) a fighter like Martinez,” said Lewkowicz. “The only thing is he throws punches; nobody moves and he’s very easy to hit. If you maintain the distance with him, he will not catch you.”
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.