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Sergio Martinez officially retires: “A period in my life ends, thanks to all”

Fighters Network
Photo by Jeff Bott

Photo by Jeff Bott

After more than a year of inactivity since losing his RING middleweight title to Miguel Cotto, and plagued by a nagging knee injury, Argentina’s Sergio Martinez officially announced his retirement from the sport of boxing during an emotional speech at the International Boxing Hall of Fame dinner in Canastota, New York, and through a bilingual comment in his official Twitter account.

“Thanks to all, I am retired. Gracias por todo, aqu├¡ termina una etapa de mi vida. Estoy oficialmente retirado. Hasta la victoria siempre (Thanks for everything, a period in my life ends now, I am officially retired. To victory, always)”, tweeted Martinez to his 420.000 followers late on June 13th, at the end of his speech during the Banquet of Champions as part of the IBHOF’s induction weekend, in which former champions Riddick Bowe, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Naseem Hamed were presented as the new inductees.

“I am grateful to boxing for giving me the life I have now, and to the wonderful family of the sport of boxing. But very specially, I thank my fans around the world. It is time to take a step aside. I retire now. Thank you, and to the victory, always!”, said Martinez, echoing once more the words of Argentine-Cuban guerrilla leader Ernesto Che Guevara.

Martinez finishes his career with a record of 51-3-2 (28 KO), having held the interim WBC junior middleweight belt briefly in 2008 and having made six successful defenses of the undisputed linear middleweight championship that he lifted with a come-from-behind victory over Kelly Pavlik in 2010. His victims in his title fights included Paul Williams (in two memorable fights, the second one becoming the KO of the year after a brutal overhand left dropped Williams face-first for the stoppage), Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Matthew Macklin, Serhiy Dzinziruk, Darren Barker and Martin Murray.

After a shaky performance against Murray in front of 50,000 fans in his native Argentina, Martinez faced Miguel Cotto at New York’s Madison Square Garden in unsound medical condition after suffering a recurring injury in one of his knees. Unable to withstand Cotto’s two-fisted attack since the very beginning of the fight, Martinez ended up quitting on his stool at the beginning of the 10th round to forfeit his championship and effectively end his career.