We are now just six days away from a big-time double-header on HBO, headlined by the world middleweight championship clash between Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Martinez. This is, in my mind, a meeting between the world's best middleweight and the world's best junior middleweight. It's a potential stylistic nightmare for both fighters, a wonderful matchup, and the sort of fight that Pavlik badly needs to help rehab a damaged image. For Martinez, it's another earned shot for a tremendous fighter who has sprung into the boxing eye in the last couple of years with some phenomenal performances, including last December's Fight of the Year candidate with Paul Williams.
Below are HBO sit-down interviews with both champion and challenger.
Sergio Martinez: "Kelly Pavlik, he should worry about me in many ways. Speed, which is an abysmal difference between us. The strategy that I will have in the ring that night, and the strength of my punches. Because they will surprise him and hurt him a great deal. My way of visualizing my fight with Kelly Pavlik is knowing that I will win in every aspect."
Kelly Pavlik: "I just think that people have been underestimating my handspeed. They think that this kid's boxing and his footwork and his handspeed is gonna be too much, and I love that. Right now I'm just living off of it, feeding off of it, and it just gives me more determination."