Current world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez would like a chance to avenge a defeat to Antonio Margarito that came way back in the year 2000, according to trainer Pablo Sarmiento. Sarmiento says that if Margarito beats Miguel Cotto on December 3, he could be a future challenger to Martinez.
Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KO) and Margarito (38-7, 27 KO) have taken very different career paths since they met as welterweights on February 19, 2000, in Las Vegas, when they were part of the undercard for the first fight between Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. If 2000 itself doesn't make clear how long ago their first fight was, that should. Morales and Barrera had never fought each other when Margarito faced Martinez.
Two years later, Margarito would claim his first major title, and would hold that same belt for five years, losing just once in a trip up to junior middleweight to face titleholder Daniel Santos in 2004. Margarito was for some time marketed as the most feared man in boxing, and was propped up by many as the man Floyd Mayweather Jr was afraid to face after Mayweather went to welterweight himself. In 2007, Paul Williams ended Margarito's run of dominance, and since then it's been a very up-and-down ride for the Mexican star. He's gone 4-2 since losing to Williams, with the losses coming to Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao, and has beaten Cotto and Kermit Cintron. But he was also suspended in 2009 for trying to load his wraps for the Mosley fight, which is something he can't escape to this day, and never really will no matter what he does.
Martinez would ply his trade in relative obscurity for eight years after losing to Margarito, always winning but rarely against decent competition. He made it to HBO in October 2008 and destroyed Alex Bunema, and at the age of 33 was the oldest emerging "young" contender in the sport. He made good quickly, by beating Kermit Cintron (even though it was scored a draw), and then taking Paul Williams to the limit in a short-notice fight in December 2009. Five months later, Martinez beat Kelly Pavlik to win the middleweight championship, and then knocked out Williams in the second round last November.
But this year has been a struggle for Martinez in many respects, and through no fault of his own. A potential HBO fight with Sebastian Zbik was shot down by the network, which forced Martinez to take on top junior middleweight Sergiy Dzinziruk instead, thus making Martinez vacate the WBC belt. In a stunningly transparent turn of events, HBO then allowed a fight between Zbik and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr for that belt on June 4, and Martinez has been debating with the WBC for much of the year. Now, he's lined up to face Darren Barker on October 1, a solid opponent but not something that is going to create any buzz. He's ranked among the best in the sport, pound-for-pound, but Martinez is having trouble finding big fights.
Because of that, it would be hard to blame him for wanting to rematch Margarito should the Mexican beat Miguel Cotto again in December. Margarito is a name and is worth money, and would be hotter than he has been in years if he can get past Cotto. Plus, Martinez would be a really heavy favorite against Margarito at this point, as Margarito is clearly on the back nine of his career, while Martinez is peaking at age 36, with relatively few miles on his ring wear odometer.
If the fight came up, would you be excited for it?