Sergio Martinez had a media day event scheduled for Tuesday canceled after receiving verbal threats and having a team member's car vandalized, which means that he and his team are working to get a security squad for the fighter, and won't be doing public appearances until then.
Here's what promoter Lou DiBella said in a press release from HBO:
"This past weekend Sergio received threats from an unknown source and the car in front of his home was vandalized. Unfortunately, until we have a security team in place, we are going to have to suspend any and all public and media appearances for Sergio, including the upcoming media day scheduled for tomorrow in Oxnard. We apologize for the inconvenience to the media and fans that have planned on attending tomorrow's event."
Over at RingTV.com, Lem Satterfield had more from DiBella, and tried to get away from blaming it on the team of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, or even his fans:
"When you say 'security threats,' it makes it sound like some international incident, and it wasn't. Some idiots threatened Sergio verbally, and then, some idiot poured paint on one of Sergio's team members' cars that was parked right outside of Sergio's apartment. We don't think that any of Chavez's fans are responsible, and we don't think that it's a Mexican or Mexican-American thing. We just think some idiots maybe had a beef, or some overzealous moron is involved."
This is a tricky situation, because the first thing a lot of people are going to think is one of these two possibilities:
- Somehow this is related to Sergio fighting Chavez Jr on September 15. Chavez, like many top Mexican fighters, enjoys the great advantages that a proud, passionate fan base can bring. Of course, in any sport, with any "demographic," proud and passionate can go the wrong way very quickly. And, frankly, Sergio and Jr have talked a lot of trash, some of it fairly personal, and relating to Julio's legendary father.
- Someone promoting the fight is trying to make you think that while not just saying it, to drum up some interest.
Now, personally, I've got no idea. I don't know that there's any need for the latter (ticket sales have gone well, reportedly, and there's plenty of interest in this fight naturally), and DiBella's characterization of an idiot or a moron (or a small band of them) would surely be more realistic than calling anyone who'd do this crap "Chavez fans."