Both Andre Ward and Sergio Martinez have scored very impressive wins in the month of September, but Ward, the reigning super middleweight world champion, doesn't expect his middleweight colleague to move up in weight for a potential fight between the two, and says he doesn't see himself moving down, either.
"I would love to fight Martinez but I don't think it is possible because of the weight. Martinez's people say that he is a small middleweight and they are right. They say that if I go down to 160 then a fight could happen but I don't think that is possible."
Ward (26-0, 14 KO) dominated Chad Dawson on September 8 in Oakland, while Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KO) owned the ring this past Saturday against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, save for a dramatic 12th and final round.
Ward vs Martinez talk is scattered around the internet, with many fans thinking it's a fight to be made, and while I certainly wouldn't turn it down, the fact is that Martinez, promoter Lou DiBella, and adviser Sampson Lewkowicz have all stated repeatedly, and well before this week, that they have no plans to take Sergio over the 160-pound limit, where they all feel he's sort of maxing out his physical capabilities anyway.
Martinez started his career as a welterweight before settling in at junior middleweight, and really only moved to middleweight because chances to fight Paul Williams and then Kelly Pavlik were just too good to pass up for a guy in his mid-30s who had yet to make any major statements in the sport, and was coming off of a ridiculous draw against Kermit Cintron prior to replacing Pavlik in the first fight with Williams.
Sergio Martinez: Middleweight is a concept borne out of necessity, and it rather shockingly caught on and made him world champion. But Martinez has said numerous times that he's willing to move back down in weight should a major opportunity come along, while he's never made any positive statements about going up in weight to 168 pounds.
Even a catchweight at something like 164 doesn't seem likely at all to happen, as Ward has no real reason to burn an extra four pounds, and Martinez has no real reason to go up at all. Ward vs Martinez, while it might be a terrific matchup for diehard fans, is not really a notably big fight in terms of the consumer demand, and they'd both be risking a lot without getting substantial reward.
And hell, even if you want to take the money out of the equation, what are the chances that the loser just said, "Well, it wasn't my weight"? Would you even be getting a legit fight at 164, one way or the other? And would Martinez at 168 really prove anything that Ward hasn't already proven, given Martinez's clear distaste for the idea?
Basically, it's not going to happen. It's a nice fight to talk about, but there's no good reason to "demand" that Martinez move up in weight if he doesn't feel like he should, and he feels like his body is capped at 160 pounds. Everyone has a limit, and Martinez is open about what he thinks his is, and it's the middleweight division.
Ward says he'll be meeting with his team in the next month and deciding where to go next. Martinez is currently healing up from some injuries, including a broken hand and some damaged ligaments in his knee.