Former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez announced his retirement from boxing on June 13.
Sergio Martinez has officially retired from boxing.
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The 40-year-old Martinez hasn't fought since losing his Lineal, WBC and The Ring middleweight titles to Miguel Cotto in June 2014. He also has been dealing with knee issues. He announced his retirement on June 13 during the International Boxing Hall of Fame Banquet of Champions, per BoxingJunkie.com's Mike Coppinger.
Martinez was flanked by Team Maravilla promoter Lou DiBella as well as advisors Sampson Lewkowicz and Nathan Lewkowicz, per FightNews.com. Martinez thanked his fans and parents when he broke the news on Saturday.
TYC Sports obtained a transcript of Martinez's speech (via BoxingScene.com's Elsinio Castillo) on June 13:
"Hello, everyone, and thank you very much for being here. I am here to thank my family...First, in my 20 years of life as a boxer for always supporting me. My uncles Reuben...Raul and Carlos Alberto "Coca" Andrade, Gabriel Sarmiento, Miguel de Pablos, Sampson Lewkowicz, Nathan Lewkowicz and Lou DiBella for helping me grow as an athlete and human being.
"They stood by me, all of them were always helping me and I needed that. I am here to thank those who with their affection helped me, people who always supported me, which is always going to stay with me and in my heart...I thank those who from day one believed in me because they helped me grow and trust my instincts.
"I also want to thank those who did not believe in me because I was filled with strength from that. Those who put roadblocks only strengthened my steps...My father, whose faith was easier this way a boxer; my mother, who is still suffering as every mother does and had faith in me...I want to give my special thanks to my athletic father Don Jose Sulaiman and Don Mauricio Sulaiman...Also the WBC...
"And above all, I thank you for giving me the life that I have today from boxing and for making me the man that I am. Thanks to boxing and all the family of this wonderful sport. And especially, to all my fans around the world."
For his part, HBO Sports president Ken Hershmanz paid tribute to Martinez a statement released by InsideHBOBoxing.com on June 14:
"Like millions of boxing fans around the world who have enjoyed watching his spectacular career, everybody at HBO Sports will Sergio's professionalism and elite fighting skills.
"What we do is celebrate a career that is full of accomplishments by one of the most determined athletes of this generation.
"Watching Sergio win the lineal world middleweight championship on HBO was a landmark moment in the sport's history.
"More importantly, our respect and admiration for Sergio as an invdividual is immeasurable.
Thanks to all, I am retired. Gracias por todo, aquí termina una etapa de mi vida. Estoy oficialmente retirado. Hasta la victoria siempre.— Sergio Martínez (@maravillabox) June 14, 2015
"His decision to be an activist and campaign against bullying is just one example of how he has taken his celebrity and used it as a positive force to make the world a better place.
"We will be forever grateful to Sergio and his team for allowing HBO to chronicle his remarkable journey to the top of the sport."
Coppinger describes the fighter nicknamed "Maravilla" as a "sportsman" because he was always accommodating to the media and was known for his friendly and good-natured personality.
Martinez started boxing at the age of 20. He recorded his first pro fight in 1997 after 41 amateur bouts. He initially pursued an athletic career in cycling and didn't make his HBO debut until the age of 33 when he beat Alex Bunema by referee technical decision in 2008, per Coppinger.
He won the Lineal, WBC and The Ring middleweight titles when he beat Kelly Pavlik by unanimous decision in 2010. Since then, he was able to defend his titles six times until his loss to Cotto last year, per BoxingJunkie.com.
Martinez has been putting up with various injuries since he beat Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. by unanimous decision in 2012. Castillo says "Martinez was barely able to stand, due to existing knee injuries, in his loss to Cotto."
Five months after losing to Cotto, Martinez pondered on his future in boxing in an interview with Argentine sports show Sportia (via The Ring Magazine's Diego Morilla) :
"I would have to look into the situation, because I still have a life after boxing. I would have to evaluate the possible damages looking towards the future. I don't want to retire after losing a fight. I don't feel frustrated.
"Fights are won and lost, even though I was sure I was going to win, as always. If I feel that I can do it, I will come back. If not, I won't."
Coppinger says Martinez has a chance to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019, his first year of eligibility.
Martinez retires with a 51-3-2 record with 28 knockouts, per BoxingJunkie.com.
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