Sergio Martinez, slated to fight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. on Saturday, Sept. 15 on HBO, has fought to maintain a positive persona. He's involved in numerous charitiies and causes and even competed in a TV dance competition in his home country of Argentina. Martinez explains how he has found success as a world-class fighter without falling victim to the negativity sometimes associated with boxing.
Martinez on becoming a world-class fighter
I believe that as a professional athlete in the public eye, it is my duty to be the voice to the individuals and groups that cannot be heard. This is very close to my heart and that is why I devote my time to many causes to bring awareness to these issues. I would agree that you do not have to act with a negative demeanor or a thuggish attitude in order to be a world-class fighter. In the end the people that you are trying to impress with that attitude will not be there to help you once your career is over.
What is important is dedicating yourself to your profession and acting like a professional and with hard work and a good, clean lifestyle you can possibly be a world-class fighter. In my whole life, I have never drank alcohol or smoked tobacco, always ate healthy, and always stayed active. I believe this is physically the recipe to being a world-class fighter. But it is also a mental challenge to get to that level. You have to be prepared mentally and if you have some of the nuisances that come along with a thuggish persona, then it will be very difficult to reach that level of being a world-class fighter.
The up-and-coming fighters that will be on the world stage have to be cognizant that once you are in the public eye and have a public forum, that it is a great opportunity to give a voice and recognition to those that are less fortunate and bring awareness to social issues that normally wouldn't get the attention. My goal is to bring awareness to end bullying in schools and end domestic violence against women. I believe with the platform I have I could help out.
2 Days: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. & Face Off With Max Kellerman: Chavez Jr./Martinez debuts back-to-back Sat., August 25 at 12:30am ET/PT and 12:45am ET/PT, respectively, on HBO.
Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez takes place Sat., Sept. 15 live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT.