It was officially announced last week that WBC Middleweight Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (50-2-2, 28KO’s), who will be presented with his new belt this week at the WBC Convention in Cancun, will defend his title next against England’s undefeated interim WBA Middleweight Champion Martin Murray (25-0-1, 11KO’s) in Martinez’ home country of Argentina. In a historic move, the event was announced by the President of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, and will be held on April 27. The bout will be broadcast on HBO’s “World Championship Boxing”.
“I’m privileged and honored to take part in Argentinian history in the announcement of my homecoming fight in my homeland with President Cristina de Kirchner and I want to thank my fans for supporting me throughout my career and I promise to give them a show they will be proud of on April 27,” said Martinez.
“On April 27, the great Sergio Martinez will defend his title against a worthy challenger in front of fifty thousand adoring Argentinians. This will be a historic night for middleweight boxing and I am thrilled to be Sergio’s promoter and to be part of an event of this magnitude,” said promoter Lou DiBella.
“I am very honored to be a part of such a historic event,” said Martinez’ longtime advisor Sampson Lewkowicz. “This will be a very special night for me as this has been a dream and request of Sergio’s to be able to defend his championship in front of all of his adoring fans in Argentina, the country that loves him so much for a long time.”
Never in the history of the sport has the President of a country made the official announcement of a fight as is the case with Martinez’ upcoming bout. In addition to announcing the world championship bout, President Kirchner also revealed that the fight will be shown live on public TV Channel 7 in Argentina, allowing 40 million Argentinians to see their champion defend his title on free television.
The bout will be Martinez’ first in Argentina since February 2002, and his first since winning a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., which was shown live on HBO PPV on September 15. Martinez is, in fact, undefeated in Argentina, winning 24 of 25 bouts, with one draw later avenged, since turning pro in 1997. He will look to continue that streak against Murray on April 27.
The 30-year-old Murray, a native of the United Kingdom, is coming off a sixth-round TKO over previously undefeated Jorge Navarro on November 24. The lone blemish on Murray’s record is a split decision draw to longtime reigning WBA Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm.