On Saturday, October 1st, the #1 middleweight in the world, and top three pound-for-pound fighter, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO’s) puts his WBC Middleweight Diamond belt and Ring Championship on the line against European Champion, “Dazzling” Darren Barker (23-0, 14KO’s), at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The show, entitled “Noche de ‘Maravilla’: Martinez vs. Barker”, is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Sport, and Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. The show will be aired live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.
As much of a champion as he is inside the ring, for many, what Sergio does outside the ring is what makes him a true champion in their eyes. There might not be a better example of that, than his relationship with Monique McClain.
Sergio’s relationship with Monique was first brought to the public’s eye at the final press conference before his most recent fight against Sergiy Dzinziruk this past March. Before leaving the podium, Sergio stated, “This fight is for you Monique,” and invited the 13-year-old New Jersey native to join him on stage.
The companionship between the two started after Monique wrote a letter to Sergio, looking to the champ for advice. Monique was forced to leave her Middle School this past January because of relentless bullying by her classmates.
Upon learning of her situation, Sergio personally reached out to Monique, inviting her and her mother and grandmother to join him and his team for dinner before the press conference, and also providing them with V.I.P. seats to watch his eighth-round destruction of Dzinziruk.
Since that fight, their relationship has continued to grow, and, recently, Sergio invited Monique out to his training camp in Oxnard, CA, to spend a day to train with him.
“This past Saturday I had the opportunity to visit with my friend Monique and I was able to share an afternoon at the beach and at my boxing gym for a personal training session,” said Martinez. “It’s very important to have the support of her family but also just as important that she has mine. I hope she returns again, keeps improving, and that she keeps growing personally. She will always have my support and love.”
Monique also commented on her day with Sergio, and what it is like having the champion in her life.
“It was a blessing to be able to spend the day with Sergio,” said Monique. “Sergio has taught some very important things, mostly to stay strong, be brave and to just know that things will get better. Sergio is a wonderful person. Not many people, especially champion boxers, would reach out and help someone the way Sergio has with me. The WBC is also known for the slogan, ‘World Boxing Cares’, and there is no greater example of that than with Sergio.”
Monique, along with her family, will be on hand to witness Sergio defend his WBC Middleweight Diamond belt and Ring Championship against Darren Barker, on October 1st, in Atlantic City at Boardwalk Hall.
Tickets for “Noche de ‘Maravilla'” are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.