How Fernando ‘Puma’ Martínez, the 1000-punch boxer, is preparing for the first defense of his world crown

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The expectations of Argentine boxing rest on Fernando Martínez’s 52 kilos on days when there aren’t many celebrations outside the borders. The only man born in these lands who wears a crown in the world (there are seven women champions) will show for the first time his IBF super fly title this Saturday in Carson (California) against Filipina Jerwin Ancajas in the rematch of the duel that saw protagonist in February. The evening can be watched on ESPN 2 from 11pm.

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Much has been reconfigured over the past seven months Puma, born 31 years ago in La Boca and based in Avellaneda. Not only because the victory against Ancajas gave him a belt and an economic capital, but also because it placed him in a highly visible place in a category where there is no shortage of figures: the Texan Jesse bam Rodríguez, the Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada, the Nicaraguan Román Chocolate Gonzalez, the Japanese Kazuto Ioka. Two hundred and twenty-four days after that night in which he was amazing and surprised in Las Vegas, the time has come for the ratification and the definitive leap.

That unforgettable February 26 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic representative, with impeccable physical preparation and a very well elaborated and executed battle plan, subjected his rival to unbearable pressures, with an unusual volume of shots: He launched 1046 and landed 427 over the 12 action rounds, a record 115 pounds since the Compubox platform held that record. Thus, he neutralized a taller opponent with greater reach and ended up comfortably prevailing by points (two cards favored him 118-110 and the third, 117-111). He had a near perfect fight and he made it.

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Now, without the element of surprise as an ally and starting as a favorite, he will have to repeat a stellar performance in his fourth appearance outside the country, this time in the ring set up in the tennis stadium of the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, where he would later have two others. world titles up for grabs: the undefeated American sebastiano fundora will present the interim WBC super welterweight against the Mexican Carlos Ocampowhile the Dominican Carlo Adams and the Mexican Juan Macia Montiel they will clash with the median interim of the same body, which is vacant.

For this attempt to extend his professional unbeaten run (he won all 14 matches, eight before the limit), Martínez did all his training close to his loved ones: he divided the training between the Dock Sud Renunciation club and the historic barracks of the Volunteer Fire Brigade. from La Boca; where he fought with the Venezuelan Michell Banquez and the Puerto Rican Carlos Caraballo, under the direction of his coach Rodrigo Calabrese, and with the constant contribution of his gym partner Agustín Gauto. Only on Monday he arrived in Los Angeles with the Calabrian, Dr. Walter Quintero and Gustavo Sink Gómez Maidana, matchmaker of Chino Maidana Promotions, the company that has been managing his career since April 2021.

Let’s have a real war again. I am very well prepared and 100% to show everything I know. I take this fight with much more responsibility because I was also the only Argentine champion. I have my feet on the ground and I know that I have to give my all to bring Argentina to the top. It will cost, but I will do it successfully, “he said. Pumahugging her belt, at Thursday’s press conference.

If this competition presents itself for Martínez as an opportunity for ratification, for Ancajas it will be the possibility of redemption after an opaque work and a setback that ended his reign of five and a half years, in which he made nine winning defenses, already undefeated for a decade (he had only lost against compatriot Mark Anthony Geraldo in March 2012). It will also be an opportunity for Filipino boxing, with Manny Pacquiao already out of the ring, to have a world champion back: for the first time in 15 years his budget was reduced to zero in July, when Mark Magsayo lost weight. World Boxing Council featherweight title with Mexican Rey Vargas.

The first challenge for cute guy, 30 years old, will arrive in better physical condition: before the first duel he had to push himself to the limit to win the challenge of the scales, to the point of having to lose a kilo and a half on the same day as the weight in. Unable to recover and rehydrate adequately, he paid the bill with the consortium. “My body has betrayed me. I could see his shots, I knew they were coming, but I couldn’t react, “he later argued.

That misstep made him think he would move up to the bantamweight division. However, he, his coach, Joven Jiménez and Manny Pacquiao Promotions team have decided to stay at 115 pounds and to enforce the rematch clause that was set out in the first match contract. In this preparation, the Panabo City-born southpaw worked for two months with a nutritionist, Bianca Estrella, and a consultant from the Philippine Sports Commission.

“That time my physical condition was not good. I couldn’t move well in the ring because my legs were cramping me in the second round so I had to go on tiptoe with him. This time we work hard to get the belt back, ”said the Filipino this Thursday, who arrives at this rematch with a record of 33 wins (22 before the limit), 2 draws and 2 defeats.

Source: Clarin

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