Martinez searching for next opponent
Newly crowned middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is exploring his options, and former undisputed junior middleweight champ Winky Wright might be in his future.
Martinez won the middleweight championship via unanimous decision from Kelly Pavlik on April 17. Earlier this week, Pavlik declined to exercise his contractual option for an immediate rematch, leaving Martinez's promoter, Lou DiBella, to look for another bout.
In December, Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) lost a heavily debated majority decision to Paul Williams in one of the year's most exciting slugfests. But while both camps have said they are interested in a rematch, neither wants to do it next.
So DiBella told ESPN.com that he and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer are talking about a fall match with Wright, which they would hope to sell to HBO or Showtime.
"I have to pursue all possibilities for Sergio, and Richard and I have discussed both Winky Wright and Shane Mosley," said DiBella, adding that Wright was the one they discussed more seriously.
Schaefer, who also promotes Mosley, said he planned to meet with him next week to talk about his future. Mosley was soundly outpointed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight fight on May 1.
As for Wright facing Martinez, Schaefer said: "I talked to Lou. He's interested and I talked to Winky. He is ready, willing and able. I think it would be a very interesting fight. Do or die for Winky and big test for Martinez."
It's a fight Wright would like to have. He hasn't fought since a lopsided decision loss to Williams in April 2009, which came after a layoff of more than two years following his light heavyweight loss to Bernard Hopkins.
"I like Martinez. He has very good skills, a very smart fighter. That's the kind of fight I am looking forward to and to show why I was the undisputed junior middleweight champion," Wright told ESPN.com on Thursday.
Besides the middleweight belts Martinez owns, he also has a junior middleweight title. But he has not decided in which division he will defend. Boxing rules prohibit him from keeping both titles, so the division he decides to fight in will depend on the opponent.
"It all depends on my management and promoter and what they can bring to the table," Martinez said. "Whoever they bring, I will fight them. Either division would be OK."
DiBella said he and Schaefer did not discuss weight for a Wright or Mosley fight, but Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) said he would have to fight at middleweight.
If Martinez faced Mosley (46-6, 39 KOs), it would probably be at junior middleweight, where Mosley was once a unified titleholder before losing his belts to Wright in 2004.
"Martinez is a guy I would get up for, a guy I would be motivated to train hard for," Wright said. "I know I haven't fought for a while, but every time I go to the fights people ask me, 'When are you getting back into the ring?' I tell them there really hasn't been anyone to fight. I couldn't get a fight with Pavlik. Who else was there to fight? Martinez is the fight we're looking for. He really beat Paul and then he beat Pavlik.
"When I fought Paul Williams I was coming off an even longer layoff, more than two years. People gotta realize the position I was in. I didn't come back and pick and choose an easy opponent. Of course, I could fight and get three or four easy wins, but I want to fight the people that people think I will lose to. Williams was so tall and awkward. He was hard to fight, especially coming off a two-year layoff."
Wright said he and Schaefer have talked about Wright fighting tune-up type fights on undercards, but he said that does not appeal to him.
"I've been fighting almost 20 years and for me to really get up and fight on an undercard it ain't no challenge," Wright said. "The money is low and the stakes aren't high, so I am not driven to do it. In boxing you have to feel it. If I can't get a challenge there is no need to be in the sport. I need a good, tough opponent. Fighting just anyone ain't me.
"I talked to Richard and we're definitely going to do what we can do to get the Martinez fight. I don't see myself fighting too much longer unless we can come up with a good opponent. If I can't get a big fight, I will leave the game. I love boxing, but boxing is not all I want to do. I had a great career. I can say I ran from no one. There are not too many who can say that. I fought everyone. I hope I can get another good fight before I leave the game."
Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer.