Ricardo Martínez (18-0, 10 KO) is one of the most promising light heavyweight prospects in Mexican boxing.
At 26 years old, the young man of Jalisco, is preparing to make the jump to important fights. Fortuitously, he is one of the most active boxers, who has been able to be in this ring in 2020. We spoke with him to find out his history and his possibilities of him reaching the elite.
Hi. How are you, Ricardo?
Hello, all good, we are resting after the fight two weeks ago and preparing for the next fight.
Tell us how your love of boxing grew and how you started training as well as competing.
My father was a boxer, and since I was little, I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I have always thought of being a world champion, since I was a child. Also, I liked boxing itself, I asked him to train me, then go professional and try to do something in boxing.
Could you tell us how your amateur career went, especially your best moments?
I never lost as an amateur. I had 30 fights and won all of them, and from there, they called us from Canelo Promotions and it was with them that we made the move to professionals.
Few boxers can say that they go into pro boxing with undefeated records. Were those thirty fights within your area or are there any major results?
We won regional championships. We were going to the national Olympiad and when we thought about competing for the gold medal, the opportunities to be professional came. Furthermore, in the national championship there were some things that we did not like, because they forced us to train with their team, with a Cuban coach. And I already had my coach, and I didn’t fit in very well with the style of his coach. All in all, we already left these state Olympics for another path that we took.
In any case, and knowing that you went to professionals when you were 18 years old, despite those vicissitudes, thirty don’t seem like many amateur matches, right?
I had the first fight when I was twelve years old, after a little bit of previous training. The problem we had is that here, in Tijuana, in many tournaments there were no big boxers, so I went week after week and couldn’t find anyone to be able to compete against. That was what kept me from having more fights, of course. As is usual in Mexican boxers, I became pro with just 18 years of age.
You told us that Canelo Promotions called you. Could you tell us how you felt?
For me, debuting as professional was the best. As a child I saw Canelo fight and since then they looked for me to become a professional it was very special. When they told me the possibilities on debuting. I thought it was nothing better than working for a boxer that I admired.
It was a dream for me, I didn’t even believe it. I even thought someone was playing with me when they called me, but I debuted with them and had Chepo Reynoso, Canelo’s own manager, in the corner in my first fight.
For so many years as a professional, you may not have been as active as you would have liked. There are years, like 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019 when you only have one fight. Why has your career developed in this intermittent way?
Unfortunately, here in Tijuana there are hardly any boxers of my weight, and that is why we have stopped fighting in some moments, but we have always been active in training. For this matter, we have done all the fights this year in Guadalajara, because there were rivals there.
What explanation does this have, that in some states of Mexico there are heavier boxers and in others they are so scarce?
I think that most of the boxers who are here in Tijuana go to the United States to fight, they prefer to fight there than in Mexico. Right now I do not have my visa, and that is why I have not gone to fight in the United States, but I think that next year I will be able to have great fights there. My work permit is already being processed.
While for most fighters 2020 has been a lost year or with very little activity, you have had no less than four fights. How have you managed?
My team and I wanted to have a big fight at the end of December, but because of everything that happened. We decided that we had to be active for the great things to come in 2021. That’s why we had so many fights, while also continuing to train for if they called us for something bigger with only 2-3 weeks of margin.
What plans do you have to reach the top?
My dream is to be a world champion, but you have to be prepared for anything that comes along and hopefully everything will be happening soon, that’s why I was telling you that we have always tried to be ready.
We want to do things well and on time. The day I go to fight in the United States, I want to be ready; I don’t want to be like many Mexicans who go there to lose. The moment I go, I want to be prepared to beat whatever rival they put me against.
Yes, the idea is to win and develop with my team to have better fights until the world championship comes. I’m not going to fight just for money, that’s not my thing; Luckily, I currently have no problems in that matter and I have the basics to live, so what will motivate me in my career will be the World title, above all else.
Speaking of money, your contractual status, what is it? Are you still with Canelo Promotions people managing your career or are you open to anything?
Right now, we are working on our own. It seems that next year something important will come, but we are not 100% sure. But no, we don’t have any promoter. It is just my coach (and my dad) Miguel Martínez and Fernando García, who gets me the fights.
With Canelo Promotions I debuted and had two fights, and then I started working on my own, and Canelo didn’t have events anymore. In the future, we do not rule out going back to being with them if it becomes necessary, because I continue having a good friendship with them.
Tell us a little about your boxing style. Are you from the typical Mexican school?
When I started fighting, that was my style, but over time and Chepo Reynoso always told me (and I appreciate it very much) “my son, take care of yourself, dodge blows”, and then I already tried not to receive punishment to lengthen the course and heading into the big fights. Now I go a little more looking for the counterattack, for the rival does not reach us.
That’s why I remember so much when Chepo told me that I had to move my waist and that kind of work. I think it has been good for my development, because in the last fights we have clearly won without being beaten.
What references, past or current, do you have in the world of boxing?
I would like to fight Bivol, because for me he is the toughest boxer, and if I beat him I would be the best. I think it suits my style, it could fit well. But everything will be at the right time. I hope it could happen in 2021. For now I will try to fight in January to enter a ranking, for now I am number one in light heavyweight in Mexico, and I will look for something more striking internationally.
Do you know anything about Spanish boxing?
I really like Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez fights in his great moments that he had against Kelly Pavlik, against Cyntron, against Chávez Jr … I followed his career, for me he is a reference and the circumstances of the fight against Cotto. He showed a lot of heart, enduring so many rounds bravely and never cracked.
Yes you are aware of his return, then.
Of course I do, I admire him a lot and wish him all the best, I hope he will be world champion again.
We would like you to say goodbye with a message to the Spanish fans, always very aware of the Mexican fighters for everything we share. All yours at the end of the interview … and good luck in the future.