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Martinez Staying Ready



By Michael Woods

His birthday was Feb. 22, and yes, junior middleweight Steve Martinez ate some cake.

No worries, he’s been in the gym, staying ready in case an opportunity pops up out of nowhere.

The kid from the Bronx is coming off his career-best win, stopping Jorge Melenedez in December, in round 2.

His promoter, Dmitriy Salita, knows the 26 year old Martinez has pop in both hands and a fan friendly style. He’s working on getting him another marquee fight, maybe even bigger than the Melendez opp.

Yeah, he deserved bites of cake, which was baked by fiancée Melissa. But he only had a few bites and he didn’t take a day off from the gym. That comes with the territory of being at the level he’s at. He gets it, doesn’t fight it. “It’s the sacrifice you need to make in the game to make it to the top, plus the obstacles you face on the daily,” Martinez said to NYFIGHTS.

The support of his gal pal figures hugely on his being able to continue to follow his dream path. The 16-2 (13 KOs) hitter says she is always in his corner, doesn’t ever get negative on the roller coaster nature of being a pro boxer. “No, not at all, she actually is my positive when I’m negative, she is definitely a supporter, since I was an amateur.”

I checked in with promoter Salita, see what birthday well wishes he had for Martinez.

“I wish Steve the ability to get top fights against current world champions and top contenders, including Gabe Rosado, and WBA interim champ Jack Culcay, where Steve is currently ranked No. 15. Also, I wish for him the consistency to be able to reach his potential of being a top contender in the division. And of course joy and happiness in his personal life so he can continue to be a role model in his community as a father, husband, working man and as a world class athlete.”

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.