There are losses that sting, ones that stay on you like skunk juice, that lodge into your psyche and chip away as you lay head to pillow. Fighters feel those in the head and heart, because a career changer L signals that the end of a life's love is near, that soon a new vocational track will need to be selected. And then there are losses like the one Steven Martinez experienced on August 27 on a PBC card, against Terrell Gausha.
That junior middleweight tango went ten rounds, and the bigger name, the ex Olympian Gausha, now 19-0, had his hand raised. Not all agreed with the arbiters' call, recorded as a majority decision. For sure, Martinez and his promoter, Dmitriy Salita, think the New Yorker deserved to snag his 17th win. Instead, he's 16-3, and looks to get back in the win column on Oct. 28 versus Jeremy Ramos, who sports a 9-4 mark.
Salita told us about the recent loss, which he thinks will help his guy in the long run. “I feel Steve Martinez won his fight with Gausha but regardless of the outcome I know that Steve is going to become a better fighter as a result of this experience,” said Salita, a Brooklyn resident. “Steve is a young fighter and learning, getting better with each fight. Steve is staying busy and getting back in the ring. I feel Steve has world championship potential and he will be back on the big stage again very soon!”
Martinez concurs with the promoter. “I felt I pulled the fight against Gausha out,” the 26 year old told me. “I had the fight won already by the seventh round. I didn't feel I KNOW I pulled the fight out, because it was not my town, card, promotion etc…no excuses but that is the politics of the boxing game.”
That nagging element can be more of a career killer than a KO loss, because it can sap resolve. That happens two or three times and a guy can start feeling like it is all futile. Therefore, a win Oct. 28, so mild frustration doesn't harden into soul sapping cynicism, is almost necessary for Martinez.
Ray Robinson headlines that show at SugarHouse Casino in Philly, where Martinez seeks to get back on the W track.