Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Art Pelullo, Dmitry Pirog‘s promoter, has claimed that no representative from Sergio Martinez has been in touch regarding a world title fight with his ward – the incumbent of the WBO championship – despite his own attempts to match Pirog with Martinez for over nine months. Martinez will instead box Darren Barker, England’s undefeated European champion who has little experience at world level.
Banner Promotions president Art Pelullo said to Boxing Scene: “I understand that Sergio Martinez is going to be fighting Darren Barker on October 1. I have known Lou DiBella, Martinez’s promoter, for over 20 years and we are personal friends. I have been in the fight business for over 25 years and I know how the business works. The Martinez camp never spoke to me about Dmitry Pirog.”
DiBella recently explained that Barker (23-0-0, 14ko) was the best available opponent for Martinez (47-2-2, 26ko) as he was denied the chance to match the slick Argentine with Paul Williams, Felix Sturm, Daniel Geale and Andy Lee, as previously reported by On The Beak here.
However, Pelullo stated that even though he wanted Pirog (18-0-0, 14ko) to box Martinez, he had not fielded any calls from DiBella. He said: “Clearly, they have no interest in the fight because it is a very dangerous fight for Martinez.
“I have been trying to make the Martinez fight for over nine months. I have talked to Lou, I have talked to Kery Davis [vice president of programming at HBO], and I sent several emails to Ross Greenburg [president of HBO Sports] and Kery Davis about the fight.
“Dmitry is one of the top three middleweights in the world and had a spectacular knockout victory over Danny Jacobs last July to win the WBO middleweight world title.
“It seems like he’s being punished for winning. I have consistently told HBO over the last 11 months that Dmitry is ready, willing and able right now to fight anybody – including Sergio Martinez. We are quite sincere. Dmitry wants to come to America and fight the best fighters in the world.”