Fernando Martinez dedicates IBF world title to late father
MANILA, Philippines—New IBF super flyweight champion Fernando Martinez achieved not only his dream, but also his father’s wishes.
As an emotional Martinez wore the red-and-gold IBF strap he wrested from Jerwin Ancajas, the Argentinian couldn’t help but get emotional during the post-fight interview with Jim Gray at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Sunday (Manila time).
Martinez, who was in his first title fight, stunned Ancajas to take the unanimous decision victory and accomplish the dream ofhis late father Abel.–
“It hurts so much that my father’s not here in this great moment in my life but I know he oversaw this,” said Martinez via translator.
Abel, who was Martinez’s inspiration to take up boxing, was a lifelong fan of the sport but he died several months before his son represented Argentina in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
His father’s passing sent Martinez into a deep depression and was even pulled into a bout with alcoholism.
Martinez eventually got his life back together and joined Argentina’s team, the Condors, in the AIBA World Boxing Series.
Las Vegas then bore witness to Martinez’s biggest professional triumph so far.
“I’m just so happy for my corner and for all the people who helped me,” said Martinez. “This moment is very special not only for me but also for my mother, my children, and especially for my father.”
Martinez also thanked Ancajas for giving him the opportunity to challenge for the championship.
Ancajas wasn’t even supposed to fight Martinez but his unification bout against WBO champion Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo got cancelled after Japan closed its borders due to the spread of COVID-19.
“Thank you Jerwin for giving me the opportunity,” said Martinez.