The 38-year-old Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) has been shelved since physically deteriorating in April against formidable Englishman Martin Murray.
Martinez, who controversially outscored the 31-year-old Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) by three counts of 115-112, suffered another right knee injury, broken left hand, and bad cut over his left eye during the bout.
As the mandatory challenger, veteran bruiser Marco Antonio Rubio had hoped to battle Martinez for The Ring and WBC middleweight belts in March or April.
Expect Rubio (58-6-1, 49 KOs) to instead meet Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the interim middleweight crown at some point in the spring.
Meanwhile, Martinez now seems destined to throw fists with Miguel Cotto.
In an utterly masterful showing, the 33-year-old Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) earned a third round TKO victory over Delvin Rodríguez on October 5 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
A four-time world titlist in three weight divisions, Cotto’s training with Freddie Roach and the duo focused on throwing more left hooks to the body versus the 33-year-old Rodríguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs).
Accordingly, the Puerto Rican icon landed 29 of his 55 blows to Rodriguez’s torso and dominated.
Still, despite manhandling Rodriguez, Cotto’s a bit shopworn and Martinez is graying and no longer the dominant force that won the 2010 “Fighter of the Year” award.