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Sergio Martinez ‘cannot fight by March’ and Rubio will scrap in the spring

World Boxing Council mouthpiece Mauricio Sulaiman on Friday acknowledged that Sergio Martinez “cannot fight by March” and confirmed Marco Antonio Rubio’s next opponent.

Miguel Cotto versus Sergio Martinez could be an epic battle.

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, the 33-year-old Rubio (58-6-1, 49 KOs) had hoped to battle Martinez for The Ring and WBC middleweight belts in March or April.

Instead, Rubio will face with Domenico Spada for the interim WBC crown at some point this spring.

“Rubio versus Spada will be for the interim title due to the fact that Martinez cannot fight by March,” Sulaiman told World Boxing News. “If any other fight is scheduled before then, the WBC board of governors would then proceed to vote and make a ruling on that fight.”

Meanwhile, Martinez seems destined to throw fists with Miguel Cotto on June 7.

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 overwhelming force that won the 2010 “Fighter of the Year” award.

Regardless, forgetting about “Rubio versus Spada,” Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez are both future Hall of Famers and the two would give deserving boxing fans a memorable evening.

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