As an amateur, Steven Martinez won the New York Golden Gloves tournament three times, as well as becoming a National Golden Gloves champion in 2008. However, despite his success, Martinez believes his style was never conducive to the amateur game and his impressive results at that level will be trumped by what he is capable of as a pro.
“In the amateurs, I didn’t have an amateur style,” said Martinez. “I was an amateur champion, but I fight better as a pro.”
After winning his third New York Golden Gloves title in April 2009, Martinez turned professional as a junior middleweight, on August 27 of that year, with a first-round knockout, at the 2:15 mark, over Keith Collins at Schuetzen Park, in North Bergen, New Jersey. Over the next 11 months, Martinez won another four bouts, all by knockout. Impressed with what they saw, DiBella Entertainment then signed Martinez to a promotional contract.
Along with having a powerful promotional force now backing his career, Martinez is aligned managerially with a pair of heavy hitters, both figuratively and literally. Martinez is co-managed by well-known Jersey powerbroker Pat Lynch, along with star running back from the New York Giants, Brandon Jacobs.
“Steven knows what hard work means. He knows it takes hard work to be a champion in boxing, just like in my business,” said Jacobs. “Even when he doesn’t have anything lined up, he is in the gym working hard.”
“Brandon and I are extremely happy that we were able to sign Steven with DiBella Entertainment,” said Lynch. “Lou is a world class promoter, and we think we are going to get where we need to be. We are going to get Steven to a world title.”
Now signed with DiBella Entertainment, President Lou DiBella sees a future champion ready to make his mark in the northeast and beyond.
“Steven is a can’t-miss prospect, who is mature beyond his years both inside and outside the ring,” said DiBella. “He already has a solid team backing him, and with my company in his corner, his potential is great.”
Martinez’ maturity and poise in and out of the ring can be attributed to his having a son born in 2007.
“I have a family and that’s what keeps me hungry,” said Martinez. “The motivation is that I want to make it and be able to feed and clothe my son, for him to have a better lifestyle growing up than me when I was a kid growing up. Having a child changed my whole life.”
Now under the DiBella banner, Martinez fought his next three bouts at BB King Blues Club, in Manhattan, New York, as part of DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing series, scoring two first-round knockouts and going the six-round distance for the first time. On October 6, 2010, and February 9, 2011, Martinez stopped Cheyenne Ziegler and Ishwar Amador, respectively. Sandwiched in between, Martinez was taken the full route by the tough David Lopez, in his first bout scheduled for six rounds, on his way to winning a unanimous decision.
After winning a four-round decision over Eric Marriot, on April 2, 2011, at Bally’s, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Martinez fought two months later as part of a show in celebration of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, at Roseland Ballroom, in Manhattan. On June 10, Martinez scored an impressive third-round stoppage over Brad Jackson, at the 0:55 mark. Jackson had been down twice in round two.
On October 1, Martinez fought on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker middleweight championship bout, at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City. Benefiting from having participated in Sergio’s training camp, in Oxnard, California, Martinez demolished the brash Jay Krupp inside five frames.
Martinez began 2012 competing in his first eight-round bout against the 13-1 Denis Douglin, on January 6, at Mallory Square, in Key West, FL. It was a closely contested battle with Martinez having the edge in power, while Douglin kept on his toes, controlling the distance and boxing well. After eight rounds, Martinez outlanded Douglin 195-152, and threw 160 more punches. However, the judges, all of whom scored the bout 77-75, awarded Douglin the victory via split decision. The bout was televised on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”.
Following the Douglin fight, Martinez spent the remainder of 2012 rebounding from his loss. On April 20, Martinez stopped Marcus Thompkins in two rounds, at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, in Biloxi, MS. Six months later, Martinez traveled to Guayama, Puerto Rico, to earn a unanimous six-round decision over the 5-0 Edgar Perez, at Coliseo Roque Nido Stella, on October 26.
With his vaunted punching power and ability to take out opponents when he has them hurt, Martinez is quickly becoming a fan favorite.