Madrid, 15 July (EFE). – “If I’m born again I will fight again and be a boxer.” Such is the clarity of Juan Martos, “La Avispa” (Castellbell y Vilar, Barcelona, 1979), a true legend of contact sports. In his 23-year career, he won six Spanish kickboxing championships and two WKA (World Kickboxing Association) world titles in K1 and Muay Thai.
A few days ago, he achieved another feat within reach of very few in a very ruthless sport: fighting his 100th fight, and that was in Canoville in Barcelona against Congolese Cedric da Silva. The result is null.
“I dealt him the best blows,” says Martos, whose centenary is summed up in 65 victories, 5 voids and 30 defeats.
“Friction sport in Spain does not give much. In a good fight, with many sponsors, you still earn about a thousand euros, which is too small to be able to live,” admits the Catalan athlete, father of three and a welder by profession.
“I work every day, sometimes even ten hours, and combine it with sports as best I can. In Spain, if we get TV support and give the importance we deserve, we’ll earn more money. I order them, for the sake of dignity. Because in our sport we go out to break our faces”, as Indicates.
“I don’t remember well but the most I managed to collect for the world championship would be around two thousand euros,” he confirms.
So, what is the motivation to continue for so many years in the gap of these sports disciplines? Martos is clear on this: “I love contact sports. It’s a lifestyle for me. I enjoy fighting, plus people look at you, are grateful and fill your ego. He’s back to be born and be a boxer.”
Martos started his sports adventure in 1998, in his army days. “At first the family told me I was crazy but my mother sees it well. My father does not. My father loves football and Real Madrid, he played for many years and also practiced cycling,” he admits.
It has nothing to do with fighting in the ring, in the match, doing it on a daily basis, in normal life. “I’m not a man who gets into trouble, and I don’t like taking advantage of anyone.”
“I can’t handle violations, neither to one side nor to the other. I love fighting because the lifestyle I’ve always led,” says Martos, realizing that to be in the elite contact sports you have to follow a strict workout routine. .
“I handle it very well, I’m very consistent, which is something the vast majority of people don’t. Because of my stubbornness, I like to train and like to dedicate myself to this in a serious way. I can camp with kids but also think about taking care of myself to lead a healthy life. When I don’t train, I lose something,” he says.
As a reference he cites Dutchman Ramon Deckers, Spaniard Cesar Cordoba (double world kickboxing champion) and Juanito Garcia or intercontinental champion Javier Hernandez, “El tigre de Villarrubia”.
After a long career as a fighter, as he likes to introduce himself, the end is beginning to come. “I’m looking forward to fighting in Manchester and doing another fight, but it won’t be much.”
“My children are 13, 7 and 3 years old and I want to see them. Everything they don’t have now and you are missing,” he asserts.
With his coach, Manuel García Barrio, “Lulu”, and with his manager, Antonio Ricobaldi, CEO of promoter Unlimited Global Challengers, he is very comfortable.
“Antonio behaves very well and treats me great. He is my best coach and that helps me a lot,” he admitted of one of the most relevant names in the world of boxing and combat sports.
“This world has changed a lot. Now they are much better than when I started, as there were no lights and everything was precarious. However, we are light years away from other countries. In Europe the Netherlands organizes big events, they charge Good bags, and I’m clear that if I were born in the United States I’d be a billionaire.”
Martos fought in many countries. Lithuania, France, Georgia and Thailand. Once upon a time, he was about to go to Japan, even. “I almost fulfilled all of my dreams,” he says. “I only have one left, because I’d like to charge a character for a fight.”
Picture of Natalia Arriaga