One professional boxer from the Bronx has already scored a ‘knockout’ win with fans and now hopes to achieve the same in an upcoming televised world championship event.
Steve ‘The Hitman’ Martinez, 24, holds a record which consists of 15 wins and one loss and a total of 12 knockouts.
He will fight the undefeated Chris Pearson, who possesses 11 wins and nine knockouts, on the undercard of Erislandy Lara vs. Ishe Smith broadcast live on Showtime in San Antonio, Texas. He will be going up against Pearson to earn the title of world champion in the middleweight division.
Born in Puerto Rico, Martinez and his family moved to the Bronx where they reside today between Southern Boulevard and 180th Street. During his middle school years, Martinez first discovered his passion for the sport.
“When I was in middle school, I had a lot of close friends of mine who liked to box and I decided to try it,” revealed Martinez. “My parents and family members were always into boxing and they’ve been very supportive of me and my dreams.”
At age 11, he began his training at the Webster Police Athletic League.
Throughout those years, Martinez participated in local and regional tournaments to better hone his craft.
By age 19, he officially became a professional boxer and possesses many credentials. He is a three-time Golden Gloves Champion for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 and became a Golden Glove National Champion in 2008.
Promoted by Star of David Promotions, Martinez has scaled into the top 30 category of nationally ranked boxers within the middleweight division.
His popularity has grown significantly since then and Martinez’s power punching style has allowed for his impressive knockout record.
Despite this, Martinez remains ever humble and as a result of his good hearted nature has garnered a lot of support from family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and many others.
“To tell you the truth, I feel really great especially as his father and as a sports fan,” expressed Luis Martinez, Sr. “It’s a honor to see my son doing well and seeing how dedicated he is to his training. Every time he fights, he always puts on a good show and respects his opponent. He’s very humble and he got that from me.”
“Steve has support from all of his family and friends and I feel great about him competing,” explained Beatrez Martinez, Steve’s mom. “He has everything to become successful and he has my support 100%.”
Martinez’s brother is an amateur boxer who began training at the same time as Steve, but admits he does not take it as seriously as his older sibling.
“It feels great knowing he will be competing professionally and it’s almost unbelievable,” expressed Luis.
“Steve is smart and very talented and I look up to him as my idol. Everybody loves and supports him and they should look out for him because he’s definitely a future champion in the making.” he added.
According to Marcos Suarez, Martinez’s boxing trainer, ‘The Hitman’ trains for two hours Monday through Saturday at the World Wide Boxing Gym at 3134 Jerome Avenue.
Suarez has been training Martinez since he was 11 years old and has seen his student mature in his fighting career.
“Steve is a great kid and is very respectful to everyone he meets,” divulged Suarez. “He loves to be with his family and he brings his son to the gym here to train; he’s a real family man.”
In addition, Martinez trains with Dave ‘Scooter’ Honig, his personal trainer and fitness consultant.
Honig has trained many notable clients including LL Cool J, Dmitriy Salita, and Leonardo DiCaprio among many others.
“He is very headstrong, eager, and always gives 350% in everything he does whenever you ask him to do it,” said Honig. “He’s a real gentleman because he takes time to speak with the children at the gym and he always says ‘thank you’ everyday before he leaves.”
“He has a lot of support from his family, especially his mother who attends all of his fights,” said Dmitriy Salita, Star of David Promotions founder. “I hope everyone tunes in to watch Steve because he is one of the best boxers that New York City has to offer.”