“My wish for this year would be Floyd Mayweather first and Miguel Cotto second for Sergio Martinez. -Sampson Lewkowicz
Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez share something in common: Sampson Lewkowicz. He is the person responsible for bringing us these champions to the States and, in turn, helping them become superstars. Sampson is not a manager. He is a promoter, matchmaker, and advisor: responsible for finding talent across the globe and introducing them to the rest of the world.
He first arrived in the United States, from Uruguay, at the age of 20, and started his first job in housekeeping for IBM to now making historical fights fans can enjoy. Here are some of “Picasso’s” clients or past clients: Sergio Martinez, Gabriel Campillo, Isaac Hlatshwayo, Michael Katsidis, Chris John, Celestino Caballero, Marvin Sonsona, Simphiwe Nongqayi, Rafael Concepcion, Donnie Nietes and Lucas Matthysse.
Although he wears many hats, they all entail his number one passion: To create historical boxing matches.
MA: In your company 340 promotions you have a Coors light sponsorship how did this come about?
I have two companies: 340 promotions and Samson Boxing. I had a partnership on the island but I don’t know if it’s still our sponsor.
MA: What fights would you love to make for 2011?
I believe the most feasible one would be Miguel Cotto vs. Martinez. My wish for this year would be Floyd Mayweather first and Cotto second for Martinez.
MA: The internet has made boxing huge globally. Is it used to its fullest potential?
I believe it is the most positive way to promote boxing and is one of the reasons boxing will never die.
MA: HBO has offered some fighters “x” amount of money but the fighters ask for more so sometimes the fights don’t happen. Is that the reason some fights are not happening or is there more to it?
No, I believe there is more to it. Because the fighter never has the right at the end of the day to make his own decision, normally it’s being done by the management and the advisers. Boxers will fight everyone and most likely it is bad management or a bad advisor for the reason a fight didn’t happen.
MA: Do you feel that the UFC has taken away fans from boxing in the US?
Absolutely not! You will rarely see a boxing fan go and watch UFC…most likely it doesn’t happen. There is no technique. It’s not sweet science… its brutality.
MA: What is going through your mind as you are watching your fighter … fight?
For me, all my fighters are like my own child. So, when I had it easy like with Martinez against Paul Williams the second time, I couldn’t believe the victory because it was one of the easy ones for “Maravilla”. I expected it to be much worse. But I really cry inside for my boxer during a fight. My boxers are my children.
MA: Have you had a panic attack watching a fight?
I was really hurt … It was like almost having a heart attack. And it was against Kelly Pavlik. In fact, since I didn’t die then, I won’t die from watching again.
MA: What are your top passions?
Boxing! It is the sport that I love. To help young kids get out of the street…it brings a lot of joy to me … bringing those kids out of the street thanks to my work. I am very proud to be involved.
MA: Should legacy be the top priority for fighters?
Absolutely! And Martinez is making a legacy no one will forget: To be a boxer that never said no to any opponent.
MA: What’s next for Celestino Caballero?
He needs to go back to the gym to train and think about it. And most likely we saw that Las Vegas was not the right place to be. He beat himself…
MA: Have you spoken with him since his last fight?
No I haven’t.
MA: Thank you for giving RSR readers some of your time.
Thank you very much.