On a wall of the Fabián de Puigcerdà restaurant, on the border with France, a story is hidden. It is evident that its owner, Fabian Martinis a pizza maker and has amassed recognition in the sector: he had three restaurants with his name in Barcelona, won the Campionato Mondiale della Pizza in Naples – the first non-Italian to do so -, cooked on television programs such as Espejo Público and Masterchef, wrote a recipe book… But on one side, a portrait of him with a glove reveals a hidden story and, when he appears, still with flour in his hands, he confirms it: “I was a boxer, but I have never been interviewed for that.”
“After the 1992 Barcelona Games I joined the Spanish team. We were coming off the success of Faustino KingsI was a partner of Rafa LozanoWe were a great generation. We lived in La Blume and then in the CAR in Sant Cugat, which was recently completed. I wanted to be an Olympian, I wanted to be a professional. Until the accident.”
Fabián Martín, a renowned pizza maker, was, in fact, one of the best amateur boxers of the 90s, with 35 wins, five losses and eight defeats in 48 fights, until in 1996, heading to the Barcelona airport to fly to Denmark , where a European Championship was going to take place, a car ran over him and ended his race. He was, along with Lozano, the Spaniard best placed to fight for a medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games. But he never returned to the ring. “I was in the hospital for eight months, eight months! I was 25 years old and when I was discharged I returned to training, but mentally it was very complicated. I no longer had a future in boxing. I started working as a nightclub doorman and as a delivery boy. of pizzas and, years later, when I received the compensation money, I opened my own pizzeria,” he recalls in a biography that seems simple, but it is not.
The newspaper archive shows a triumphant Martín after a victory against Pedro Tudela at the Studio 54 nightclub in Barcelona and accuses him of having bitten a rival in Marseille.
“That anecdote is very good. I would say it was in 1990 or 1991. He called me Jean Pierre Di Stefano, French coach, to participate in a match there and, as I knew him and he was well paid, I accepted. They put me in a gym in the north, in the Zidane neighborhood, with the entire public against me and when I got to the locker room I discovered that my rival weighed 10 kilos more than me, that he had much more experience… A trap. He was very calm and I was attacked. We start the first assault and the guy starts hitting me, beating me, it leaves me warm. In the second round, the same. And, in the third, he was so sure that he let my guard down, I hit him and he fell flat. There the combat changed. In the end, in the last round, we hooked up, I punched him, he went back and I knocked him out. When he woke up, he showed the mark to the referee, they disqualified me and there was a… Ugh! The police had to escort me out of there and onto the highway. And I, dressed as a boxer, scared, didn’t stop until Narbonne. Boom, boom… I almost made it home with the gloves on.”