Sunday, March 18, 2012

How good is Sergio Martinez really?

It's been a busy weekend. Friday night while there was a live Bellator MMA card on MTV2, I admit I caught no part of it and it was by choice. That is because I was too busy watching my hometown Lehigh Mountain Hawks live the dream and shock the world as they beat powerhouse Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday night I was committed to D.J. a party, thus I had to miss the WBC middleweight championship fight in boxing; the fight featured champ Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO's) defending his title against challenger Matthew 'Mack the Knife' Macklin (28-4, 19 KO's). Luckily, the fight was on HBO, so I was able to get up early and catch the Sunday morning replay. The fight was entertaining, but left me asking the question, how good is Sergio Martinez really?

Martinez ended up defending his belt by knocking down Macklin twice at the end of the 11th round, hurting him to the point that Macklin's trainer Buddy McGirt told the ref to stop the fight. However, what took him so long? That comment is not meant as a slight to Macklin, who fought a good fight and probably led on the scorecards after the seventh round when he registered a knockdown of his own. Yet, it appeared that knockdown is what finally awoke Martinez and made him realize he's rated the number three pound for pound fighter in the world.

My point is, when you are considered and talked about in the same breath as the Floyd Mayweathers and Manny Pacquiaos of the boxing world, you are not supposed to go 11 rounds with a fighter that's not in that class. Sure Macklin is a tough fighter with a nice record, but before Martinez his resume consisted of two notable names; journeyman Felix Sturm of Germany last August and a way past his prime Yori Boy Campos in 2008. The rest of it is made up of virtual unknowns he fought primarily in Europe.

Martinez meanwhile has made his name demolishing guys like Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik when these were the young stars to beware of. Also, the only blemishes on his record are all in question. His two losses were a disputed decision to Williams, which he avenged in grand fashion and a TKO loss to Antonio Margarito 12 years ago; considering what we now know about Margarito's past that speaks for itself. As for the draws, the one against Kermit Cintron in 2009 is universally recognized as highway robbery and the other was in his third fight as a pro.

Martinez's qualifications are clear and his boxing skill is evidently superior, yet after last night's performance I was left wondering if at 37 years old he's just content to finally be in the limelight. He seems to be a fighter who fights at the level of his opponent and last night before he turned up the volume, he was caught more than once by a fighter that was nowhere near his level. Therefore, instead of worrying about making fights with names such as Mayweather and Pacquaio, which are way too small in size for you anyway, continue to demolish middleweights put in front of you and show us how good you really are.

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