On November 20th, a booming punch would send Paul Williams, one of the top pound for pound fighters in the game and “the most avoided man in boxing” face first, planted in the canvas and out of the fight in the second round. Sergio Martinez avenged an earlier loss in style and sent a message to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather JR: There is another pound for pound best ready to challenge.
Immediately after the victory, Martinez, 46-2-2, 25 KO’s, made it clear that he wanted a high profile showdown, but his phone never rang. His style, athleticism, and natural feel for the game, added to his continued improvement make him a “must avoid” for the bigger names in the sport.
One big name that elected to take him on was then Middleweight Champion, Kelly “the Ghost” Pavlik, a winner of 36 out of 37 fights, and the naturally bigger man. Martinez would administer a beating to the larger fighter, easily taking the decision and titles to go with it. A follow up KO of Williams made one heck of a 2010 for the rising star.
This Saturday, the road doesn’t get any easier for Martinez as he faces off against undefeated Serhiy Dzinziruk, 37-0, 23 KO’s. He won the WBO Light Middleweight Title in 2005 and has defended it six times before making the move up to middleweight to take on Martinez for the vacant WBC Diamond Middleweight Title.
Dzinziruk is not a huge puncher but he can hit and the record of his last six combined opponents has been: 160 wins, 8 losses, and 2 draws. He is a champion and will not go into the Martinez fight trembling with fear. He is a very live dog in this Saturday’s fight.
Martinez must not look ahead to a showdown with a bigger name. He must focus on the task at hand and he should come out with a victory, although this is a very tough fight for him.
Andy Lee, 24-1, 18 KO’s, will be returning to the ring as well this Saturday night against Craig McEwan, 19-0, 10 KO’s. The only defeat was to Brian Vera, a man that specializes in the upset. Most recently, Vera took a decision from top contender Sergio Mora, and most believe that Lee took him lightly when he was stopped in 7 and learned a great deal from the experience.
Since that fight, Lee has gone 9-0 with 6 KO’s, and is back on track to be a legitimate contender. McEwan hopes to spoil the winning streak and remain undefeated.
McEwan did defeat Brian Vera via UD over ten rounds in 2009, but the opponents he has beaten overall have not turned a lot of heads. He is taking a huge step up with Lee and we will see what he brings to the game this Saturday night.