By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Martinez wins decisively
By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: March 20, 2012
IOWA CITY, IOWA—(BASN) Madison Square Garden was once the mecca of boxing but today, it is one of many venues where boxing matches occur and happens but can anyone truly say there is the Mecca of boxing today? The answer today is no for while Las Vegas has replaced the Garden as a place where big fights happen in the United States, the heavyweight divisions biggest fights over the past decade have happened over in Germany where Klitschko’s made their home. The last time a big heavyweight fight occurred in the United States, where the world care was Lewis versus Vitali Klitschko but after that; nada.
Sergio Martinez brought his show to the Garden and put his Middleweight championship on line on Saint Patrick against the rugged Matthew Macklin. In a place where many of great middleweights have fought, Martinez brought his unique skills to the garden. Martinez came into the boxing world late and depended upon his athletic skills to get by but as he got more experience, he developed improved boxing skills to go with his hand and foot speed. Even at 37, he still had the speed but against Macklin; he was facing a tough fighter who grinded out victories.
Before the major event, slicking boxing Edwin Rodriguez faced the big bombing Donovan George and Rodriguez gave George a boxing lesson. Throughout the fight, Rodriguez moved and jab while setting up some slick combinations. George was never in the fight as he was easily outpointed even though he managed to win four rounds on one judges’ card.
Russian heavyweight prospect Magomded Abdusalamov pounded another undefeated heavyweight Jason Pettaway. Pettaway started fast but after the first minute, it was self-evident that he was not in Magomded Abdusalamov’s league as every time, Abdusalamov hit Pettaway, Pettaway winced. In the fourth round, a straight left from Abdusalamov sent Pettaway down and out.
As for main event, Macklin put the pressure on Martinez and while Martinez hand speed was quicker, there were times that Macklin right hand connected. In the early rounds, Macklin kept the fight close as he even managed to land flurries as in the fifth round as he scored with series of punches over the last thirty seconds and at the end of the seventh round, a Macklin right sent Martinez down for a flash knockdown. With five rounds left, this fight proved competitive but the flash knockdown inspired Martinez to take his game to another level.
From the eighth round, Martinez straight left found a home and Macklin attack became less efficient. A Martinez straight left stun Macklin halfway through the round and his combination became sharper in the tenth as Macklin essentially quick moving forward.
The eleventh began as the tenth ended with Martinez attacking and Macklin occasionally trying to move forward only to be forced in retreat. With seconds running out, a Martinez straight left sent Macklin flopping down. Macklin managed to beat the count but another Martinez sent Macklin down one more time. Macklin managed to get up and as time ran out, he wobbled back to his corner.
The fight ended when Macklin’ s corner ended the fight when they decided their fighter had enough. Martinez showed himself to be the best middleweight in the world and at the age of 37, he still has the speed and foot movement to beat any other middleweight.
Martinez now wants a big money fight with Chavez, Jr. but the real question is whether Team Chavez would risk a fight with Martinez now or wait until they feel he has aged enough to slow down. As for Martinez, one has to ask how great he would have been if he had picked up boxing earlier than 20 years- old. Martinez came into boxing as a super athlete and his speed allows him to be an unorthodox technician and get away with tactics that would get other boxer killed. His instinct and athletic ability has allowed him to progress this far and now he is adding better technical skills to make him a more all-around fighter.