Posts Tagged ‘Sergio Martinez’

Experts’ predictions for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (left) looks to score the signature win of his young career Saturday against Sergio Martinez in a middleweight championship fight. (AP)

SI.com’s boxing experts predict Saturday’s middleweight title fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez (9 p.m. ET, HBO PPV). Share your prediction in the comments below.

CHRIS MANNIX

A year ago this fight was a mismatch, back when Martinez was peaking and Chavez was still learning the craft. Yet time has slowed the 37-year-old Martinez — the early success of Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin in Martinez’s last two fights attests to that — while Chavez has grown into his 6-foot frame and, with the help of Freddie Roach, into his natural skill.

That preamble is to illustrate why this will be a closer fight than if it took place a year ago; but the outcome will be the same. Martinez has been victimized by slow starts lately but Chavez has his own habit of poor early rounds to deal with. Chavez will score with his body work but Martinez’s clean, precise punching should produce obvious points. I’m wary of a bad decision here: On Mexican Independence Day, Chavez will have a lot of fans in the building and Nevada judges have been shaky recently. But I’m still taking Martinez because in the later rounds, his talent will shine. Martinez by split decision.

RICHARD O’BRIEN

I can’t decide if an uncharacteristically angry Martinez (“It is personal …. I will break his face a thousand times”) poses an extra danger for Chavez, or whether that impressive vitriol is a sign that the usually easy-going and respectful Argentine is feeling a bit of a threat and may be vulnerable. Chavez, at 26, is 11 years younger than Martinez, and appears to be maturing into a more complete fighter than it seemed he would ever become. He is also a very big (six-foot, and likely to come into the ring 10 to 15 pounds over the 160-pound limit) and very powerful middleweight. In his recent outings, against Peter Manfredo Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio and, especially Andy Lee, the son of the legendary JCC (the greatest Mexican fighter of all time) has displayed a more fluid and multi-dimensional style, seemingly finally stepping up his learning curve. Certainly he’s a very dangerous customer.

That said, I have to think that Martinez, though 37, is still very much in his prime and has far more tools than Chavez. He’s still faster than Chavez and a far more skilled boxer, and he’s an exceptional finisher. I see Martinez dominating the early rounds. Chavez may very well mount an attack in the middle of the bout – those boy shots will get through – but I see Martinez weathering it and then his superior skill, fitness (we know Chavez Jr. has blown off more than a few sessions with Freddie Roach) experience – and maybe even his righteous anger — should come together to batter Chavez down the stretch. One danger: If it’s at all close round-by-round, look for the judges to give an edge to Chavez.

Still, I am looking for Martinez on points. Martinez by unanimous decision.

BRYAN ARMEN GRAHAM

The late-blooming Martinez has spent most of the past three years near the top of the pound-for-pound charts, generally considered the best fighter in the sport not named Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Chavez spent the same period regarded by many as the coddled son of a legend, more sizzle than substance. Junior’s impressive knockout of Andy Lee may have tempered that perception, underscoring a key fact: this is the biggest, strongest and perhaps most agressive opponent Martinez has faced. And, yes, the cagey Argentine puncher has showed signs of slippage in recent outings.

Still, no one can deny it’s a major step up in class for Chavez. Expect the wiser, more accurate and more intelligent Maravilla to make the most of his long-awaited moment in the spotlight, taking the fight to Chavez from the opening bell, creating angles the young Mexican has never seen before and — of no small significance — trying above all to keep it out of the judges’ hands. Look for boxing’s most impressive closer to make it five straight knockouts somewhere in the middle rounds. Martinez by sixth-round KO.


  • Published On Sep 14, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin, Adrien Broner making news

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    Manny Pacquiao (above), who fell to No. 3 in SI.com’s most recent pound-for-pound ratings, might not fight again in 2012 according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Expect to see Andre Ward, fresh off last weekend’s impressive knockout win over Chad Dawson, in Las Vegas this Saturday at the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight. Ward is eyeballing the winner for his next fight. Just don’t expect Ward, a 168-pound super middleweight, to drop too close to the 160-pound middleweight limit. Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, told me Ward might be willing to cut “a couple of pounds” but no more than that. Nor is Ward all that interested in moving all the way up to 175 pounds, either. Hunter believes anyone who wants a crack at Ward should have to fight him at his weight.

    • So much for TMT Promotions — a company founded this summer by rapper 50 Cent and believed to involve Floyd Mayweather — making a big splash. While TMT is still in the hunt for a November date on HBO, nothing is close to being finalized. Moreover, 50 Cent has indicated in recent interviews that his relationship with Mayweather isn’t as strong as it used to be. That’s not good news for Andre Dirrell, Yuri Gamboa and Billy Dib, fighters who have signed to TMT but don’t appear to have many options before the end of the year.

    • After watching Tomasz Adamek get knocked down and struggle in an eventual fifth-round knockout of journeyman Travis Walker, you have to wonder just how much the 35-year old Adamek has left in the tank. In the last year Adamek has been battered by Vitali Klitschko, gone the distance in wins over Nagy Aguilera and Eddie Chambers, and been life and death with Walker. Adamek has fought some wars in his career; now, they might be catching up with him.

    • When Zsolt Erdei withdrew from his Sept. 29 fight with Isaac Chilemba, one solution was to take Chilemba off promoter Lou DiBella’s HBO-televised show and move him to a Main Events-promoted Sept. 21 card on NBC Sports Network. Main Events had been searching for a replacement for Gabriel Campillo, who withdrew from a fight with Sergey Kovalev, which would have headlined the NBC show. DiBella and HBO, however, wanted Main Events to give up Kovalev and have him fight Chilemba on HBO. But because boxing promoters get along about as well as a divorced couple, Chilemba stayed on DiBella’s card, where he will fight a yet to be named opponent on the untelevised undercard, while Kovalev will face unheralded Lionel Thompson on the NBC card. No one wins.

    • I still think that from a marketing perspective, Kelly Pavlik makes the most sense for Andre Ward.

    • If HBO can’t make Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco in November, I don’t want to see either of them on television. The network has invested millions in Broner, who has looked great plowing over a collection of stiffs. And DeMarco, who knocked out John Molina in less than a minute on Saturday, told me that he is ready, willing and able to fight Broner in November. Make it happen, or don’t give them the platform or the money to fight someone else.

    • Look for scintillating middleweight Gennady Golovkin to be back in the ring before the end of the year; just don’t expect it to be a unification fight against Daniel Geale. There’s a strong interest from HBO to make Golovkin-Geale but the sense I’m getting is that it’s more likely to happen in the spring of 2013.

    • No one at 140 pounds wants a piece of Lucas Matthyse. No one.

    • Spent some time talking to several people in Manny Pacquiao’s camp this week and no one can say with any certainty whether Pacquiao will fight again this year. Top Rank is still holding the Dec. 8 date but it is waiting to hear from Pacquiao.

    • During its broadcast last weekend, HBO incorrectly identified Ward as the last U.S. Olympic boxing gold medalist. Ward is the last men’s boxing gold medalist. The last gold medal won by a USA boxer was claimed by Claressa Shields, the 17-year old phenom who picked up middleweight gold in London.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Sep 11, 2012
  • Sergio Martinez recognized as honorary member of River Plate soccer club

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    Sergio Martinez, the best fighter in the world not named Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, today was recognized as an honorary member of the storied Argentine soccer club River Plate.


    The 37-year-old Martinez, who is the lineal middleweight champion and No. 3-ranked boxer in SI.com’s pound-for-pound ratings, was honored in a ceremony Sunday at the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, the club’s home stadium in Buenos Aires.

    Dr. Gaston Gallino, River Plate’s president of public relations, presented Martinez with a plaque and a No. 1 shirt with “Maravilla Martinez” printed on the back.

    A product of one of Buenos Aires’ toughest barrios, Martinez sought careers in soccer and cycling before taking up boxing at 20. He had been tabbed for a fútbol career as a precocious striker for local club team Claypole during his teenage years, but turned down a contract offer from Club Atlético Los Andes — a decision that perplexed many in a nation where the beautiful game is sacrosanct.

    The late-blooming Argentine expat upset Kelly Pavlik for the middleweight championship in April 2010. He is coming off an entertaining 11th-round TKO of Matthew Macklin on St. Patrick’s Day in New York, his fourth consecutive defense of the 160-pound title.

    With few big-money challengers at middleweight, Martinez has said he would come all the way down to 150 pounds and settle for pride-swallowing 80-20 split of the purse to make a fight with current pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.

    – Bryan Armen Graham


  • Published On May 07, 2012
  • Three thoughts from Martinez vs. Barker

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    Darren Barker was relentless in the ring against Sergio Martinez. (Andrew Couldridge/ZUMAPRESS.com)

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Here are three quick thoughts on Sergio Martinez’s 11th-round knockout of Darren Barker:

    1. Barker was a live dog. This was supposed to be a soft touch for Martinez, who over the last two years has run a gauntlet of the top middleweights and junior middleweights in the world. But Barker—who at one point was a 25-to-1 underdog—proved to be much better than advertised. Barker had a brilliant strategy early, utilizing a stiff defense and tagging Martinez with clean shots when he saw an opening. He broke Martinez’s nose with a crisp right hand in the second round and was more than competitive the first half of the fight.

    In the second half, however, Martinez dominated. He continued to blast away at Barker’s defense, and by the seventh round many of his shots were slipping through. Martinezoverwhelmed Barker with power shots in the last two rounds (a 33-7 edge) and closed the show with a relentless series of combinations that put Barker down and out.

    2. Martinez is, at worst, the third-best fighter in the world. Martinez, according to sources in his camp, was fighting hurt. He battled knee and shoulder problems in the weeks leading up to the fight and spent the last eight rounds wiping a steady stream of blood from his nose. Yet Martinez overcame it all to pick up a spectacular—and, perhaps more importantly, entertaining—win. I’ll buy that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are 1-2 in the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. But Martinez (48-2-2) is firmly entrenched right behind them.

    3. Paging, Miguel Cotto. OK, let’s be real: Neither Mayweather or Pacquiao is getting in the ring with Martinez. Moreover, Martinez isn’t jumping up to 168 pounds to fight one of the Super Six participants and isn’t moving to 170-pounds for the winner of Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson. And while Lou DiBella is pushing recently signed Matthew Macklin as an opponent for next year, that’s a fight only a diehard can love.

    There is, in my mind, only one truly marketable opponent forMartinez: Cotto. He’s a legitimate pay per view draw and a Martinez fight would sell out Madison Square Garden in a matter of hours. Martinez wants it—he doesn’t like Cotto much and has offered to cough up his purse if he loses to him—but neither Cotto or Bob Arum has shown much interest in making that fight happen. Now, it’s on Martinez and DiBella to make it happen. Poke, prod, insult Cotto, whatever. But he is the one opponent that could conceivably elevate Martinez to the next level.  Get him in the ring, whatever it takes.

    – Chris Mannix


  • Published On Oct 02, 2011
  • Getting to know … Sergio Martinez

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    Argentine southpaw Sergio Martinez (above) has twice defended the lineal middleweight title since winning it from Kelly Pavlik in April 2010. (AP)

    Widely regarded as the world’s No. 3 pound-for-pound boxer after Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez returns to action Saturday against England’s Darren Barker in Atlantic City (10 p.m. ET, HBO). SI.com caught up with the 36-year-old Argentine southpaw, who finds himself at an improbable career peak at an age when most fighters are thinking about retirement.

    Age started fighting?

    20.

    What’s your first boxing memory?

    Watching Duran vs. Leonard on TV. I was so impressed and excited.

    Who’s your favorite all-time fighter?

    Muhammad Ali.

    What’s the greatest fight you ever saw?

    Tyson vs. Holyfield and Leonard vs. Hagler.

    Who was the toughest opponent you ever fought?

    Kelly Pavlik.

    What was your favorite subject in school?

    Math.

    What’s on your iPod?

    System of a Down, Calle 13 and a mixture of Argentine music.

    What is your favorite movie?

    Midnight Run with Robert De Niro and The Usual Suspects with Kevin Spacey.

    Read More…


  • Published On Sep 28, 2011
  • Martinez draws for Times Square workout

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    Sergio Martinez defends his middleweight championship Saturday against England's Darren Barker on HBO. (Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

    NEW YORK — The best pound-for-pound boxer in the world not named Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquaio is middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who returns to action Saturday against England’s Darren Barker at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall (10 p.m. ET, HBO).

    The 36-year-old Martinez held an open workout Tuesday at Modell’s Sporting Goods in Times Square, jumping rope, shadowboxing and working the pads with trainer Pablo Sarmiento before as many as 100 boxing fans and curious passers-by walking 42nd St. during lunch hour. Notables in attendance ranged from Kery Davis, senior vice president in charge of programming at HBO, to adult film actress Lisa Ann (of Who’s Naylin’ Paylin? renown).

    Martinez captured the WBC and Ring magazine 160-pound titles from Kelly Pavlik in April 2010 and defended them with a savage one-punch knockout of Paul Williams in November — a highlight-reel finish that landed him consensus Fighter and Knockout of the Year honors while propelling him to No. 3 in most pound-for-pound tables.

    But despite matinee-idol looks and a compelling backstory — a product of one of Argentina’s toughest barrios, Martinez sought careers in soccer and cycling before taking up boxing at 20 — the late-blooming southpaw’s improbable success has yet to translate to box-office appeal and crossover recognition. (“Is he a UFC guy?” asked one Valley-girl type who wandered in to see what the crowd was for; “No, he’s the middleweight champion of the world,” Martinez promoter Lou DiBella bemusedly corrected.)

    Martinez looked sharp throughout the half-hour session and is widely expected to walk through 9-to-1 underdog Barker, who is undefeated but underexperienced. Beyond that, who knows. Before moving from the storefront to sign autographs for the fans downstairs, Martinez expressed interest in boiling down to face either Pacquiao or Mayweather at a catchweight of 150. “At 160 there are no opponents available to me,” he said through translator Sampson Lewkowicz. “I want to prove I’m pound-for-pound the best.” A noble cause, but whether he’ll be able to transcend the moderate fame of a successful boxer depends largely on whether Floyd or Manny steps to the plate in 2012.

    – Bryan Armen Graham

    As many as 100 boxing fans and curious passers-by watched middleweight champion Sergio Martinez at a public workout Tuesday at the Modell's Sporting Goods in Times Square. (Bryan Armen Graham/SI)


  • Published On Sep 27, 2011


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