Paul Williams vs Sergio Martinez - Keys to Victory, Four to Explore, Official Prediction!
Vivek Wallace: It's been almost a year to the day since Paul Williams (39-1, 27KO's) and Sergio Martinez (45-2, 24KO's) gave us what most saw as 2009's "Fight of the Year". Although many things have changed since then, there's no reason to speculate that fight fans will see anything less as the two get set to square off again this Saturday night, live on HBO. As we prepare to see the two men go to battle, we take a look at a few "Keys to Victory", "Four to Explore", and an "Official Prediction":
Article posted on 19.11.2010
Paul Williams - "Keys to Victory"
For Paul Williams, the major key to victory will be endless pressure. The rumor mill coming into this fight has been pretty strong about Martinez allegedly having troubles making weight. If Paul Williams has been at the top of his game, this could spell doom in a matchup that will undoubtedly come down to conditioning and stamina. For Williams, this is a plus that he must be prepared to capitalize on, be it true or false. Williams has never been known as a very defensive fighter, so his workrate will be very important, as even if the conditioning question materializes, it will be a very dangerous fight before Martinez does wear down (if at all)..
Williams will need to keep a foot to the gas and suck it up when the going gets tough. Strategically, Martinez is consistently there to be hit with the right jab/left-hook combination. If Williams is smart, he'll start out with the jab and set that trap early, adding to it later in the fight when Martinez thinks he has his rhythm. If Williams fights a smart fight and keeps on the pressure, he wins more decisively than the questionable squeaker he had the last time.
Sergio Martinez - "Keys to Victory"
For Sergio Martinez, keys to victory will somewhat parallel those pointed out for Paul Williams. Neither man uses much defense, so the key for Martinez will be to use his herky-jerky style with an infusion of combinations and power-shots non-stop! Both men are southpaws, but Martinez is a very unorthodox one, and that could be the man reason Williams ran into trouble before. His style is very uncanny, and his precision punches make him uber-dangerous! Strategically, he needs to also set traps for Williams, whose motor only knows one speed (full-tilt). In setting those traps, one thing Martinez hopefully worked on and is prepared to execute is better footwork.
Pacquiao showed many viewers a week ago what exit and entry plans should look like by demonstrating a perfectly executed "V-Wedge" (in at an angle, attack, out at an angle). Too late to learn that if it wasn't worked on in camp, but it would make life for Martinez very easy in this fight. If Martinez can stay active, remain conditioned, and give it that extra effort necessary to steal a few of these close rounds late, he could earn the nod, even if it is slim.
FOUR TO EXPLORE
Instant Replay?: It's no secret, last time these two men gave it all they had and left it all in the ring. So much so that this time around, it's expected that they'll pick it right back up where they left off and commence in the same fashion in which it all ended. It wouldn't be a far stretch to see this fight go precisely the way the last one did. But would that include the ending, as well? Maybe....maybe not....(see official prediction for better understanding)
One Too Many?: When people talk pound for pound, they immediately speak Pacquiao, based on his effortless scale through the weight classes; however, few take note of the fact that Paul Williams has taken this same trek over the past few years. Yes, he had a few cupcakes sandwiched in between the 'meat' of his resume, but going the distance with Margarito, Quintana, Wright, and Martinez surely comes with a price to a man who stands as frail as Williams does. At age 29, few expect him to break down any time soon, but the onset of such possibilities start in a fight like this one. Martinez is a member of the same cast. Could this be the fight to tip the scale for either man?
A.G.E. (A Greater Experience): The last passage spoke of the wear and tear on both men, but along with that argument comes something else. Experience. And when you look at the experience factor between the two men, for one, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Williams has a credible 181 rounds over 10 years, but Martinez has a solid 337 over 13(years). All things remaining neutral.....he has seen a lot, and done a lot more. If conditioning isn't a question, and the wear and tear doesn't become an issue, you can never rule out a salty vets ability to seize the moment. Or can we?
Home Field Disadvantage: Neither man hails from the northeast, but despite Williams being from the east coast, come fight night, the man many expect to have the larger contingent on hand is the man from another country (Martinez). Argentinean fans are said to be purchasing tickets at a fairly brisk pace, which could have bigger implications in the end. It's one thing to watch a fight from home amongst friends, or a bar where there's little or no audio buzzin'; but in the arena where you can only hear the oooh's and the ahhh's, it's quite understandable how spectators on hand often feel they watched a totally different fight from viewers at home. If in fact this is the case, could it impact the final call on some close score cards?
OFFICIAL PREDICTION (WITH UPSET BAROMETER: RATING 1-5)
There's no need to expect anything less than a high energy, brutal pace from these two men. You would think that after a year and a few fights later (between the two) a few things would change. Well....think again! It'll be much of the same with both men using their face as a shield, and their rapid pace as a potential vehicle to take them beyond the finish line. Which man is prepared to go to hell and back to get there, though? That's the operative question. Many of my training camp and pre-fight notes seem to all show major concern from one particular camp. All the reports rendered may not be proper, but that many sources can't be all getting it wrong.
At a distance, it appears that Paul Williams - (if he comes fully prepared) - will have more than enough to get him across the finish line; however, a solid chin and enough stamina will serve as the necessary fuel to ensure that Martinez is right there with him. Knowing the political side of this sport, and understanding that Pacquiao needs a good dancing partner who is neither 6'1", nor older than 37, I think anything less than a KO from either man gives us one ending and only one ending, (being that there's no pressure on Top Rank to pursue Mayweather - despite the huge demand), ! This ending in a tight fight will be considered justified, and will in effect solidify another international battle come Summer 2011 in a stadium close enough to welcome new homeland supporters across the border (from Argentina)!
OFFICIAL PREDICTION: A DRAW (NO UPSET BAROMETER NECESSARY IN DRAW DECISION)
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at [email protected], 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Skype (VITO-BOXING), FaceBook, and Myspace)
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