Boxing


Williams vs. Martinez II: Fight of the year?

By Joseph Herron: Every once in a long while boxing fans are treated to a true “can’t miss” match-up. Unfortunately for us it doesn’t include anyone by the name of Mayweather or Pacquiao. Instead, the marquee reads the names Martinez and Williams. Most casual fans have very little knowledge of who these fighters are, but for those who love the sport as I do, we’ve been waiting almost a year for this fight. The action in the first fight was absolutely scintillating. It had everything we love about the sweet science: aggression, skill, heart, and of course the controversial decision. Last year’s slugfest included everything that keeps us debating for months after the final punch has landed. A majority decision in favor of the Punisher, Paul Williams, with the score cards reading: 114-114, 115-113, and the inexcusable 119-110.

Naturally, a rematch was in order. The public demanded it, and the powers at be got it right. The fight is now only two days away. It was arguably the best fight of the year and a very hard night for, not only the fighters, but the judges who were left with the unenviable task of deciding the victor. How do you score a fight like this? Do you reward the effective aggressiveness and the relentless volume punching of the Punisher, or do you recompense the skilled counterpunching ability and power shots landed by Sergio Martinez? Both men deserve high praise for putting on the incredible display of heart and toughness during the first fight. This much anticipated bout has very little chance of disappointing. The first fight saw both men having to fight through great adversity; something I hope and think will be repeated.

Although Paul Williams was given the “W”, it was very close, and to most observers, somewhat indecisive. Will he decide to implement the same fight plan: Force the action and press the smaller Argentinean fighter? Or will he choose to fight “Maravilla” in the center of the ring, as he did in avenging his only loss to Carlos Quintana? This is the dilemma that the Punisher faces. Sergio Martinez is a much quicker and craftier fighter than “El Indio”, whom he defeated in a thrilling first round TKO. Martinez is a very underrated fighter who has power in both hands and has been labeled at times, “a poor man’s Joe Calzaghe”. Like the “Pride of Wales”, Martinez poses problems that can’t be simulated in any sparring session. He is a very smart fighter who is second to none at making smart adjustments throughout the fight. In April of this year, Kelly Pavlik learned all too well what a special fighter Sergio Martinez is.

Prediction: The elusive counterpunching of the more skilled Sergio Martinez will prove to be too much for the younger fighter. It will be a close but unanimous decision for “Maravilla”. Can you say part III in 2011?

Other Happenings:

Is there any doubt that Pacquiao deserves to be mentioned among the greatest fighters of this era? Since becoming a complete boxer, the Pac-man has dominated the elite in each division he has fought in. The only name left to conquer on his resume is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Can anyone tell me what Floyd is thinking? If he and Pac met in 2011, it would prove to be one of the biggest fights in the history of boxing and probably the most lucrative for any fighter. Has Floyd become one of those semi-retired fighters who is testing his relevance in the world of boxing? Or is he simply afraid of the idea of getting his first loss as a professional prize fighter? Win or lose, would Floyd be jeopardizing his spot in Canastota? Of course not. Most fight fans have great respect for any fighter who is willing to lace ‘em up in the squared circle against the best opposition of that era. Floyd…make the fight happen. In the immortal words of Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, “Either get busy living, or get busy dying.” Floyd, either make the fight happen, or ride off into the sunset…please. Don’t hold the boxing world hostage while you wait to see how the active career of Manny Pacquiao unfolds.

Does anyone really think that David Haye has any intention of fighting a Klitschko brother? Anyone who isn’t a die-hard fan of the Hayemaker? Did his victory over the A-Force really tell us anything we didn’t know? Why does Haye waste our time with fights like this? Please fight someone with a pulse, David.

Also, wouldn’t it be something if Glencoffe Johnson won the big six tourney? What happened to the excitement once generated by the Big Six Tournament? Does anyone care about the results of this tournament any longer? Why don’t we just scrap this entire effort and just pair Lucian Bute and Andre Ward in the squared circle next year? Oh well…I guess Showtime deserves an “A” for effort. Hopefully, the two fights on the 27th will be controversy free. I doubt it will happen that way though.

Does anyone besides me miss Joe Calzaghe? With the San Antonio Spurs playing so well, why is the media dwelling on the marriage of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria? Has anyone else noticed how bad the refs have been this year in the NFL? Does anyone else already miss baseball? Please raise your hand if you do. Why are we seeing Antonio Tarver and Zab Judah on HBO and Showtime, and the not the heavyweight champs? Doesn’t anyone miss heavyweight boxing?

More next week…

Article posted on 20.11.2010



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