Boxing


Sergio Martinez Finishes Paul Williams in Round Two of the Rematch

By Frank Gonzalez Jr. Middleweights Paul Williams (39-1, 27 KO’s) and Sergio Martinez are two of the best fighters in boxing. At six feet, three inches tall, (but listed at six-one) Williams towers over most of the competition as he fights, anywhere from 147 to 160. He seems comfortable in the 154 pound division and I doubt anyone in any of the three divisions that can beat him—except for Sergio Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KO’s), who is very athletic and an excellent mobile boxer puncher that can give and take a good shots too without crumbling.

The last time Paul “The Punisher” Williams fought was in a strange match against Kermit Cintron. It was strange in that early in the fourth round, Cintron fell out of the ring and hurt himself from the fall. I figured that if Cintron didn’t return to the ring in the allotted time, the fight would be ruled a No Contest but stranger still, (maybe not so strange for boxing) was that the fight was ruled a Technical Decision Win for Williams. Usually, if an accident occurs and one fighter cannot continue for health reasons before the fourth round is completed, the fight is deemed a No Contest. Four rounds had not been completed and Cintron was unable to continue due to injury, which was not caused by a Williams’s punch. Either way, Williams got the win.

Before Williams fought Cintron, he fought Sergio Martinez in December of 2009, in that fight where both guys had some good moments. They traded knockdowns in the first round, Williams scored the first one and Martinez responded in kind almost immediately after. That was a good competitive fight that could’ve been decided either way, depending on how you score a round. Being a big fan of both these fighters it wasn’t too hard to notice that Martinez landed more and had the better ring generalship and defensive agility all night. A rematch was inevitable after Williams was granted the win compliments of two of the three Judges.

Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez were at it again, only this time, the Judges would have no part in the results.

The first round saw Paul Williams setting the tone, jabbing and throwing combinations. Williams threw the first punch. It was a fast start and both guys looked to be looking for the knockout early. There were some wild moments and the ref had to break them often. Both landed some shots, as Williams was doing most of the initiating. Martinez was able to land a good left to the body midway into the round. Then Martinez landed a big combo upstairs in the corner. Martinez held while Williams pressed, then Martinez landed a right and left upstairs. With 30 seconds to go, Williams did more punching, though Martinez landed fewer but cleaner shots. At one point, both landed nearly simultaneous right hooks, stunning each other just a bit. Williams was establishing a good working distance, utilizing his length and speed. It was an action packed round. Martinez landed less but threw some of the cleaner punches, namely a left hook combination that landed flush. 10 – 9 Williams.

In Williams corner, his trainer said, “Good work. Give more head movement and some uppercuts.”

In Martinez’ corner, his trainer told him that “Williams’ hands were hurting, be patient.”

Round 2

In the second round, things started off with some awkward holding that looked like wrestling with punches. Williams went into long mode, extending his long jabs to keep Martinez where he wanted him. Martinez moved inside, defiantly pressing the issue with punches, mostly hooks that Williams was open for while his long jabbing arm was extended. The ref struggled to get them to stop clinching but Martinez wanted to be inside and Williams was punching with his free arm and happy to comply. Martinez landed a clean left to the face that stung Williams, who moved in, clinched and then the ref broke them. Martinez threw a left hook that landed on the side of his Williams head as he was facing right. With that punch that Williams never saw coming, boom…with 1:10 seconds into the second round, it was over. Martinez shot knocked Williams out cold.

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It was scary seeing Paul Williams laying there for more than sixty seconds. A crowd of people encircled him and after about 45 seconds, Williams suddenly appeared to ‘wake up’ and was helped to his feet. He seemed a bit shaken but okay.

Martinez people celebrated the win, placing a crown on his head. Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez retained his WBC Middleweight title and enjoyed a moment with the cheering crowd.

During the post fight interviews, Martinez was asked what he wants, alluding to his possible interest in fighting boxing’s biggest Pay Per View cash cows in Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao.

Martinez said, “I want to hear offers and see how that goes.”

HBO’s Max Kellerman pressed the question again, with more emphasis on the what to YOU want.

Martinez said, “I want to relax for a little bit but now I want to salute Paul Williams, a great fighter.” Then he embraced Williams, who was approaching the scene. Martinez tapped on Williams’ chest, indicating respect for his big heart. Williams had to be feeling the sting of the loss but was gracious and showed equal respect for Martinez.

Kellerman to Martinez: Do you want to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao at a catch weight? How low can you go (in weight)?

Martinez said, “I have no problem making weight but 156 is a good weight for me. But I’ll listen to the offers.” He then thanked the fans and his family.

Then Kellerman addressed Williams: “What happened?”

Williams said, “I don’t know. He just caught me with a clean shot. I felt good; he just caught me with a punch I didn’t see. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, he just caught me with one I didn’t see.”

Congrats to both guys for a great fight, short as it was. Sometimes all it takes is one good clean punch to win a fight.

Regarding Kellerman’s question, who really believes Floyd would fight Sergio? C’mon, let’s be realistic. Floyd never fights top fighters who are in their prime and especially if they are particularly dangerous. He did all he could to successfully destroy his set fight against Manny Pacquiao, by insisting on all kinds of testing for steroids that Manny wasn’t comfortable with and seemed intended to insure the fight didn’t happen and sure enough, it didn’t.

Unlike Floyd, Manny Pacquiao appears more interested in fighting whoever his promoter puts in front of him but his last few fights have been against former titlists and fighters ripe for a career ender, like Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, the listless Joshua Clottey and lastly, the man who was banned from boxing for allegedly stuffing his gloves in Antonio Margarito, who is just too slow to keep up with the Filipino Dynamo. How does the best fighter in all of boxing only fight ‘past their prime’ opponents on Pay Per View? It doesn’t make sense. It’s killing boxing. Who wants to pay 60 bucks to see a fight where you know who’s going to win?

Everyone wanted to see Floyd vs. Manny BECAUSE they wanted the answer to that very question. Unfortunately, Floyd didn’t have the stones for it and sabotaged the deal with his imposition of new rules that Manny didn’t feel was appropriate. Sure, drug testing fighters is a good thing but the rules shouldn’t be changed to accommodate one fighter. I wonder what would’ve happened next if Manny agreed to all the tests Floyd wanted him to take. Maybe he would’ve torn a muscle in training and the fight would’ve been rescheduled over and over into oblivion. That Manny would turn down something like 40 million dollars because of random drug testing does raise a few eyebrows though. But Floyd doesn’t make the rules of boxing.

I believe that Manny would willingly fight Martinez. If Martinez did fight Manny Pacquiao and Pacquiao were able to beat a man who has beaten top guys consistently and appears at the top of his game at 35 years old, then this fight fan would agree that Manny Pacquiao is the best overall fighter of this era. He certainly is one of the best as it stands but without a legitimate ranking system that determines legitimate competition, based on merit, instead of commerce, we will never really know.

Congratulations to Sergio Martinez, a true warrior.


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Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 21.11.2010



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