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Sergio Martinez deserves a big fight -- but will he get one?

Who wants a piece of Sergio?
That's a good question

Iíll start by apologizing to the gambling faithful who were looking forward to my preview of the rematch with Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams. But, I can tell you right now, I didnít pick Martinez to win by knockout in the second round.
If I had to rate Sergio Martinezís performance on a scale of 1 to 10, Iíd give it a 50. Okay, seriously Öa 40. Thatís how phenomenal that knockout was.
Most of you by now probably know that Iím a huge fan of both Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams and was thrilled to see them fight again. But that knockout was a thing of beauty. Not just a hard shot, but a quality counter overhand left from the perfect angle that had Williams out before gravity brought him face first to the canvas.
Every time I've Martinez fight, I've been impressed. The HBO debut against Alex Bunema was unbelievable. He was fighting a limited opponent, but you saw from that fight that he could use his athletic slick ability against just about any fighter. He showed some power and then some against Kermit Cintron, Williams in their first bout, and Kelly Pavlik. Cintron was knocked out and shouldíve lost on the scorecards and Williams and Pavlik were either knocked down or a bloody mess. While only 25 of Martinezí 46 wins are by knockout, he definitely has some pop. You can ask all the above mentioned opponents if you donít believe me.
But this win is a Catch 22 for Martinez. A decision victory wouldíve probably made a third fight with Williams, but now Paul is likely to move back down in weight leaving Martinez without a notable opponent for his next fight. While the middleweight champion of the world is more than happy to go down in weight for a fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao or Cotto, it is doubtful that either of those fighters will want a piece of Sergio. You can bet that thereís no way Arum is going to put one of his guys in with Martinez, Pacquiao included.
His next opponent is likely to be a fighter from the Euro scene. The problem is most of them are unknown in North America. Felix Sturmís one fight outside of Germany was a close decision loss against the Golden Boy but has never capitalized on that exposure. Sebastian Zbik is undefeated and the interim WBC champ, but is lesser known in this continent that my famous cooking skills (which arenít so famous).
A fight with Pirog would be entertaining but Pirog will need another fight or two in the USA before that fight is made.
I think weíre all hoping that Martinez gets a big fight because, frankly, he deserves it. A late comer to the sport who has excellent athletic ability and has worked on his game and fought all over the world before finally getting an opportunity to show what heís worth. Considering that a little over two years ago he hadnít even made his HBO debut yet, the Argentinean has risen to the top by becoming the middleweight champion by beating the lineal champ at 160, and avenged his last loss with a second round destructive knockout.
Now thatís impressive.
As for Williams, I know heís been with his cornerman for quite some time, but he has some holes in his defense that his trainer needs to fix. Not sure if George Peterson is the right guy for that though. Williams still has solid skills and is a crowd-pleaser. But if he wants to move up and down in weight, it has to be done correctly and it may be time for a strength and conditioning coach too.
A lot have also said that Williams is overrated. Thereís no shame losing against Sergio Martinez, and frankly, that overhand left wouldíve knocked out most fighters. I think this is more about Martinez being underrated and Sergio showing that he truly is one of the best in the world. A third fight may happen eventually, but probably not anytime soon.
Two fighters who are willing to fight anybody. Isnít that what boxing is really about?




 

More columns
by Rizwaan Zahid:

Fighter of the year candidates for 2010

Pacquiao, Haye, Rigondeaux easy choices

A disappointing year isn't over yet; exciting fights loom

Cunningham's thumb, not his fist, ended fight with Troy Ross

The search for boxing's next 'star'

Monte Barrett: The career of a dedicated fighter

Allan Green was not Super Six material

The mess at junior welterweight

Khan & Ortiz figure to beat savvy vets

Haye and Adamek: A report card after 3 fights

Joan Guzman: Best welterweight in the lightweight division

Devon Alexander/Female Boxing

Impressive U.S. debut for Campillo

Williams ready to punish at 147

Happy birthday, Champ!

Stars to Shine in 2010

The Grinches steal Christmas

Malignaggi-Diaz showed why instant replay is needed

Williams, Martinez show why they're avoided

Lucian Bute impresses America, and the world

James Kirkland: So promising, yet so wasteful

Suspension for foul language? That's bull$#:+!!!

Pacquiao-Cotto: Who wins?

Super Six Will Still Have Controversies

Haye, Angulo proved little

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Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is a recent graduate from Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication Program, and is currently pursuing his aspiration of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.
  Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper. Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.
Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.


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