SAN DIEGO, April 27, 2013 – The boxing buffet served up on Saturday in England, Argentina, and the United States was a lot like most all-you-can-eat buffets. There were a few good dishes, a lot of filler, and some serious disappointments when dishes that sound great fail to meet your expectations.
In Argentina, middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) won a questionable decision against a solid demonstration of skills by Britain’s Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs). Murray put the champion on the canvas in the seventh with a solid right hand, and had him down again in the eighth round, but the referee ruled it a slip. Judges have access to instant replay in Argentina, and they agreed it was a slip. Many fans and this writer disagree.
Martinez, who is reported to have broken his left hand during the bout, connected less, lookeing shaky at times, and failed to break through Murray’s excellent defenses and do any lasting damage.
It wasn’t the triumphant homecoming Martinez hoped for, but 40,000 devoted fans braved a pouring rain and winds in José Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires. Martinez put on a show bobbing and weaving in the early rounds, playing to the crowd. They loved every minute of it.
When a boxer reaches a certain age, there are inevitable questions. Martinez always seemed like a young fighter depsite being in his mid-30s, but he looked every bit of 38 years old in this bout. He’s just coming off knee surgery. Now he’ll need to let his broken hand heal. Promoter Lou DiBella says he will not fight again this year. Should he fight again at all?
Given his less than impressive performance, it would be a mismatch to have Martinez fight Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin. It wouldn’t be fun to see his clock cleaned by either one. If (and that’s a big if) Martinez fights again, a rematch of Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. seems the most likely fight. But if Martinez decides to go out, fans should give him their blessing and their thanks for a great career.
In Brooklyn, Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) won a unanimous decision against an impressive effort by a determined Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs). Garcia remains undefeated but didn’t add to his 16 KOs.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. Garcia hit Judah with a hard straight right in the early part of the fifth round, knocking him down, and then went to work trying to end the fight. Judah kept fighting through sheer determination and got out of the round. He came straight out in the sixth, and managed to pick up strength and speed as the fight continued. It’s a tribute to Judah’s new sense of focus, cleaner living and harder training regimen. The judges scored it 115-112, 114-112, and 116-111 for Garcia.
At the end of the bout, the fighters embraced in a fine show of respect and sportsmanship despite all the trash talk leading up to the fight. It’s good to see and both boxers should take something positive away from the contest.
On the undercard, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) knocked down Fernando Guerrero (25-2, 19 KOs) twice in the second round before winning by TKO in the seventh round in front of his hometown fans in Brooklyn. Former Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder extended his win streak to 28-0 with an impressive first round knockout over lackluster Audley Harrison. Wilder is a heavyweight of the future and well worth watching.
Comeback kid and cancer survivor Danny Jacobs won his 25th fight against a single loss, getting his 22nd knockout in the fourth round against Keenan Collins (15-8-3, 10 KOs). It was a dominating perfomance in Jacobs’ third win since nearly dying from a rare form of bone cancer that left him paralyzed for a time. Jacobs says he is fighting now for cancer patients and raising money through his foundation for research.
Britain’s Amir Khan (27-3, 19 KO) won a razor thin unanimous decision against Julio Diaz (25-0-1, 11 KO) of Mexico in front of hometown fans in Sheffield, England. Khan did what he was supposed to do, but he ultimately raised more questions than he answered about his skills, his ability to take a punch, and his ability to close the deal. Khan was knocked down in the fourth round by Diaz but fought his way back and scored enough points for the judges to give him the fight, 115-112, 115-113, and 114-113. But there are still a whole lot of doubts about Khan and his long term future in the sport. It was his fight bout working with trainer Virgil Hunter, and it may take a little more time for Hunter’s lessons to take hold with Khan.
The boxing buffet had one dish for the carnivores. Heavyweight Bermane Stiverse of Canada via Haiti (23-1-1, 20 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Californian Chris Arreola (35-3). Stiverne knocked down Arreola at the end of the third round, and at some point early in the fight broke Arreola’s nose, which became a bloody faucet the rest of the fight. But Arreola didn’t let it stop him, and had Stiverne briefly in trouble in the ninth round. It was a solid win for Stiverne, well earned. Stiverne now gets a shot at champion Vitaly Klitschko, should the Ukrainian boxer turned politician decide to resume his career in the ring.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +.
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Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group
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