Champion Sergio “Maravilla”: Up and Down

By Michael Schmidt on September 19, 2012
Champion Sergio “Maravilla”: Up and Down
For the hardened boxing folks I suspect a Martinez-Chavez Jr. rematch gets a big fat NO.

That Hollywood ending last round, Sergio up, down, up, down, up is most certainly misleading in terms of a rematch…

Las Vegas, Ringside September 15, 2012    

One-two, gone. One-two, gone. As I sat ringside with good friend and author of the Roberto Duran book “Hands of Stone” and the Alexis Arguello book “Beloved Warrior,” Christian Giudice, I could not help but be impressed at how effective Sergio Martinez was, boxing basics, in winning perhaps ten of the first eleven rounds. The simple one-two mixed with athletic speed, ability, and toughness. My mind was also thinking ahead to future fights and this was hard not to do with Champion Andre Ward sitting slightly to our left with Virgil Hunter. 

REMATCH—That Hollywood ending last round, Sergio up, down, up, down, up is most certainly misleading in terms of a rematch. It was Sergio, in that last round, who decided to sit in the pocket and try and take Chavez out. All he had to do was what he had been doing for eleven rounds and therein is the rematch rub. Chavez was outfought every step of the way. He lost inside and outside the ring for if he had a strategy, it was either totally ill-founded or none at all. As I repeatedly said to Christian, “It is pretty hard to win a fight when you refuse to move your hands and hit the other guy in the snoot.” Slow start for Chavez? No, I think not. Rather a post-fight excuse this slow start business. Chavez was pressing Sergio very hard the first three rounds to the point that Sergio was sucking wind in the corner after three. Chavez did not move his hands because he was not prepared to get hit and hit with Martinez early. It’s that simple. Sergio was moving, often to his right, taking away the big Chavez left hook. When Chavez would set to punch, and believe me he is a big “need to set” up guy, Sergio was gone. On those occasions when Sergio was not gone the pre-fight strategy was very clear. Sergio would get very low, turn to his left leaning his right shoulder hard into Julio’s chest. Chavez, at best, throwing a left hook, was going to be hitting Sergio by foul, in the back or kidney area. Julio, and maybe more importantly his corner, had no answer. At those points where Sergio was low and leaning hard in Julio refused to step back with distance and catch Sergio off balance and round after round in the circle game it went. Early in the fight Sergio hit Julio twice hard dead on to the balls. No answer. It was if Julio was disengaged. It was also clear that Sergio, in as good as shape as any athlete could possibly be, was prepared to go balls to the walls for a full twelve. Not so with Julio. He was not trusting of his conditioning and hence the late start. He did not engage for eleven rounds but rather conserved with shots fired in spurts. As early as the sixth round many ringside thought he needed a knockout. 

REMATCH—The atmosphere here between shouting and flag waiving Argentinean and Mexican fans was electric. Adding to the atmosphere were ringsiders the likes of Tommy Hearns, Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez, 50 Cent, sitting beside Lou DiBella and Bob Arum I might add, and the biggest of all, casino legend Steve Wynn. From a promotional standpoint if you take this fight to the Big Star State it will sell sell sell solely on the basis of that last round. For the hardened boxing folks I suspect a rematch gets a big fat NO. Alas, the hardened boxing folks are far outweighed by the fan fan. I had any number of people ask me who Hernan Marquez was, as I said hello to him. ” One of the security guards I chatted with through the eary undercard is related to “Gypsy” Joe Harris. A chap beside me did not have a clue of this wonderful “Gypsy.” Yes, a rematch drumming on that last round will sell.

WARD—I had the opportunity to speak to Andre Ward and Virgil Hunter Saturday night. Let me say this. Andre Ward is a solid physical super middle as I measure my six foot two, one hundred eighty frame to his. For Sergio this is a too big, too strong, and way too technically gifted and smart fighter to take on at a payday that will not measure up to other alternatives. I watched Ward as he intently studied Martinez during the fight, and as his shoulders shifted and head slightly moved during the Rigondeaux fight. Is there anyone right now better at dictating pace, space and his own fight than Ward without taking sustained shots? I think not and I think not as a viable option for Sergio. I have also had the pleasure of speaking with Sergio up close. He is a small middleweight for sure. 

MIDDLE OPTIONS—There are a host of options against viable contenders here, the likes of Geale, Pirog, Quillin and Golovkin, but this is, after all a business, and none of the options are going to generate the type of pay-per view hits that Sergio now merits and deserves. He has come a long way from his Vegas $900 beating at the hands of the Margo Tijuana Tornado. Many “insider” boxing chaps I have spoken to believe Golovkin in fact is the number one middle in the world and would knock Sergio out. I am not sure that is the case at all as Golovkin is or would be a fairly easy target for Sergio to hit. Conversely, and unlike Julio, Golovkin will at all costs engage you in a fight. He will punch punch punch and his conditioning is superb. Best of all, what Golovkin hits usually stays down and his amateur background is a very solid base. NOTHING HERE SERGIO. 

DOWN TO 154 PUNCHING FOR GOLD—This is Sergio’s goldmine. I am sure advisor Sampson is already tossing and turning restless in bed at the thought of Cotto or Mayweather. Maravilla’s trainer Pablo (I remember Pablo, good friend and great knockout puncher Billy “The Kid” Irwin starched him up here in Canada a few years back) has called on a Canelo fight—NOT HAPPENING. We have two fighters that have different promoters and two fighters targeting the holy money grail in Money Mayweather. Mayweather I suspect will not be an option for either. Both represent a danger, Sergio more so, that Mayweather does not need as he patiently targets that Manny fight. At this point, having watched Floyd struggle with Cotto’s pressure, I am convinced that Sergio, with his size, speed, and in and out aggression would be too much for Floyd to handle. Sergio would not allow Floyd to take time off and set up his counter shots and his speed will allow him to playy tick tack not in the toe hitting as well as Floyd when it comes down to it. I am not convinced Canelo would take a Sergio fight. He can generate big bucks with less risk elsewhere. This kid is a promoter’s dream come true. That leaves Cotto. A good match for both Sergio and Cotto and both with the ability to generate substantial pay-per-view hits. Cotto it shall be in the New Year at some point I suspect. “Maravilla” up or down will be a fun year ahead.

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Cesar Chavez Jr vs Sergio Martinez Round 12 15-09-2012

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  1. MIKE SCHMIDT 04:26pm, 09/25/2012

    Replacement Ref- superb FRANKINDALLAS- sign em up Fearless Editor, sign em up

  2. FrankinDallas 03:28pm, 09/25/2012

    I’ll have more respect for Ward when 1) he fights someone who isn’t drained to make weight and 2) when he fights outside of CA AT LEAST if not out of the country.

    With respect to Sergio, I don’t know who he should fight next, just as long as 1) he makes a lot of money and 2) the bout isn’t run by a replacement referee.

  3. Pete The Sneak 04:51am, 09/24/2012

    I tell you, watching the replay of the fight over this past weekend on HBO and of course with the knowledge of now knowing the extent of Sergio’s injuries, the dude has an incredible amount of heart. I mean, despite being nearly decapitated by Junior, the guy not only withstood the assault, but with torn knee ligaments, broken hand, cracked scalp, etc. was able to come back and hit Chavez with some pretty good shots to end the fight. The guy is indeed a Maravilla. Also, I can just imagine the gamut of emotions going through Sergio as they showed him in his locker room breaking down. That was some good TV. Peace.

  4. Paul 04:58pm, 09/21/2012

    I think you’ve got wrong the bio. He isn’t from USA, he is from Argentina. :)

  5. mike schmidt 06:04am, 09/21/2012

    Sneak I am in full agree with you -Sergio should grab the biggest cash bucket he can and does deserve at this stage of career—looks like he is out of action until May with the broken hand—which looks baddddd—so lots of time to start opponent strategy and see how the big boys—Pac, May, Canelo pan out in between.

  6. Don from Prov 05:32am, 09/21/2012

    To understand who Floyd fears might pose a threat to him—

    One only need look at who he doesn’t even consider fighting.
    And Sergio is one of those boxers.

  7. Pete The Sneak 05:13am, 09/21/2012

    @Schmidty, Touche.’...Peace.

  8. MIKE SCHMIDT 02:49am, 09/21/2012

    Bull PLEASE no mention of “POTSHOT” as our fearless Editor has already covered that shhhhtuffff in his Cheech and Chong article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. the thresher 03:19pm, 09/20/2012

    Sergio may have a faster potshot but Floyd throws faster combos.

  10. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 02:14pm, 09/20/2012

    On another site there’s a write up about Sergio making time the day of, and literally hours before his showdown with Junior, to meet with a family and their two severely handicapped sons at their request. The photo is striking and clearly shows that much more than macho Sergio is indeed a mensch!

  11. the thresher 08:22am, 09/20/2012

    In the business of boxing, we are all whores (including me). Who won the last fight is my man today.

  12. mike schmidt 07:17am, 09/20/2012

    Hi Bull- nope I meant Sergio—Having watched both of them Ringside I think Sergio has quicker hands-Floyd is such an amazing counterpuncher, intuitively, he gets off the mark almost as the other guy starts to throw—but flat out moving and throwing—up close and personal—yeah I go Sergio.

  13. mike schmidt 07:06am, 09/20/2012

    Great comments Irish—I did not mention Manny—frosty day in hell Pac would take that fight—I think he and his crew are very happy about their future historical blab how they grab another belt, Jr Middle, by beating a fighter who really was not rated for a shot at that point—being Margo of course—no Duran type deal on that one where you actually step up and fight a Hagler or step step step up and fight a Barkley—no sirrrrrrr—did not mention it because not gonna happen no how—thanks as always for the input Irish.

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 06:35am, 09/20/2012

    Mike Schmidt-Great breakdown….just a few notes from a “fan fan” for life. One thing I’ve noted about “hardened boxing people” through the years is how easily they fall in love and how quick they are to forgive and forget. So much so that if they had a theme song it would be “Back in Love Again” by L.T.D. Their latest love affair is with Ward of course….God what a dreamboat….a regular choirboy…..that is until you start to pose a threat to him in the ring (as long as he has everything under control he’s just fine, thank you) then he becomes a regular “Billy Goat Gruff”! No mention of Manny as a possibility….I guess the “conventional wisdom” of the hardened boxing people is that he’s just too small…..okay….in that case Sergio was just too small for Junior…..and guess what….he was….for all his brilliance on the night, his body started to break down on him under the strain….of battering a full blown cruiserweight with a good chin who just kept coming….and it mattered little if Baby Huey had a game plan or didn’t throw enough punches….he just kept coming and when you break your hand in the fourth with eight to go that load sure as hell doesn’t get any lighter.

  15. Micky 05:09am, 09/20/2012

    Chavez jr rematch went to trash because of weed. Maijuana is diuretic, that is why he was able to cut a lot of weight in an artificial manner. That is why he scape from the control in Lee’s and Rubio’s fight in Texas. Hope Canelo can fight Sergio.  Regarding GGG I wanted against a solid opposition before Sergio (eg. Geale, Macklin or Pirog).

  16. Pete The Sneak 04:55am, 09/20/2012

    I too am one of those that does not care to see a rematch with Sergio and Junior. Like a Poster on another web site so astutely noted, if Junior deserves a rematch because of one round, then Floyd should give Mosely a rematch cause he stunned and hurt Floyd in one round as well. Please… As it is, I think Maravilla, at 37/38 Years old is going to be cashed out. Who can blame him? And heck, if he can garner the lion’s share of the money and/or on par in the rematch in a sold out Texas stadium for a guy he just dominated, then it’s easy work and money for Sergio.; As you said Schmidty “the hardened boxing folks are far outweighed by the fan fan.” However, in this case, because of Maravilla’s long and hard journey to the top, I’m not going to argue. Nice write up. Peace.

  17. the thresher 04:48am, 09/20/2012

    “Sergio is the quicker handed fighter”—huh, you meant Floyd, right?


  18. mike schmidt 03:50am, 09/20/2012

    Totally agree with you on Sergio vs Cotto Procopy—but it will generate $$$$$$. On Mayweather would agree fully but for the size disparity—have seen both guys fight live and believe Sergio is the quicker handed fighter.

  19. the thresher 03:18am, 09/20/2012

    Cotto + Martinez = $$$$
    Maywaether vs. anyone = $$$$
    GGG vs. anyone means big trouble for anyone.

    Quilin will soon mean $$$$, but not just yet.

  20. procopy 07:07pm, 09/19/2012

    as for the sergio-cotto fight if that happens, i think it will b a lot more one-sided than the chavez fight. although cotto’s courage is not to be underestimated, I saw how he was demolished by manny pac who’s like sergio in terms of speed. i think thats also whats going to happen if cotto fights sergio. or maybe worse…

  21. procopy 07:02pm, 09/19/2012

    i’m not a fan of floyd, but i dont think he can’t handle sergio. you know, the guy has a lot of tricks up his sleeves. i think he’s still the most hard to hit of the boxers today despite appearing more hittable in the cotto fight. besides, if ever sergio fights him, i think he’ll be more cautious against floyd. on the fight against chavez jr. he seems very confident in his movement and effectively utilized his speed because he knows chavez is no match for him but i think that wouldnt work much against the veteran and technically superior floyd.

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