Sergio Martinez vs Martin Murray: Murray looks to spoil Maravilla’s homecoming
(Photos Courtesy HBO/Will Hart) By Peter Wells: It has been 11 long years, and many, many wins and titles since Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez fought in the country that raised him. That night Francisco Antonio Mora was the opponent and no one in the same building as Sergio would have had the slightest clue of what greatness Martinez would achieve in the that time before returning to his homeland. He left Argentina an unknown novice and he returns a national hero. Martinez’s status is so large in Argentina he is now even bigger in his homeland than football superstar Lionel Messi.
So who better to take on the daunting task than the un-nerved and quietly confident Englishman, Martin Murray. Murray is relishing the opportunity and joins a trio of Englishmen to face the Middleweights best. Murray hopes though that he will not suffer the same fate as his fellow countrymen (Darren Barker was stopped in the 11th and Matthew Macklin was pulled out at the end of the 11th). Murray is a huge, and I mean HUGE underdog going into tomorrow night, but the odds didn’t favour him much better when he set foot in Felix Sturm’s homeland of Germany in December 2011. Murray not only proved he was capable at the top level but he so nearly took the WBA title out of Germany, instead though he had to settle for a draw in which one judge scored him ahead 116-112.
Unlike Sturm, Martinez is not in decline, and has proven he goes above and beyond his closest rivals, who all seem to be scrapping for second place. That is not to say Murray does not have a chance here, but to beat Martinez will take something just a little special.
Murray poses a similar style to Matthew Macklin in some regards. His defence is tight and most of his work comes from a sharp and accurate jab. Martinez will find it hard at times to land cleanly on Murray’s chin, but is as patient as a fighter can possibly be. Expect a slow start, as both fighters are not known for coming out of the blocks fast. It shouldn’t take long though for Martinez to react to the home crowd and start working Murray up and down in between plenty of circling his opponent. Murray will have his moments but as the fight wears on, he will have to take more risks if he wishes to avoid a shut-out. And when Murray takes those risks, Martinez can take advantage. Murray may be durable, but Sergio’s sharp quick punches will catch him off balance more than once and this can allow for Martinez to force the referee to take action in about the 8th or 9th rounds.