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Santos vs. Martinez on February 14th – Did Greene Luck Out By Getting Kidney Stones?

martinez464431By Jim Dower: With Joe Greene (20-0, 14 KOs) suddenly developing a case of kidney stones and unable to meet interim WBC light middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs) on February 14th, it paves the way for WBA light middleweight champion Daniel Santos (32-3-1, 23 KOs) to step in and fight Martinez instead. As it turns out, it may be a stroke of luck for the highly ranked 22-year-old Greene, who might have taken a severe beating if he had continued on and fought Martinez. Greene, ranked #5 in the World Boxing Organization and #15 in the WBC, has fought mostly limited competition in his four-year pro career.

Even then, as of late Greene has looked very average in beating fighters like Jose Miguel Torres, Joshua Okine and Francisco Antonio Mora. For a fight against an advanced opponent like the 33-year-old Martinez, Greene would seem to need much more experience before taking on Martinez.

Greene has good overall boxing skills, but is neither as crafty or as powerful as Martinez, and probably saved himself a major beating by backing out of his fight with Martinez.

In his place, WBA champion Santos, 33, steps in and who has skills similar but not quite equal to Martinez. Santos is coming off an impressive sixth round TKO victory over then WBA light middleweight champion Joachim Alcine in July 2008.

Santos dominated the fight from start to finish, landing well with jabs, combinations and straight left hands to the head. Alcine was never able to adjust to Santos’s southpaw stance and ended up getting battered throughout the six rounds.

Santos holds victories over Antonio Margarito, Jose Antonio Rivera and Fulgencio Zuniga. However, Santos has problems against pure boxers, losing a 12-round unanimous decision to Sergiy Dzinziruk in December 2005, and a 12-round split decision to Ahmed Kotiev in 1999.

That said, Santos, who won a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics for Puerto Rico, has been quite effective in the ring in the past 10 years, losing only three times in that stretch of time. Still, he might have problems with Martinez’s hit and run style of fighting. Santos does best when he’s able to stand in front of his opponent, beating them with combination and jabs. He doesn’t move nearly as well as Martinez and may find himself ill-suited to that kind of fight.

For Martinez, he’s just now starting to prove himself after a long 12-year pro career fighting mainly in Argentina, his home country. With only one loss on his record, a 7th round TKO loss to a young Margarito in 2000, it wasn’t until Martinez’s 8th round stoppage of the hard punching Alex Bunema in October, that Martinez put his name on the boxing map, as the fight was seen by many boxing fans in the United States and elsewhere around the World.

Martinez figures to have all the tools to win this fight, being the better boxer and having decent power to go along with it. Not the biggest of punchers, Martinez is able to score knockouts by overwhelming his opposition with punches and beating them into submission.

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