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Sturm: Macklin can beat Martinez if he avoids brawling with him

Felix Sturm Matthew Macklin Sergio Martinez(Photo: Sumio Yamada) By William Mackay: WBA World middleweight champion Felix Sturm believes that middleweight contender Matthew Macklin (28-3, 19 KO’s) has a pretty good shot at beating Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KO’s) on Saturday night. Unlike most people, who see this as a fairly easy win for Martinez, Sturm believes that Macklin has the skills to outbox Martinez to pick up a win in an big upset.

However, Sturm thinks Macklin will lose if he fights Martinez the same way he fought him last June in Sturm’s 12 round split decision win. In that fight, Macklin brawled with Sturm and kept him pinned to the ropes and fought a lot on the inside. Sturm doesn’t see that as a strategy that will work against the hard hitting Martinez due to his power and ring intelligence.

Sturm told Sky Sports News “If he [Macklin] tries to fight him like he did me, I think it will be bad for him. [But] If he fights smart and fights him for 12 rounds and he’s got a good game plan, then he can beat him. But if he wants to fight with Sergio Martinez, I think he will lose. You have to be smart.”

I agree that Macklin would do better if he were to try and box rather than slug it out, because he doesn’t have the power or the chin to stand in front of Martinez for 12 rounds. But I think Sturm is really not giving Martinez very much credit for his excellent boxing skills for him to presume that Macklin will beat Martinez if he boxes him instead of slugging.

Martinez has really good boxing skills and you don’t just come out and beat if you try and box. To outbox Martinez, you have to have the foot movement, the hand speed and the ability to elude punches. Macklin won’t have that even if he does try and box him, so I think Sturm is speaking without really thinking clearly. If it was that easy to beat Martinez then it would have happened a long time ago. Sturm could try and outbox him and he’d lose as well, but I can’t see Sturm ever agreeing to fight Martinez so it’s not really relevant.

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