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Maravilla’s Dilemma

martinez45By Lance Lank: Sergio Martinez often cries about other fighters not being willing to fight him. He cries about Cotto, Pacquiao, and Mayweather. But when one looks at Martinez’s record it is really not as impressive as one would think after hearing him whine about being avoided. The only names on his resume that most boxing fans recognize is Paul Williams twice, Kermit Cintron, Kelly Pavlik and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Williams beat Martinez in their first fight, Cintron, who isn’t even an elite fighter, fought well enough to earn a draw, and Chavez Jr. lacks any real boxing ability.

Martinez has one good win, which is Paul Williams in the rematch. He also beat Pavlik, but Bernard Hopkins had already schooled and exposed Pavlik. In fact, Pavlik never did anything against the then 44 year old Hopkins but get beat up all night, whereas against Martinez Pavlik had his moments and it came down to the championship rounds when Pavlik started bleeding profusely and his vision was greatly affected.

To be fair, Cintron probably should’ve been counted out against Martinez and even barring that many felt Martinez deserved the victory. But to allow someone like Cintron to be that close isn’t exactly screaming greatness. Now, there is a hard-hitting middleweight champion in Gennady Golovkin who badly wants a bout with Maravilla, yet Martinez refuses to fight him, opting instead to fight B and C level fighters. There is also a wealth of talent at 168, but yet again Martinez steadfastly refuses to move up one division and fight any of them.

Martinez has not fought at 154 in over four years since his draw against Kermit Cintron. He has a fight scheduled against another cupcake in Martin Murray in late April. Then he is widely expected to fight a rematch against the hype job that is Chavez Jr. The only reason there is even talk of a rematch is because Martinez came dangerously close to getting knocked out in the 12th round of their first fight, when he was down twice, though one of the times was ruled a slip.

Martinez can complain all he wants about fighters two weight classes below him not fighting him, but it is more than a little hypocritical that he ducks anyone around his own weight with actual skills. If Martinez wants to fight welterweights at the junior middleweight limit of 154 then let him first actually fight someone, anyone at that weight. There are fighters currently fighting at 154 who want Mayweather as bad as everyone else and are proving themselves at that weight. It isn’t too realistic to call out fighters fighting two weight classes below you.

If he is as good as him and his fans would have us believe, let him fight the top contender in his own weight class. If he was really a top pound for pound fighter one would think he could move up to 168 and fight opponents there. After all, his last opponent Chavez Jr. weighed more when he entered the ring then any of the big names at 168 do.

Of course, these fighters actually have skill. Yet, Maravilla has figured out that he can play the pity card beautifully by staying two weight classes above the fighters he claims to want to fight, one below where there is a plethora of talent and avoiding the one real threat in his own division. The pity card is over. Now it’s time for Martinez to decide what he wants, the choices are clear.

Fight at 154 where there are big names and big paydays. Fight at 168 where there are big names and paydays. Or stay at 160 and whine in obscurity while avoiding the other top fighter in that division. Martinez is no doubt most comfortable fighting at middleweight, but there are no big names there. Many fighters move up one division from where they are most comfortable, especially ones that are considered pound for pound greats. Also, when Mayweather or Pacquiao is mentioned he claims he can easily make 154. Now he will either prove his greatness or remain in obscurity of his own doing.

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