Jones Jr: Martinez didn’t think Cotto could bomb him out
By Dan Ambrose: HBO commentator Roy Jones Jr. believes that former WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s) lost the fight to Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) last Saturday night mainly because Martinez overlooked Cotto’s punching power. Jones Jr. thinks that Martinez came into the fight thinking that he was the bigger puncher and that if there was going to be a knockout in the fight, it would be the 33-year-old Cotto who would be knocked out.
“I don’t think he was prepared to deal with what he [Cotto] brought tonight,” Jones Jr. said. “Tonight, we saw Martinez come in there not expecting that Cotto could bomb him out the way he could bomb Cotto out. But Cotto did his homework. He know that if [Antonio] Margarito could bomb him in seven rounds, then it’s very possible – I don’t care if it was a 100 years ago – it’s very possible that if a lighter punching Margarito stopped you, then Cotto could do the same. He [Cotto] fights in such a slow and smooth pace, it works better for him I the middleweight situation.”
Jones Jr. might be partially right with his analysis of the fight, but that’s really not the whole picture. Martinez didn’t lose simply because he didn’t respect the punching power of Cotto; he lost because he didn’t have the legs strength and mobility for him to move around the ring the way he would have needed to in order to keep out of range of Cotto’s big power shots. Martinez was the equivalent of a grounded bird with the ability to fly to escape its enemies on the ground. You can’t look at the Cotto-Martinez fight without noticing immediately that there was something clearly wrong with Martinez’s legs, because not only couldn’t he move well, he also wasn’t able to get any power on his shots because his leg strength wasn’t there.
“Martinez’s body looked OK at the weigh-in, but it was like a car with 500,000 miles on with a new paint job and armor all,” said Steve Kim of Maxboxing.com on his twitter. “I really believe that the first 11 rds vs. Chavz Jr was the last of the elite edition of ‘Maravilla.’ From that 12th round on he’s been vulnerable.”
Steve is right. Martinez hasn’t been the same fighter since suffering a knee injury and getting knocked down in the 12th round by Chavez Jr. in their fight in September 2012. Since that round, Martinez looked nothing like he’d been in the first 11 rounds in his fights against Martin Murray and Cotto. The Martinez that dominated Chavez Jr. during the first 11 rounds of that fight would have done a number on Cotto last Saturday night, even with Cotto going left hook happy the way he was. Cotto could have thrown left hooks until he was blue in the face, and he still would have taken a beating against that version of Martinez.
The injuries to both of Martinez’s knees really took away from his game to the point he was likely little more than 30% of what he was in the Chavez Jr. fight. That’s why Cotto, an aging fighter, was able to look so good against him.
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