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Sergio Martinez never recovered from the 1st round, says trainer Sarmiento

martinez777By Allan Fox: Pablo Sarmiento, the trainer for Sergio Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KO’s), says that Martinez’s surgically repaired right knee was unstable from the first round of the fight, and that he had eventually had to stop the fight because he wasn’t moving and reacting well when taking head shots from Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KO’s) last night at MSG, in New York. Sarmiento feels that it was his duty to step in and protect his fighter rather than let him get pounded on by the 33-year-old Cotto.

“He never recovered from the first round, and I did what I had to do” – Pablo Sarmiento said after the fight. “He was unstable and not responding. That’s why I stopped the fight. He was hurt badly in the first round and he never got better. He was unsteady in the fight.”

The question is was Martinez’s knee hurt going into the fight or did he tweak it after getting hit with a left hook in the 1st round that nearly took his head off. Both of Martinez’s knees looked weak even before the first knockdown in the opening round, and that makes you wonder if Martinez came into fight with both knees less than where they should have been. If so, then it’s difficult to imagine what they were thinking of in agreeing to the fight. Was it a cash out fight for the 39-year-old Martinez or did they believe that Cotto was an over-the-hill fighter that would fold up even against a fighter with two bad knees like Martinez.

Sarmiento was frustrated with the way that Martinez kept standing in front of Cotto during the fight, as this was something that the two hadn’t agreed on coming into the fight.

“You’ve got to move to the left,” Sarmiento said. “You can’t stand there. What are you doing? You’ve got to move to the left and get out of the way.”

Martinez did do a lot of moving, but he also made the mistake of standing directly in front of Cotto in the center of the ring and even against the ropes at times. Martinez was able to duck and block many of Cotto’s big power shots, but he was hit by a lot of them, especially in the 9th round when Martinez appeared to be trying for a knockout.

Sarmiento arguably should have stopped the fight in the 1st round when he saw how weak Martinez’s knees were because there was absolutely no way he was going to be able to beat Cotto with the way his knees looked. Martinez’s knees looked too weak to carry him around the ring, and he didn’t look strong when throwing his power punches.

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