Boxing fans were treated to the best and worst of Sergio Martinez on March 17 when the WBC Diamond Middleweight Champion defended his crown against Matthew Macklin of Ireland at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Macklin owned the first half of the fight and dropped the Argentinean champion in the seventh round with a stiff right hand. However, Martinez then shifted into high gear after realizing he was in danger of losing his title. He started to use some good footwork and there was a lot more purpose behind his punches after he picked himself up from the deck. He finally caught up with Macklin in the 11th round and dropped him to the mat with a sharp combination.

Macklin managed to get to his feet, but not for long as Martinez sent him crashing back to the canvas with another perfectly-aimed left hand. Macklin managed to get to his feet and beat the count just as the bell rang to end the round. However, his trainer Buddy McGirt felt the bloodied and bruised fighter was in no condition to continue and threw in the towel before the bell could ring for the 12th and final round.

It appeared to many in the pro-Macklin crowd in the Theater at Madison Square Garden that their fighter might pull off a St. Patrick’s Day upset after getting off to a fast start and landing some solid shots against a sluggish Martinez. But like in his last fight, against Darren Barker, Martinez had enough left in the tank to finish the job with a late TKO.

With the win, the 37-year-old Martinez raised his record to 49-2-2, with 28 KOs and successfully defended his title for the fourth time, all by knockout. After the bout he said he felt it was a close fight, but would eventually catch his younger opponent and put him away. The 29-year-old Macklin saw his record fall to 28-4, with 19 KOs. The Irishman said he wasn’t really hurt by the knockdown punches even though they were sharp and accurate.

He added that he wanted to continue the fight, but McGirt told him he was behind on the judges’ scorecards and needed a knockout to win and the way Martinez was fighting that wasn’t going to happen. McGirt was right as the scorecards showed that Martinez was head 105-101 on two of the scorecards while the third one had the fight even at 103-103. However, Martinez was credited with a 10-7 round in the 11th, meaning it was a close fight up until then.

Macklin fought well enough to earn another shot against a top-ranked middleweight and he said he’d like to get a rematch with WBA Super Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm, who beat him by a controversial unanimous decision last June. .

Martinez said he’d like to fight one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport, bust most of them, such as Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight in the lower weight divisions. However, Martinez said he’s willing to go down in weight to meet one of them. He’s also interested in fighting WBC Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Written by Ian Palmer via FeedCrossing, Content News Source

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