By Derek Bonnett: During HBO’s broadcast of the Macklin-Martinez middleweight showdown, Jim Lampley commented that any credible pound for pound list asserted Sergio Martinez as the number three fighter in the world across the seventeen divisions. Personally, I rank Martinez fourth behind Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Nonito Donaire.
Moments later, a text message from Max Kellerman to Lampley relayed the understanding that Kellerman unknowingly concurred with my assessments of boxing’s elite rankings. With my credibility restored, I began to ponder at the conclusion of the night’s events.
Regardless of where Martinez ranks pound for pound, the Argentine fighter now holds an even greater distinction in my opinion. At 37, Martinez has become boxing’s most exciting world champion. With speed, athleticism, and power that can turn the tide of a bout at any moment, La Maravilla has set himself ahead of the pack. He has shown one punch KO power against Paul Williams. He put a world class heart on display against Kelly Pavlik. He painted a virtuoso performance in dismantling Sergiy Dzinziruk. On Saturday, Martinez showed fans that he can persevere through adversity and comeback after falling behind on the cards. What Matthew Macklin did was nothing short of commendable. However, what Martinez displayed was nothing less than marvelous.
Martinez, along with many other elite class fighters, continues to impress and remains on the move.
On Thursday, March 15, at Arena Roberto Duran, Panama City, Panama, Luis Concepcion dropped Oscar Gallardo twice in the opening round for a first round KO in a flyweight bout. The official time of the stoppage was 3:00. Concepcion returned to his winning ways after a suffering a rematch first round KO to Hernan Marquez last October. His record now stands at 24-3 (19). Gallardo dropped to 12-4-1 (5).
Concepcion remained ranked number seven among SecondsOut’s front running flyweights.
On Saturday, March 17, in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Roman Gonzalez made quick work of Manuel Jimenez in a light flyweight bout. Gonzalez ended the night at 2:58 of the first round. He remained unbeaten at 31-0 (26) after winning this non-title bout. Jimenez dropped to 11-3-1 (5).
Gonzalez remained the premiere junior flyweight at SecondsOut. Next for the Nicaraguan champion is an April 21 title defense against Ramon Garcia Hirales.
Also on the same evening, at Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Kell Brook decisioned Matthew Hatton in a twelve round welterweight bout. Brook dropped Hatton in the ninth round to win by wide scores of 118-109, 119-108, and 119-107. Brook remained unbeaten at 27-0 (18). Hatton fell to 42-6-2 (16).
Brook held onto his number ten ranking among SecondsOut’s top welterweights.
Also on the card, Grzegorz Proksa was upset by Kerry Hope by majority decision in a twelve round middleweight bout. Hope was awarded the victory by narrow scores of 114-114, 115-112, and 114-113. Hope was penalized a point in the eighth for head butting. The light hitting Hope improved to 17-3 (1). Proksa tasted defeat for the first time and fell to 26-1 (19).
Proksa loses his number seven ranking at SecondsOut and was dropped from the rankings. Hope is on the move to gain entry into the top ten in the near future. Marco Antonio Rubio, Peter Quillin, and Martin Murray each moved up one ranking. Andy Lee climbs aboard at number ten to fill the void.
Also on the same night, at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA, Sergio Gabriel Martinez rallied late to stop Matthew Macklin in the eleventh round of a middleweight bout. Macklin’s team surrendered at the 3:00 mark of the round after the brave Irishman was twice dropped in the round. Martinez had a knockdown scored against him in the seventh after his legs tangled with Macklin’s and his glove touched the canvas. Martinez improved his dossier to 49-2-2 (28). Macklin fell to 28-4 (19), but again gained a strong measure of respect in defeat.
Martinez held his number one standing at middleweight and looks down the road to an important clash with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Macklin remained the number five middleweight at SecondsOut in spite of the loss due to his impressive showing.
Also on the card, Edwin Rodriguez defeated Don George by ten round decision in a super middleweight bout. Rodriguez earned scores of 99-91, 97-93, and 96-94 to remain unbeaten. His resume now stands at 21-0 (14). George dropped to 22-2-1 (19).
Rodriguez kept his number eight ranking at SecondsOut.