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17 NOVEMBER 2018


SecondsOut Team Pick Martinez vs. Williams 2

The WBC champion has made an amazing late career run while the challenger is still considered one of boxing’s best young talents, but that hasn’t stopped SecondsOut’s team of fearless writers from making their confident picks for Saturday’s WBC middleweight world title fight between belt holder Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, televised in the USA on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.

“I am a big fan of Sergio Martinez. Anyone who can beat bigger guys the way this natural junior-middleweight does with such tenacity, has my respect. He was competitive against Williams last time out, and since then he overwhelmed another big 160 pounder, Kelly Pavlik, to gain the world title. With his confidence spilling over the rim after winning his second world title, I think this clever, fast, tough, hard hitting ex-soccer player will outpoint the bigger guy, Paul Williams. This is not to say that Williams isn’t one hell of a fighter, but he just won’t win this fight. Martinez W.12.”
- Jerry Glick - Contributing Editor - New York City, USA

“Sergio Martinez has been very impressive in his last four fights against Alex Bunema, Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik. Like their first fight in December 2009, this will be a thrilling and close battle. In the end, history will repeat and Williams, with some physical advantages, will sneak a close points decision win. Williams W.12.”
- Paul Upham, Content Editor - Sydney, Australia

“Their first fight was really close, I had it 6 rounds for each, but with Williams taking the last two, it seemed fair to me that he got the edge. This time Martinez has two strong motivational things on his side. First, the desire of revenge. It works as it did for Victor Galindez with Mike Rossman more than 30 years ago, is the dreamed rematch for Martinez, and his will for victory could be superior. Then, entering the ring as a champion after dominating Pavlik can add him extra confidence. Besides, last time out he was making his debut at middleweight, one year later he has been adapted at those extra pounds and making it at a catchweight of 157 can also benefit him. Williams is so tall, I guess he could move up in weight easier. However the key of the fight is how Martinez could deal with the long arms of the Punisher. It is incredible how uncomfortable was for a defensive master, fight with a fellow southpaw and with disadvantage in reach. In the first bout he took too many unnecessary shots that ultimately costed him the decision. It won’t be easy the second time, but being so smart as he is, he will make some adjustments in his foot work to find the proper time to get in and out. If Williams suffers another off-night like in the first bout with Quintana, could make things one sided. But I presume will be as attractive and competitive as the first bout, with a clear difference in favor of my countryman. Martinez W.UD.12.”
- Juan Pablo Manfredi - Buenos Aires, Argentina

“I think the original match-up between Williams and Martinez was a venerable candidate for FOTY in 2009. Yet, I don’t see the excitement out there on the boxing messages boards concerning the rematch. Wake up boxing aficionados! We’ve been so wrapped up on whether or not the P4P best are going to clash this year that we are failing to recognize that two other top ten P4P talents are getting ready to do it again. I gave a slight edge to Williams in the first contest, but Martinez certainly hurt Williams more so. It was Martinez’ complacency in the middle rounds that allowed Williams to dictate and put enough rounds in the bag. However, since then, I think Martinez has moved to a higher level of confidence. His victory over Kelly Pavlik sent him soaring while Williams’ standing stuttered a little with an inconclusive win over Kermit Cintron. Martinez is still the better boxer and he has better movement. It’s Williams’ volume punching and coolness that earned him the victory the first night. Both men should arrive to the arena with these strengths still intact. I think we’ll see a very similar fight and expect both men to taste canvas again. This time, Martinez will be looking to finish stronger as he did against Pavlik, while Williams will keep his usual tempo. It’ll be another barn-burner. It’ll be another close fight. This time, Martinez evens the score. Martinez W.MD.12.”
- Derek Bonnett - Connecticut, USA

“The streak of great fights continues in boxing! This one should be an easy candidate for fight of the year although I don’t think it will be as epic as their first encounter. Williams will be more focused and determined but Martinez is just so tricky at times. There will be plenty of toe-to-toe exchanges and both guys will get rocked, but I think Williams nabs it. I see him winning a majority decision and while many will argue that Martinez got robbed again, Williams will deserve it. Scores will be 114-114, 115-113 and then a ridiculous 118-110. Williams W.12.”
- Mike Sloan - Las Vegas, USA

“I was ringside when these two waged war for the first time 11 months ago. The one telling thing, which Williams later admitted to, was that Martinez was able to hurt the lanky southpaw. Martinez also enters this clash with momentum following his championship winning performance against Kelly Pavlik. If the Argentine didn’t remain on that victory lap for too long, I expect him to be able to outscore Williams in another barn burner. Martinez W.UD.12.”
- Jason Pribila - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

“I was very impressed when Sergio Martinez outpointed Kelly Pavlik in April, which was an upset/surprise for me, a big one. I didn’t think in a million years he would win that one so clearly the Argentinean is capable of doing great, unexpected things. He is definitely a very competent fighter. The Pavlik-win must have boosted his ego and confidence quite a bit. Is it enough to avenge that loss to Paul Williams (in December of 2009) this upcoming Saturday? Yeah I think it is, Martinez takes this one, not with much but with a tight yet visible margin for everyone to see. He outscores ‘The Punisher’ over 12 rounds. I don’t care if Williams is a little bit younger, Sergio makes up for that through skills, guts and determination. Martinez W.12.”
- Teddy Stenmark - Sweden

“Tough one to pick. Paul Williams is tall and very awkward. Although he’s a good boxer and puncher, he seems to get hit a lot. Many compare him to The Hit Man, Thomas Hearns, but I don’t think he can bang like Hearns could. Sergio Martinez is a very good boxer with great footwork and a difficult style to figure out. I don’t think he has the power to hurt Williams though, and that may be the difference in this fight. It could go either way though, with Martinez countering and outboxing Williams. But I think Paul Williams will do enough to win a close majority decision. Williams W.MD.12.”
- Tri Nguyen - Alexandria, Virginia, USA

“I felt that Sergio Martinez was unlucky not to win the first fight and will look to make things more decisive on this occasion. Paul Williams is too easy to hit and Martinez is the more versatile of the two. Both guys will be tremendously motivated for the win but talent will prevail over guts and guile with the TRUE middleweight champion retaining his title on points. Martinez W.UD.12.”
- Tom Gray - Motherwell, Scotland, UK

“The rematch is finally here. The first meeting between the pair a barnstormer last year, I can’t see how the return won’t be the same. In the meantime Paul Williams has won a bizarre one over Kermit Cintron after Cintron flipped out of the ring - while now champion Sergio Martinez captured the WBC and WBO middleweight titles from Kelly Pavlik to boost his confidence further. I’ve been a fan of Martinez since he came over to the UK as an unknown years ago, to bash up our own Richard Williams and Adrian Stone - but soft spot or not - I see him gaining revenge for the loss last year by pressuring and outscoring his fellow southpaw over 12 hard rounds. Await the clamour for a rubber match. Martinez W.12.”
- Wayne Bartlett - London, England, UK




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