Froch was the more energized, agile pugilist, while Abraham looked like he was wearing an invisible back brace, and an extra decade of wear and tear. Stiff and ponderous, he mostly held his hands high while Froch pecked his way to a unanimous decision.
Froch, who enjoyed scores of 119-109, 120-108, 120-108, will face Glen Johnson, while Andre Ward gets Abraham in the Super Six semis.
Abraham (age 30; ex middleweight champion; 31-1; from Germany) weighed 167 1/4, while Froch (26-1 entering; age 33; from Nottingham, England; ex super middleweight champion) was 166 13/4 on Friday. Both came in off losses, Abraham to Andre Dirrell, Froch to Mikkel Kessler. The vacant WBC super middle crown was on the line during this stage three Super Six fight.
In the first, Froch set the tempo with a jab. Abe plodded after him, guard high, and lunged in every so often. Frochs movement looked like it would be key for him.
In the second, Abe got more aggressive early. But Froch, so confident, and relaxed, wasnt to be put off from his plan. He jabbed, moved, and started putting combos together.
In the third, Froch kept up his body work often enough to keep Abe honest. He dictated both pace, and distance, masterfully. Though it must be said, Abe looked fairly stiff in the first half of the round. But Abe did land a few power shots, before Froch stepped it up late, to steal the round.
Froch had a better fourth. He didnt fear Abes counters, and pumped the jab, moved, mostly to his left, and scored points.
Abe knew he needed to press more, to change the tone of the scrap, if he wanted to turn the tide in round five. But every time he moved forward, Froch was throwing.
In the sixth, the stiff Abraham didnt look to be trying much to change his fortunes. His eyes were swelling, from a steady stream of jabs. Froch grinned towards the end of the round, secure in his showing to this point.
In round seven, Abe looked to land a heavy one, but mostly, he looked, and absorbed. A right to the body punctuated the end of the round.
In the eighth, Froch gave Abe more of the same. His work rate wasnt overwhelming, by any means, but he didnt need it to be, because Abraham wasnt acting with any urgency. He tried a forearm shiver with a minute left and the ref Frank Garza gave him the what for.
In the ninth, Abe kept the same pace, which is to say, he lacked urgency. Twice, Froch landed power shots which sent Abe back a step or two, on weaker legs. In the tenth, Abe pressed more, but not enough, not like he needed to. Froch stayed busy enough, and smart. He didnt try to ramp it up, go for the stellar finish, and leave himself open to a silly mistake. Abe complained that Froch went low with 1:20 left. Would he whine after about Frochs tactics, rather than bestow him with proper due? In the 12th, Abe landed a right cross, a stiff one, but it wasnt a home run shot. He whined a bit when Froch got him behind the head with ten seconds to go.
The loser was impassioned in a brawl televised by HBO, and in the face of Marquez from the get go. But the victor countered masterfully, and Katsidis tired some after exterting constant pressure. His best chance came in the third, when he landed a left hook as Marquez started his own left hook. Down, and then up, with two minutes to go, Marquez cleared his head, and dished out his own hurt 30 seconds later. He may kiss the canvas, but the date never lasts long; Marquez chin isnt teflon, but it isnt china, either. Ref Kenny Bayless showed he has a heart and a fine set of eyes as he stepped in with Katsidis still on his feet, with only his cajones holding him up. Hed been getting battered for minute. The time of the stop was 2:14.
The lightweight champion said after that Pacquiao has been avoiding him. HBOs Larry Merchant said JMM is on the top, top of the list to meet Manny. He said he thinks Marquez could generate the most money in meeting Pacman, after Mayweather. He also said Pacman could meet Saul Alvarez later next year.
***Who didnt think Jason Litzau was going to have his behind handed to him by Panamanian Celestino Caballero in their featherweight clash on the Marquez-Katsidis undercard on Saturday night in Las Vegas?
The 34 year-old Caballero supposedly looked past the American to bigger things down the line, and fans thought it would be a beatdown, probably not to reach the midway point.
Thats why we fight these things. The judges spoke, instead of conventional wisdom, and us pundits, and saw it 96-94 for Cabbie, 96-94 for Litzau, 97-93, Litzau. The split decision win for the American, who didnt land as much as Cabbie (197 to 130), but threw more, 514 to 446.
The 27 year old Minnesota fighter looked like he belonged against the champion from the start, and things looked even better than that for the American midway through the bout.
Almost a head taller than Litzau, Cabbie got the memo that he was flirting with disaster in the sixth. A round after LItzau raked Cabbie with hooks, and power rights, the champion stepped up his game. He hurled those slingshot rights of his, but Litzau wasnt put off. The raging underdog, who has cleaned up his act, and stopped partying in between fights, cleaning up his act for a fiancee, looked more confident than he ever has. He also had to be happy that a slice opened up on Cabbies left eye midway through.
His stamina held up, and so did his focus. Would the judges reward the American, and get it right?
***Freddy Hernandez had to be extra amped when the underdog in the first TV fight, Jason Litzau, came away with a decision win. But Andre Berto showed that he wasnt in the mood to let another dog have his day. He delivered a right cross that had Hernandez on his butt and in such bad shape that ref Russ Mora halted the bout at 2:07 of the first.
Berto retained his WBC welterwight crown and almost certainly will have his career signature fight next. He called out Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and of course, Manny Pacquiao. He labeled himself the best fight out there for Pacquiao. What do you think?
In the first, Bertos jab looked fierce. Freddys didnt. A right hand had Freddy down a minute in, and he got up, but on shaky legs. The ref didnt want to let Berto do any more damage.
When a victory comes that easily, Im sorry, that aint him, thats the other guy, Larry Merchant said right after the finish.
The scores to the messy muddle read: 120-108, 118-110 and 118-110, Ward.
The WBA super middleweight champion Ward (from Oakland; age 26; 22-0 with 13 KOs entering) weighed 168, while Bika (age 31; from Cameroon, lives in Australia; age 31; 28-4-2 with 19 KOs entering) was 168 as well. Dan Stell reffed the fight, which was not part of the Super Six tournament.
Bika lost to Joe Calzaghe and Markus Beyer in previous title tries.
In the first, the two roughed it up, and clinched. Bika, a genuine ruffian, whacked Ward behind the head when in close. Ward couldnt get into any kind of flow, and one figured this would be a different sort of test than hed ever had a pro.
In the second, Ward complained of head butts from Bika. The Oaklander worked the jab more, trying to keep Bika from blasting into him. But he seemed off his game, like Bikas tactics were getting to him.
In the third, Ward kept getting tangled when he got close. He didnt know whether to advance, or let Bika come at him, and counter, work off Bikas mistakes. We saw a cut open a cut on Wards left eye, after a head clash.
In the fourth, Bika went down, from a slip, the ref said. He was often first, and never looked too impressed with Wards pedigree. Ward looked like he got a better rhythm in five and six, but Bika was clearly not going to go easily.
In the eighth, we saw more clutching, and grabbing, with Ward out of his comfort zone. Thats not to say he wasnt winning...but why wasnt he keeping the hands free, taking a step back, not allowing Bika to be the octopus? Easier said than done, I suppose, as Bika is no slouch at his fighting style. I need you to rough this guy up, Bikas trainer, Ronnie Shields, told him after the round.
He complied, with a forearm, on the break.
Blood flowed from Bikas left eye in the tenth, after a butt. This one was ugly in one, in five, in the tenth, in the 12th.
It was a courageous effort but the sharp shooting prowess of Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs) prevailed over Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs) before a large crowd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Mexico City warrior now has opened a door to a possible a third Manny Pacquiao fight.
Going into the fight if you knew anything about Katsidis you expected the Aussie of Greek heritage to come in guns blazing. He did not disappoint.
After two rounds of textbook ring mastery by Marquez, a feint with the right followed by a left hook dropped the Mexican prizefighter in the third round. It was a nasty blow delivered with devastating accuracy.
“I was surprised in the third round but I recuperated well and got up,” said Marquez, who suffered three knockdowns in the first round against Manny Pacquiao and survived. “I threw the right and didn’t come back on defense.”
The problem is that Marquez got up. He usually does.
In the same third round Marquez slipped into hyper-drive and zinged Katsidis a few times before the bell finally rang.
“There’s no use in rushing in,” said Katsidis about being careful following his knockdown of Marquez. “I’ve seen a lot of guys come undone by him by rushing in.”
The fight was on.
Katsidis is the darling of fight fans with his devil-may-care offense that has only improved since his first loss to Cuba’s Joel Casamayor several years ago. He’s got more defense to go with that helter skelter offense.
“I knew I had to vary it up a bit,” Katsidis said. “Progressively I was getting on top of the guy.”
Slowly, Marquez took command with sidewinder blows to the liver and ribs and mixing in some uppercuts to keep Katsidis thinking. Despite some punches that would have sunk a heavyweight, the Aussie bored in at full speed.
“He was very difficult. He is the number one fighter with a powerful and strong style,” said Marquez of the Aussie. “We knew he was going to attack.”
It was a beautiful fight to see.
Though Marquez was winning most of the round after the third, it was clear that Katsidis was not going to retreat and look for cover. That’s what makes him such a great fighter.
In the ninth round, it was clear that Marquez was setting up for a finale as he allowed Katsidis to take the lead while he merely circled away from oncoming boxer. It’ s a scenario Marquez showed against Juan Diaz in their first fight. After a minute was gone, Marquez zoomed in for the attack and caught the Aussie with a semi-bolo punch uppercut and several right hands. Katsidis wobbled all over the ring and the end was clearly in sight. Referee Kenny Bayless stepped in and stopped the action at 2:14 of the ninth round for a technical knockout win for Marquez.
It was a wise decision.
After Katsidis brother Stethi died last month it would have been the greatest tragedy of all to see Michael continue to receive punishment in a nearly helpless position.
“Katsidis is a great fighter,” Marquez said after the fight. “I always have hard people to fight like Katsidis.”
With a possible slot in the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes it was Andre Berto who put his ticket in the ballot box with a one round demolition of Mexico City’s Freddy Hernandez (29-2, 20 KOs).
Berto needed only 2:07 in the fight to hit the body then fire an overhand right to connect on Hernandez’s chin for a one-punch knockout.
It was nice work for Berto (27-0 21 KOs).
Minnesota’s Jason “All American Boy” Litzau (28-2, 21 KOs) proved the odds makers 13-1 disadvantage didn’t mean squat as he out fought two-time world champion Celestino Caballero (34-3, 23 KOs) after 10 rounds in a junior lightweight fight.
Litzau bullied and mauled Caballero who looked out of shape, listless and sloppy. By midway in the fight, it was clear that the Panamanian did not have the power or technique to intimidate.
After 10 rounds Litzau was given a split-decision win 96-94, 94-96, 97-93.
Katsidis, we think, could possibly be the spoiler for Marquez, who is angling for a third scrap with Manny Pacquiao. Marquez (51-5-1) is 37, and some have seen slippage in his last three outings (wins over Juan Diaz, sandwiched by an out of his weight class loss to Floyd Mayweather). The 30-year-old Katsidis (27-2) might just be poised to get the signature win of his career, especially if hes extra motivated with the loss of his older brother, Stathi, who committed suicide on October 19 in Australia.
Andre Berto should have no problems upping his mark to 27-0, as the Mexican Hernandez, while 29-1, is not in the same league as the Floridian.
See for yourself on HBO, which kicks off at 9:45 Eastern, and feel free to drop a prediction here.
WBA super middleweight titleholder Ward (22-0, 13 KOs) now faces the always dangerous Sakio Bika (28-4-2, 19 KOs) on Saturday Nov. 27, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Showtime will televise the event along with Carl Froch’s battle with Arthur Abraham.
When Ward first arrived on the professional scene with Olympic gold medal in hand he was seen as somewhat of a disappointment. Few liked his run and slap style and despite incredible athleticism, the future looked bleak.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the boxer known as “Soldier of God began to accumulate subtle boxing skills here and there. Scootering around the ring during a fight became more and more rare as he began to acquire inside fighting skills that allowed him to stay in the pocket and dish out frightening counters.
It was never more evident than in his Cayman Island fight against Jerson Ravelo, a strong and fast boxer with good pedigree. That humid night Ward showed the islanders that he wasn’t running from anyone any more as he stood two feet in front of Ravelo and exchanged wicked bombs with the Dominican. The fight was over in eight rounds as Ward grabbed the NABO title that night.
Wins over Henry Buchanan and Edison Miranda followed. The speedy hands, reflexes and foot speed were adjusted for the pro game and now Ward sits among the very best boxers in the world pound for pound.
“I’m excited about this fight, said Ward knowing that it will not count toward the Super Six Super Middleweight Classic tournament. “It’s a world title defense.
Nobody makes excuses for Ward. He doesn’t need them. Quietly he’s become one of the most gifted prizefighters on the planet.
Still, Bika has a way of upsetting good fighters.
Last July in Las Vegas an undefeated Jean Paul Mendy was getting obliterated by Bika. A slow moving referee Joe Cortez allowed Bika to land one more blow as Mendy’s knee was on the ground and the boxer was disqualified. If only the referee had been in better position than Bika would have ended up with a sure win instead of the DQ loss.
It was very unfortunate but that’s boxing. It was really nobody’s fault.
“Everyone who saw the fight knows it was supposed to be stopped in the first round. I didn’t see the referee. When I was disqualified it was a big mistake, Bika said.
Ward was scheduled to meet long-time friend Andre Dirrell who has defeated Arthur Abraham and who was hit while down just like Mendy. In Dirrell’s case he has not recovered from that blow many months ago.
Ironically Bika is stepping in for Dirrell.
“I’m very happy to be a part of this, said Bika who won the Contender reality television tournament back in 2007 in one of the most memorable fights that year. He and Jason Codrington exchanged hellacious blows. “I have a chance to fight number one.
Yes, Ward is number one.
The humble Oakland prizefighter may not boast but confidence seeps out of every single word.
“At the end of the day my championship title is on the line, said Ward about the importance of fighting Bika. “He’s in there trying to hurt me. This is big as it gets.
Despite incredible ring skills the Oakland boxer knows that he may be facing someone even more dangerous than Dirrell, Green or Kessler.
“The media appointed him (Bika) the most feared man in the division. I’m not buying that, says Ward. “I’m just as hungry as any opponent that I’m fighting. I’m just as desperate as any opponent I’m fighting.
After each initial Super Six entrantposed for the introductoryphoto ops it didnt take long forpromotional interests to clog things up. Simple math mashing provided adiscouraging indication of just how hungry, dedicated or fan friendlythe participants and their patrons really were.
Between inevitableunforeseen injuries and questionable posturing it almost looked like pulling the plug would be a merciful andlogical, if unsatisfying, conclusion.
Showtime may have had too much good faith in the beginning. That doesnt mean it wont be rewarded. It looks quite possible that the tournament will heat up again like a Finnish sauna amidst a frozen landscape.
Theres more good news. Unless somebody slides into the skids on Helsinki ice, it looks like Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch are actually going to fight for the WBC belt.With that meeting theSuper Sixhas an engagement that should be a candidate for Fight of the Year.
Theres even icing on the conking cake as tourney leader Andre Ward meets Sakio Bika in aWBAtitle fight.Bika will have to up his game to make his fight as competitive as thingson the Baltic coast look to get.
Meanwhile, the debate about whether or not Johnson is equal to Andre Dirrell or MikkelKessler became mootastheyended up with problems beyond their control and were forced to withdraw. Johnson was a positive replacement, quite possibly a gain.
Ward, through charismatic class and clean personality, had emerged as the sentimental favorite and gold standard. That hasnt changed.
In Johnsons case a combination of ernest work ethic and history of classwhile performing at an elite levelmeans itsquitepossible Johnson enjoyedeven more of a fan base than any of the originalSuper Six already.Immediate feedback seemed heavily favorable toward his performance, and he tied Abraham for points.
Johnson and Ward have nailed down a spot but who they face in the next bracketis interesting and probablynot easy to call.
Ill plead completeignorance, even insanity,regarding thelikelihoods and logics of leather when it comes to Showtimes super-middleweight extravaganza. The two guys I picked prior to the brackets openings (Kessler and Jermain Taylor)were both gone before the second stage.
The Super Six was supposed to eliminate anyquestionsbut for a while it looked like the high road of hopemight get flooded by the sewer of reality. Then along came Johnson and suddenly things were back on track.
As always, odds are it wont stay that way.
From now on, contrary to what its looked like so far,promoters should show extragood faith and give some concessions for thebenefit of the game. Ifanyone wantsto call themselves super,they should act like it. That way, as intended, the tourneys seeding will eventually determine the proper champion.
Best against the best. Last man standing. Whoever survives the Super six gauntlethas an undisputable, legitimate claim to 168 pound honors.
As they say after learning the ropes: knot.
Declaring a champion in 2011doesnt have to mean the end of the line for the 168 pound tournament jousting.
Lucian Butes signing with Showtime could be seen as both a conclusive effort to include all of the very best 168 pounders in the current landscape, and it serves asinsurance fora virtual monopoly on the division no matter what happens in the tourney. Bute has foughtjust as much as any one in the tourneysince the Super Six kicked off.
Sergio Martinez earned something to say if he decides to move up. Maybe he and Bute could fight to see who gets the Super Six winner, though its been highly mumbled that Kessler has that shot guaranteed upon his return.
If Kessler returns, that is.
It seems the nature of the 168 pound tournament beast holds as many questions as answers.
So, now for this weekends picks. One isseemingly obvious, one is likethe old two-headed coin flip trick, but whose head gets spun?
Ward should pitch a shutout against Bika, who could claim the upset of the year with a surprise.
Froch TKO 9 Abraham.It seems Froch was very wise to postpone meeting Abraham for almost eight weeks. Whether or not Frochs back injury was a justifiable reason, the vibe has shifted toward him. Unless Abraham shows he can adapt histechnique to more boxing and less slugging, hes going to go from one of the favorites to must win circumstances.
Whoever comes out aheadin Helsinki and Oakland Saturday night, theSuper Six looks likea winningcircumstance once again.
While boxing is on the rise once again around the world, no one would argue that it is what it used to be in the United States but Pacquiao is a phenomenon almost beyond understanding. A cult hero to Filipinos around the world, he has somehow managed to transcend the sport itself to become what boxing desperately needs but has little of – a personality.
In the weeks and months leading up to his one-sided victory over three-time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, Pacquiao was profiled in such decidedly non-boxing venues as National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, GQ, TIME, American Airlines flight magazine (with a trapped in an airplane audience of an estimated 3 million readers), Atlantic Monthly (ATLANTIC MONTHLY?) and on CBS’ 60 Minutes in a segment that followed one on President Barack Obama.
Because of that the world larger than boxing wants to know two things: when will he fight undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and if he’s not going to fight him who will he square off with next spring?
The prevailing assumption is that a fight with Mayweather, which would be a megabout likely to break the all-time pay-per-view record set by Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya two years ago of 2.4 million buys, is unlikely because both Mayweather and his trainer, his uncle Roger, both are facing serious legal charges in Las Vegas that could carry with them jail terms and because there is no love lost between Mayweather and Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum. Only in a world as oddly upside down as boxing would the latter be a factor in whether or not the sport’s No. 1 event would be held but it is a real dilemma and so other names are being floated around if Mayweather remains unavailable for what is being projected as a bout that would pay each man at least $25 million.
Because of the way Pacquiao (52-3-2 38 KO) handily destroyed Margarito at a catch weight of 150 pounds, many are urging him to push his body even farther and challenge middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who just knocked out Paul Williams with one punch a week ago. That, to me, is absurd. There are weight limits in boxing for a reason. Pacquiao, who began his career fighting at 106 pounds and has since won legitimate world title all the way up to 147 pounds (the super welterweight title the WBC awarded him for defeating Margarito was, in fact, not at the 154-pound limit and hence a charade not a championship.
If Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach felt the need to limit Margarito to 150 pounds why would they agree to face the 160-pound champion? It would make no sense and frankly be foolhardy, especially when one considers the fact Pacquiao admitted to having his share of difficulties with Margarito’s strength at a weight 10 pounds below the middleweight limit.
While many may call for such a fight they will not be the onest having to take the punches or the one trying to do enough damage to win against a man better able simply by size to absorb the punishment Pacquiao tends to deal out.
Arum at first tried to sell the idea of a rematch with Miguel Cotto or fistic free agent Shane Mosley but both are a sham. Though still able to beat most second tier fighters, Mosley is past his prime and, as he proved in a lopsided loss to Mayweather, is no longer in the elite class of a guy like Pacquiao. As for Cotto, Pacquiao already undressed him once in an utterly one-sided victory that requires no replay.
One possibility is undefeated welterweight champion Andre Berto, although the argument against that will be that Berto is not yet a big enough draw to be even the B side of a Pacquiao fight. The only problem with that argument is he’s a bigger draw than Joshua Clottey and Pacquiao-Clottey drew 50,000 at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Another possibility is the winner of the Tim Bradley (26-0, 11 KO) vs. Devon Alexander (21-0, 13 KO) super lightweight unification (140 pound) fight, a match that would allow Pacquiao to drop back to a more comfortable fighting weight since he normally boxes at no higher than 145 pounds regardless of the size of his opponent.
The problem there is the same as the Berto situation in that neither Bradley or Alexander are recognizable names to anyone but the most astute boxing fan.
Which brings me to the man Pacquiao really should fight next. If a fight with Mayweather (41-0, 25 KO) is not possible the next man in line should be a fighter who has faced Pacquiao twice and many believe has not yet lost to him – Juan Manuel Marquez.
Marquez fought a draw with Pacquiao in 2004 and lost a split decision to him four years later. Both decisions were loudly protested by many who felt Marquez did enough to win both fights and in each case Pacquiao struggled against an opponent many consider one of the most highly skilled boxers in the world.
This weekend Marquez will defend his WBA and WBO lightweight (135 pound) titles from the challenge of the new Arturo Gatti – Michael Katsidis – and if he comes out of that fight victorious a fight with Pacquiao would be easily promotable. All one would need to do is show their first two fights on HBO a few times and who wouldn’t want to see a third?
Pacquiao conceded earlier this week in Manila that he is willing to face Marquez a third time despite the hell he gave him in their first two fights, oddly arguing that while he’s willing he doesn’t believe the fight would sell because “I would not watch Pacquiao vs. Marquez.’’
Would he not watch it or does he simply not want to go through a third war with the feisty Mexican? Only Pacquiao knows the answer to that but the fact is Marquez has a style that gives him fits. He has proven able to take his best shots and get off the canvas and fight his way back into close matches with Pacquioa. He’s also shown the skill to attack him where he’s most vulnerable and has never had a problem either hitting Pacquiao or keeping up with his volume of punches.
The only real question marks are Marquez’s age (he’s 37 and has begun to show signs of slippage, even though he’s still in the top four in most pound-for-pound ratings) and the fact that Pacquiao is now a bigger man than he was when they fought at featherweight (126) and super featherweight (130).
Yet Pacquiao could make 140 pounds if he wants, having to shave off only five pounds from the weight he carried when he beat up Margarito. That would seem to be a fair compromise, Marquez having to move up five pounds from the lightweight limit and Pacquiao come down the same amount from his last fight.
Yet the fact is Pacquiao doesn’t have to do that because he is the new king of pay-per-view revenue and hence can dictate – and quite often has – whatever terms he wants. It would seem more likely he’d try to force Marquez to fight him at 145, a weight that was clearly uncomfortable for Marquez and counterproductive.
Would Juan Manuel Marquez accept a third fight with Pacquiao at 145 pounds? Probably so but if Manny Pacquiao wants to give his sport another shot in the arm he should face his old Mexican nemesis at 140 pounds. Who knows? Considering how the first two ended, they might very well be able to do it a fourth time as well, a throwback to the Golden Age of boxing in America when closely competitive guys like this faced off regularly without any dropoff in fan interest.
In the end, Manny Pacquiao will fight who he wants at whatever terms he wants but if he can’t convince Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to settle the difference between them for one of the biggest paydays in boxing history he should welcome the chance to face a man many in boxing don’t yet fully believe he’s beaten yet – Juan Manuel Marquez.
Martinez, who held the WBC super welterweight title until June 2010, became the World Middleweight Champion in April, dethroning and bloodying defending champion Kelly Pavlik. He made his case for Fighter of the Year by starching two-division world champion Paul Williams in the second round last Saturday in Atlantic City to successfully defend his title.
Who’s the mythical pound for pound best?
“In my opinion a valid argument can be made for all three so let’s just number them 1A, 1B and 1C, said Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella. “But I sure would like to see them prove who the best is inside the ring and Sergio is ready to concede his weight advantage to do it.
If Manny is willing to defend his WBC super welterweight title, I would come down to 154 pounds to challenge him for it as well as allow him to challenge me for my WBC middleweight title, said Martinez. It would be the opportunity of a lifetime. But Im a realist and if he feels that he is physically too small to fight me I certainly understand that too.
Sergio is willing to fight next at 154 pounds -- defending his WBC middleweight title as well as fighting for the WBC super welterweight title whichwould be vacated by Manny Pacquiao. That’s a pretty big concession, but if that’s what it takes to get Floyd Mayweather Jr., the WBC’s emeritus super welterweight champion, in the ring with him, Sergio is ready, willing and able. There is a lot of confidence behind his matinee looks, continued DiBella. “The fans deserve Martinez vs. Mayweather and boxing needs it to continue its growth into the mainstream. I can work with any promoter to make the best fight with Sergio. It’s business – good business – and common sense.
Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who trains in Oxnard, Calif., is 30-1-1 over the past 10 years, with his lone blemish, a highly disputed majority decision loss to Williams last December – a loss that was avenged via the knockout of the year last Saturday in front of millions of HBO viewers. He is scheduled to be sitting ringside with DiBella on Saturday at the MGM Grand for the HBO tripleheader featuring WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto’s title defense against Freddy Hernandez; WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquezs title defenseagainst Michael Katsidis; and the 10-round rumble between Celestino Caballero and Jason Litzau.