Dzinziruk's No Pacman Or Cotto, But Martinez Still Respects Him

sergio-martinez-vs-sergiy-dzinziruk-300Lou Dibella tried to lure Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao into a fight with 2010's Fighter of the Year, Sergio Martinez, but those big fish slithered away, keen for now on fighting less threatening animals.

So Plan C, or D, sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the machinations, which are affected by the networks, and who they will give a thumbs up to, and the promoters, especially Arum, who has lately been loathe to play outside the Top Rank sandbox that much, and the sanctioning bodies, which have their own agendas to attend to, is Sergiy Dzinziruk.

Beyond the hardcore, the types who search out talent and scout them on YouTube, the reaction to that name is…Who?

But it sounds like the southpaw Martinez isn't in that mode, is well aware of what the left-handed Ukrainian born hitter with the 37-0 mark brings to the table, and therefore doesn't seem to be a likely candidate to follow up up his thrilling demolition of Paul Williams on Nov. 20th in Atlantic City with a stinker showing because he was overconfident.

On a Wednesday conference call to bang the drums for their March 12 matchup  at Foxwoods in Connecticut, Martinez told the press that he thinks Dzinzi is the best available person for him to face, beyond the other two guys previously mentioned. Dibella called Dzinzi “the best fighter in the world no one knows,” and Martinez, who brings a 46-2 record to Connecticut, promised his promoter that he will knock out his foe. “I'm shamed,” he said thru an interpreter–his English lessons are a work in progress–“that people maybe don't know the quality of the challenger I will knock out.”

Dibella termed this scrap a “no win” sort of outing, though from my seat, I think it would speak volumes if Martinez KOs a guy who hasn't lost in 37 outings, even if his people have not brought the creme de la creme over to his digs, Germany, to test him.

Martinez, who turned 36 on Feb. 21, meanwhile, hasn't been knocking down bowling pins as of late. Dibella termed the crew he's battled, Kermit Cintron, Kelly Pavlik, and Williams, twice, a “murderers row,” as difficult a slate fight-after-fight as anyone in recent memory has taken on. For that reason, I see Martinez winning most every round, though I think Dzinzi, who turned 35 on March 1,  will be in survivor mode, and won't cave in to a KO.

We all recall that hellacious shot on Williams, which some have termed a “lucky” punch. The boxer told me that it was no lucky shot, that he threw it six times in the bout and landed five of them, and that it was “predetermined.” We shall see if he has become more of a heavy-artillery type following that nasty rubout of Williams.

Martinez said he'll dictate the pace and tone, as befitting his stature as a pound for pounder, and that he and trainer Gabriel Sarmiento, who has been overseeing sparring with ex 154 pound champ Daniel Santos and current WBA 154 pound semi-titlist Austin Trout, will next work on a specific strategy. Santos, by the way, met Dzinzi, in a 2005 WBO title defense, and dropped a tight UD12, so props to Martinez advisor Sampson Lewkowicz for securing quality personnel to practice on.

Martinez' tone on the call was that of a confident fighter, and a smooth politician. He said he was excited to fight for the WBC diamond belt, and wasn't overly miffed that his WBC middleweight crown was taken from him, and given to Sebastian Zbik (30-0), who was No. 1 ranked at 160 in the WBC ratings. HBO didn't want Martinez-Zbik, so Martinez and Dibella didn't want Zbik, so the sanctioning body stripped Martinez, made Zbik champ, and have him fighting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in his first defense. Blah blah blah. Sanctioning body silliness is often boring to try and decipher, and I frequently decide to just dispense with it, and talk about the matchup, rather than the ancillary noise and BS surrounding it. Martinez did make clear that he feels he wasn't forced into anything. “I've never been forced on who I need to fight,” he said.

Please weigh in in our Forum on what you see going down on March 12.

Comment on this article


-FighterforJC :

So I guess Sergio Martinez is now the most feared man in boxing, right?

-aymokay :

IMO, Martinez has no business in labeling Floyd and Manny that they're not willing to fight him. We all know that Maravilla is way too big for these two guys. Pacquiao who has climb several weights to be a welterweight, I believe would fight Martinez even if he has to add several more pounds to do it, but everything should be done in a proper time. If Martinez is really looking for greatness, he should look up going up into weight and not the other way around

-Radam G :

Ditto FJC! I'm not trying to haggle with this ole eagle eyes dude. He sees with those eyeballs and he sees even sharper with that insight and wit. Holla!

-brownsugar :

I'm glad Sergio knows what he's up against... Dzinziruk may appear to be the usual standup European boxer,.. but he's not, he's actually a "Slick Black African American Boxer",.... LOL ...but seriously........... Dzinziruk has a sky high boxing IQ and the reflexes of a lightweight...He comfortable just going the distance and outclassing his opponents.........In contrast...the most amazing thing to me about Martinez is his ever bouyant confidence.. Martinez epitomizes what a winner should be and projects an attitude of invincibility... ever positive and sure of his abilities... he's going to need every drop to get past Dzinzi,.. I call this a near 50/50 fight. Would not be surprised at all to see Dzinziruk win on technical superiority.

-brownsugar :

to get an Idea of how formidable Dzinziruk is,.. Dzinziruk tried for over 2 years straight to get a fight with Paul Williams,.. when Paul still had his swag and was calling himself the most feared man on the planet. Publically they blew off Dzinziruk as a nobody... but they knew.... they really really knew... then he went and jumped into a fight with the "other" Sergyi... and the rest is history.

-Radam G :

I see differently from B-Sug. To me, Martinez and his team are overconfident and acting like a team of idiots. This game will burn you in a minute. And abandon you in a second. Team Martinez doesn't mind fighting a high-risk pugilist for peanuts. WTF! Winning against a chump and a drunk can sometimes be career twisting. In other words, Martinez's career has twisted him into being thought of as one of the top of the top guns by those who are not in the know. Maybe he is the real goods. Maybe he ain't. But maybe he should fight one of the known TOP CATS and get paid nicely, instead of fighting a dangerous not-known-by-the-general-public tiger that may eat his arse up. The hype about Sergio Martinez may sink after this bout. I bet. But if he does fine and gets on a pimped-up performance, KaCHINK! JackPOT! MOOLA! MOOLA! MOOLA! There will be a long line of pugilists ready to fight him and get seriously PAID. Besides, at 36 years old, SM is short on time and is already long in da tooth. Holla!

-brownsugar :

RG,..... Martinez can be shockingly quick at times... and he's one fresh 36 year old. He's Good but I don't think the highly rated Maravella could last 12 rounds against Pirog,.. and Martinez has already refused the fight by saying that Pirog is a "nobody",... the classic way to avoid a fight. but If Martinez can starch Dzinziruk the way he says he can... I'll be the most amazed spectator in the house. but like yourself,.. I don't think he'll be able to dominate Dzinziruk.