Martinez Batters Dzinziruk…KIMBALL

Martinez Batters DzinzirukTSS U, please weigh in. Give the suits the benefit of your wisdom…Who do you want to see Martinez fight next? (Hogan Photos)The suits at HBO got some splainin’ to do.

You may recall that the network’s reward for Sergio Martinez’ Fighter of the Year performance in 2010 was (a) forcing the middleweight champion to forego his mandatory against  Sebastian Zbik, effectively getting Maravilla stripped of his WBC title, and then, in defiance of all logic, strong-arming Martinez and promoter Lou DiBella into a fight against the immortal Ukrainian Sergiy Dzinziruk, whom HBO insisted would be a more competitive opponent.

We hold little brief for Sebastian Zbik, but it’s hard to see how he could have been a more unworthy opponent than Dzinziruk. From the opening bell, Martinez treated the WBO junior middleweight champion with utter disdain, battering him from pillar to post for the less than eight rounds Dzinziruk managed to remain erect. Martinez not only thoroughly out-jabbed (147-80) a boxer whose stock in trade was supposed to be his jab. Martinez knocked down Dzinziruk, who had never before been off his feet as an amateur or as a professional, five times in all before referee Arthur Mercante intervened on humane grounds to stop the one-sided rout at 1:43 of the eighth.

Martinez, who also presumably retained his WBC “emeritus” title, was rewarded by becoming the organization’s second “Diamond Belt” champion in running his professional record to 47-2-1.  (Dzinzurik, who retains his Body Odor 154-pound title despite suffering his first loss, is now 37-1.)

For all the heroics he displayed in his stirring wins over Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams last year, Saturday night’s win at the Foxwoods Casino was undoubtedly Martinez’ most impressive win – not because of the opponent, who didn’t offer much opposition at all, but because he beat Dzinziruk at his own game while thoroughly imposing his will upon him throughout the evening.

After dominating the first three rounds behind his jab, Martinez scored the first knockdown of the evening in the fourth when he drove Dzinziruk to his haunches with a left and then caught him on the top of the head with another left, causing the Ukrainian’s knee to touch the canvas just long enough to elicit a count from Mercante.

The second knockdown, a round later, was more emphatic, as Martinez landed two successive right-left combinations to drop Dzinziruk on his backside just before the round ended.

Dzinziruk managed to stay on his feet through the sixth and seventh rounds, but in the eighth Martinez followed a jab with a hard left to the jaw that sent him down again. Dzinziruk arose somewhat shakily, and was shortly dispatched to the canvas yet again by another right-left combination. Mercante allowed the fight to resume, albeit briefly, when Martinez caught Dzinziruk with a short right (he was already on the way down when Martinez missed a sweeping left and then landed another right) the referee took him into protective custody.

The Argentinean champion (fighting for the first time in eight years without trainer Gabriel Sarmiento, who withdrew from his corner on three days’ notice, citing mysterious “personal problems) afterward called out both Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. He will get neither wish, and may have cemented his position as the fighter nobody wants to fight. As spectacular as Martinez’ performance may have been, if there was a lesson to be drawn from all of this it is that HBO should henceforth let promoters promote and leave the matchmaking to the matchmakers.

Ireland’s Andy Lee, who went into his bout against Scotsman Craig McEwan touted as a prospective future opponent for Martinez, didn’t do much that was likely to frighten the champion, and had to rally from the deep hole he had dug himself on the scorecards to score a come-from behind tenth-round knockout.

Lee, who had beaten McEwan in their amateur days back in Europe several years earlier, dominated the first round, wobbling the Scotsman and bloodying his nose.

“It was probably the worst thing that could have happened,” said Lee. “I thought I could take him out after that, and kept loading up, trying to knock him out with one punch.” McEwan, who seemed emboldened by each succeeding round, was consistently backing Lee up as he won the next five rounds in succession. Lee, who seemed confused and dispirited during this interlude, looked as if he were sleepwalking. Having surrendered so many rounds that he had pushed himself to the brink (“I knew I was losing the fight, but I told myself ‘if he’s going to beat he he’s going to have to kill me,” said Lee later), Lee eventually began to punch in combinations, and in the ninth dropped McEwan with a right-left combination.

Although HBO’s Jim Lampley would describe Lee’s coup de grace as a “career-saving punch,” going into the tenth two of the ringside judges had the fight even at 85-all, as did The Sweet Science.  McEwan was already on rubbery legs when Lee landed a huge overhand left. Referee Steve Smoger waved it off at :56 without a count, but McEwan remained on the canvas for nearly a minute. Lee is now 25-1, McEwan 19-1.

Comment on this article


-brownsugar :

incredible... never in my wildest dreams did I think Dzinz would have been so overwhelmed... even though he was landing at will, Martinez couldn't even feel his punches... Dzinz applied his razor jab with telling effect but Martinez jab was like a hammer... wow.. I have to give it to Martinez.. he is P4P fighter.. he'll never get Floyd or Pac into the ring so can we see Martinez vs Pirog now?

-brownsugar :

Lee was losing so badly we stopped switching over fromthe Martinez card to watch his fight after the 8th... I just assumed he lost by TKO. Lee looked as if he was hanging by a thread as his Irish opponent threw punches in bunches...landing a good percentage of his shots...Lee looked so tired and was getting so sloppy we assumed he would be the victim of a TKO..... we went back to watch Wolak finish off Foreman who appears to have seen better days. Foreman is a fight who promotes a scientific approach to boxing while Wolak applies a non stop pressure beatdown with short not-to-heavy combinations... Foreman had nothing to keep the busy Wolak off him and he never held up his right glove to block the multitudes of Wolak's short over hand lefts that were landing at will (like one every 12 seconds)... Wolak isn't a hard puncher either but he began to put his body behind the blows in the final round and had Foreman noticably hurt... I was wondering when his corner was going to stop the massacre and they did before the next round as Foreman couldn't continue.

-mortcola :

Disrespectful underrating of Dzinziruk. Had you been watching both fighters instead of swooning over Martinez' natural glory, you would have seen an extremely accurate, sharp counterpuncher, with a dynamite jab he was able to time and land crisply on Sergio - who's defensive and technical weaknesses would have cost dearly if Dzin had more power. Sergio is a phenom, and he's getting better, mostly in terms of confidence, counterpunching and effective power. But Dzin was a highly disciplined and intelligent opponent, who could be seen to makes several effective adjustments....until he got creamed by those lightning counters. It was a power differential that made the fight what it was. Sergio will be a b-tch of a challenge for anyone, but the guy has some glaring weaknesses that should be an enticing puzzle for the right fighter to solve.

-FighterforJC :

Great. Now Dzinziruk can go back to the agency they dug him from, maybe go through a name change and become the opponent for the next, next big thing.

-brownsugar :

Spot on Mort... strength was the deciding factor in this bout....if Dzinz had bit more,.. the way he was tagging Martinez... the fight could have turned out differently... still you have to give Dzinz his respect... he countered effectively,... pressed forward and got up after 4 of 5 knockdowns......this after having been as inactive as he was over the past 5 years.

-Radam G :

I saw a middleweight-size Doc Wlad K in Dzinziruk. Unlike Doc Wlad, Dizzy -- I mean Dzinz -- couldn't buy luck. I ain't hatin!' Holla!

-mortcola :

@Radam......except for the crushing one-punch KO power in either hand, the ability to control the distance and fightspace, and to stun an opponent into complete lack of motivation with the jab. But other than that...oh yeah, the fact that Dzin is a southpaw, yes, they are both pale Ukrainians in their mid thirties. Unmistakeable resemblance. Practically clones.

-Radam G :

Dzin is in his mid-30s! He looked so kid-like. Dude must have some good stay-young-looking genes. Apparently no how-to-fight ones. Hehehehehe! I got it! He needs to grow in a division that is full of tomato cans, marshmellows, stiffs, fat-arses and big-foots [sic], bad-balance, slow-moving tallies with bad bones. After this copy, the next time that I will discuss one of those greatest B-minus fighters of all times is after I read what the outstanding TSSU masterweaving scribes spit. [YUP! And, of course, I gotta hear da Fe'Roz holla.] I dared the talking heads to mention the nowaday top fighters. They musta' fo'got da heavies. I was gettin' my on Hip-Hop holla at Showtime like a muthatalka' and textin' and flexin' at HBO like a muthastalka.' Danggit! But I didn't get any luv for the K-bums -- I mean bros/docs/boxers. But my HBO boy Max spitted da luv about Da Manny, Da Money May, Da Filipino Flash and Da True-and-only Middleweight champ Martinez. Holla!

-Fe'Roz :

The man just finished beating a "lifetime" juniour middleweight. That's right. Sergio defended his "middleweight" crown against a junior middleweight at best. No wondef Sergei's crisp shots only scrathed Sergio's face. From the moment HBO matched these two, Martinez never once hd to worry that the other man had the power to hurt him. This victory was attractive .. as in good to look at. but look closely. Sergio Marvilla has now beaten two "Junior" Middleweights defense of his
MIddleweight crown. As Radam says, Boxing is the theatre of illusion. Or something like that.

-FighterforJC :

"Saturday night’s win at the Foxwoods Casino was undoubtedly Martinez’ most impressive win – not because of the opponent, who didn’t offer much opposition at all, but because he beat Dzinziruk at his own game " So Martinez played "no game?" LOL. While it is downright pathetic and desperate to start mentioning Martinez with Pacquiao and Mayweather, boxing should embrace Martinez for what he is; an entertaining and highly skilled boxer who's willing to take on anybody. I'd like to see Martinez with Pirog or Danny Jacobs. I'd also like to see him drop back down and expose or validate Saul Alvarez. James Kirkland will be an intriguing match as well. A whirlwind fighter like Kirkland is tailor made for Martinez, but Kirkland's non-stop pressure is the real world equivalent of "button-mashing" in videogames, and just as tough to beat.

-Radam G :

The game is so full of optical illusions. In 2010, Sergio Martinez doesn't destroy a drunk, but gets by him with a not-a-lopsided decision, kayos a hyped-up long, tall, bum, wins knockout of the year and boxer of the year; and now 2011, he's stripped and ripped of his alphabet sanctioning organization title belts and given WBC Diamond one that he cannot lose, thus making him champion for eternity, and he shut downs and yo-yo whup a green, robotic softy in eight rounds, and fanfaronades believe that SM is SUPERBAD! WDDF! I got some breaking news for ya. NYET! Da sucka has had more magic working for him than Houdini could have ever dreamt of. But SM has no Bundini or Dr. Dean. SM's trainer didn't even work in SM's corner in the last bout. The trainer sent his little brother. There is a storm on the way in Kansas. And SM is no Dorothy. She had the ruby slippers, Toto, the Scarecrow, the tin man, and the cowardly lion in the Land of Oz with her. SM won't have a single ally in that squared jungle with him. He musta fo'got! I think that he was hit with a hard shot. And the joker is a bit dazy. Or maybe straight-up CRAZY! Sergio Martinez is one of these nowadays New Jack fighters. He does all type of stupid jive that looks effective, good and speedy to the uneducated eye. In no shape, fashion or form, can he compete with Money May, Da Manny or even Miguel Cotto. They will turn that boxing ring into an enchanted squared jungle of endless surprises, optical illusions, mass confusion and extreme whup-arse for SM. Those who don't know oughta get off that size-and-reach myth. Yea, thoughts and eyeballs will often blind one of knowledge. The munchkins -- Money May, Da Manny and Miguel -- know how to strug like peacocks and soar like eagles. Not more do I need to say. Have a good day. Or night, depending on your site. Holla!