The middleweight champion of the world is back. It is both a glad and potentially dangerous occasion, the return Saturday of Sergio Martinez not only to the ring, not only to HBO, but to his native Argentina, where he's become an athlete worthy of presidential hobnobbing. Martinez is resuming his reign coming off the richest win of his career, a resounding decision win over popular Mexican brawler, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and will be celebrated by approximately 40-50,000 Argentines live in Buenos Aires. But the Chavez win was a win that, while it enriched him, came with a cost: a badly injured knee resulting from the final round charge from Chavez, one that required surgery. Reconstructed knees are not kind to 38-year-old late starters who depend upon a special brand of speed and gymnastics, the way Martinez does.
Enter Martin Murray, a top-10 middleweight with similarities to two fellow U.K. 160-pounders who have given Martinez more trouble than some expected, Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin. Murray, whose best performance came in a draw against top middleweight Felix Sturm in a bout that many believed he deserved to win, is fundamentally sound, intelligent, nothing special but with no discernible exploitable flaws like Barker and Macklin. Both of those men kept things close, but ultimately succumbed to the superior speed and power of Martinez. Neither of them faced Martinez coming off knee surgery.no comments