Michael Rosenthal

Ring Ratings Update: Martinez claims belt

Sergio Martinez followed in the footsteps of fellow Argentine Carlos Monzon and earned himself some new hardware on Saturday night in Atlantic City, N.J.

Martinez defeated Kelly Pavlik by a unanimous decision to take Pavlik’s RING magazine middleweight championship and his two 160-pound alphabet belts.

He became the third Argentine to hold the middleweight championship, following the great Monzon (1970-77) and Hugo Corro (1978-79).

“Sergio Martinez’ RING magazine championship belt has been ordered from the manufacturer and will be presented to him prior to his next fight,” said Nigel Collins, Editor-in-Chief of THE RING magazine. “Martinez is the first middleweight champion from Argentina since Hugo Corro won the title in 1978. Jorge Castro held the WBA middleweight strap from August 1994 until December 1995, but was never the linear or undisputed champion, just a titleholder.”

Hector Velazco also briefly held the WBO middleweight title in 2003.

Pavlik, who had been champion since knocking out Jermain Taylor in 2007, tumbles to No. 3. All middleweights rated No. 3 or below last week drop one slot each. Roman Karmazin (No. 10 last week) exits.

Martinez will retain his No. 1 position at junior middleweight.

“Even though he’s now THE RING middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez also retains his No. 1 rating at junior middleweight,” Collins said. “Most likely, Martinez will stay at middleweight, but as he can still make 154-pounds there is absolutely no reason, as far as THE RING is concerned, that he can’t compete in both weight classes. If it becomes clear that Martinez has abandoned the junior middleweight division permanently, he will be removed from the 154-pound ratings.

“Meanwhile, THE RING is giving the new middleweight champion and his team a bit of time to decide the future course of his career.”

SUPER MIDDLEWIGHTS: Even though Robert Stieglitz (No. 10 last week) was beaten by Librado Andrade (No. 9 last week) in 2008, Stieglitz has since won seven straight, including last week’s unanimous decision over previously undefeated Eduard Gutknecht. Meanwhile, Andrade has only had three fights in the same time period, going 2-1. Therefore, Stieglitz moves into the No. 9 spot, while Andrade slips to No. 10.

LIGHTWEIGHTS: The death of Edwin Valero (No. 1 last week) pushes up every 135-pounded rated last week one rung each and makes room for John Murray to enter at No. 10.

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