Sergio Martinez demonstrated in the end why he’s considered one of the best fighters in the world.
THE RING’s No. 3-rated fighter pound for pound overcame a slow start against Matthew Macklin to stop the talented Englishman in spectacular fashion in the 11th round Saturday in New York City.
Thus, Martinez retains his RING middleweight championship and his pound-for-pound ranking.
But what about Macklin, who was rated No. 3 among middleweights going into the fight?
The majority of those on the Ratings Advisory Panel wanted to go easy on him because he gave the Argentine spirited resistance for seven or eight rounds. Also, many observers thought he was robbed in a split-decision loss to Felix Sturm in June.
Those members of the panel suggested we drop Macklin no more than one or two positions.
I, personally, was inclined to drop Macklin as low as No. 10. I, too, was impressed with Macklin’s performance during the first half of the fight but I also considered the fight as a whole, which didn’t reflect as kindly on him.
Martinez broke him down and then brutally knocked him out. In other words, he got his arse kicked.
Still, THE RING Editorial Board decided to defer to the panel and not be too heavy-handed with Macklin. He was dropped only three places, to No. 6., which reflects the loss but also takes his solid performance into account.
One question our British readers might ask is this: How can Macklin be rated above countrymen Martin Murray, who is undefeated and drew with Sturm in a fight most believed Murray won?
Macklin did fight on even terms with the No. 3 fighter in the world for seven-plus rounds. Sturm is the only elite fighter Murray has faced. Plus, we didn’t want to drop Macklin lower than he deserved simply because one could argue that Murray should be rated higher.
Murray might soon have his fate in his own hands. It looks as if he’ll be fighting No. 3-rated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 16. If he wins, he can expect to be rewarded.
The Editorial Board had another decision to make in the middleweight division: what to do with Grzegorz Proksa, who was rated No. 4 last week but lost a majority decision to unheralded Kerry Hope on Saturday.
Several members wanted to drop Proksa from the ratings entirely, which might’ve been justified given the magnitude of the upset.
However, the Editorial Board took into account the fact he fought almost the entire fight with blood in his eyes after being cut in the second round and decided to cut him some slack.
Proksa drops to No. 10.
RING RATINGS UPDATE
Cruiserweight: Giacobbi Fragomeni (No. 7 last week) fought to a somewhat surprising draw with Silvio Branco in a fight in which the participants had a combined age of 87. Fragomeni is 42, Branco 45.
Thus, Fragomeni drops to No. 9.
Welterweight: Kell Brook (No. 6 last week) changes places with Vyacheslav Senchenko (No. 5 last week) after easily outpointing Matthew Hatton on Saturday
This Editorial Board decided that Brook has accomplished more of late than Senchenko, the WBA welterweight titleholder. Senchenko can make a statement when he faces Paulie Malignaggi on April 29 in Ukraine, Senchenko’s home country.
Lightweight: Antonio DeMarco (No. 3 last week) stopped unrated Miguel Roman in five rounds Saturday, another nice victory for the Mexican but not enough to merit a rise in the ratings.
Flyweight: Luis Concepcion (No. 8 last week) retained his position by stopping unrated Oscar Gallardo in one round Thursday.
Junior flyweight: Roman Gonzalez (No. 2 last week) retained his position by stopping unrated Manuel Jimenez in one round Saturday.
Rated fighters in action this coming weekend (with current ratings)
Heavyweight: Tomasz Adamek (No. 3) vs. Nagy Aguilera (Saturday)
Junior middleweight: James Kirkland (No. 6) vs. Carlos Molina (No. 5) (Saturday)
Welterweight: Jan Zaveck (No. 8) vs. Bethuel Uushona (Saturday)
Junior welterweight: Erik Morales (No. 5) vs. Danny Garcia (No. 7) (Saturday); Zab Judah (No. 6) vs. Vernon Paris (Saturday)
Junior lightweight: Diego Magdaleno (No. 6) vs. Eduardo Lazcano (Friday)
Junior featherweight: Takalani Ndlovu (No. 6) vs. Jeffrey Mathebula (Saturday)
Flyweight: Hernan Marquez (No. 1) vs. Rodel Mayol (Saturday); Rocky Fuentes (No. 6) vs. Javier Franco (Saturday)