WBC middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez (51-2-2), defeated Martin Murray (25-1-1) with a unanimous decision victory in a bout that had Martinez’s handlers nervous throughout the entirety of the fight. The bout was held at the Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield in Martinez’s homeland, Buenos Aires, Argentina and televised on HBO.
For Martinez, the victory served as one of the toughest of his career due to the fact that Murray was certainly the bigger man in the ring and applied a defensive tactic that would not allow Martinez to effectively land punches.
Even more, Martinez just came off of knee surgery, which he had not fully recovered from entering the fight. Therefore, Martinez was unable to plant his right knee to drive his punches and threat Murray with his power.
Consequently, Martinez’s attempt to come back from knee surgery too early has resulted in the announcement from his promotional team, DiBella Entertainment, that he will not be fighting for the rest of 2013. Furthermore, he will require a second knee surgery, which has many boxing insiders questioning whether, at age 38, he can continue to make successful title defenses with such injuries.
Murray, on the other hand, showed that he should be considered a top contender within the middleweight rankings and will likely get another opportunity at a world title sometime in the future. Fortunately, for Martinez, Murray did not continue his aggression in the championship rounds after scoring a knockdown in the 8th round, which allowed Martinez to win the latter rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to depict what Martinez and his management team decides to do next as HBO announcer, Jim Lampley said it best “It is evident that Martinez is leaking oil.” With fighters such as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Gennady Golovkin in the division, Martinez is on track to take on some serious opposition and will certainly need to be 100 percent in good health to be successful in defense of his title.
Overall, credit must be given to Martinez for battling through such serious injuries and taking on such a tough opponent in Murray. It is certainly a smart decision for him to take off the rest of 2013 and ensure he fully recovers from his upcoming knee surgery. Many questions will now arise as to how long Martinez can battle such injuries and defend his title in a division with threatening opponents that will surely outweigh him on fight night.