Sergio Martinez tops Kelly Pavlik to win middleweight championship

Sergio Martinez took the world middleweight championship tonight in Atlantic City. (Photo via suljosblog.com)

Sergio Martinez won a well-earned unanimous decision tonight over Kelly Pavlik, taking the world middleweight championship in the process.

Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KO) won on scores of 115-111, 116-111 and 115-112. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-112 for Martinez.

It was a terrific tactical fight, with some great back-and-forth momentum. Martinez dominated the early portion of the fight, but Pavlik (36-2, 32 KO) charged back in the middle rounds, knocking down Martinez and taking a lead on our card through eight rounds.

But then, it was the Sergio Martinez show. Martinez cut Pavlik up, had him bleeding profusely, and took the fight for the rest of the time left, winning what I felt was a clear and solid decision.

Pavlik showed a lot of guts tonight, and so did Martinez. Pavlik has a rematch clause, and I'd expect they'll do this again. The fight was definitely good enough to deserve a rematch. Kelly Pavlik fought through blood, managed to turn the tide of the fight, and just got beaten in the end. It was a damn good fight, I thought, and one worthy of the hype.

All congratulations to Sergio Martinez, the new legitimate middleweight champion of the world.

On the Atlantic City undercard, Mike Jones, Matt Korobov and Ronald Hearns all won. Hearns landed some right hands on Delray Raines that were worthy of his family name.

From Montreal in the co-feature, Lucian Bute knocked out Edison Miranda in the third round. Miranda had been doing fairly well and got cocky. After making a big show of his not feeling Bute's punches, Bute immediately stopped him with a gorgeous left uppercut.

The times changed tonight, folks. New middleweight champion of the world: Sergio Martinez. But don't discredit Kelly Pavlik, who made no excuses afterward and fought his heart out. Both were a credit to the sport tonight.

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