Mike Coppinger at BoxingScene.com spoke with promoter Lou DiBella, who was harsh on poor folks that think his fighter, middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, should at least consider a move up to 168 pounds. Here's what DiBella said about moving up:
"I’m sick of listening to idiots suggest it, and quote me on that, idiots. He is the smaller guy at every weigh-in. He’s smaller than Barker, he’s smaller than Dzinziruk, he walks around at 168. These ’68 pounders walk around at 190. He weighs in for fights at 156, 157, 158. He’s a very small middleweight. At ’68, he would just be overpowered. I’m not gonna do the Pacquiao thing where you go pick a guy bigger than you who sucks."
Since I'm one of the idiots who thinks Sergio should consider moving up or accept that his lot in life right now is as the exciting, highly-talented ruler of a still fairly weak division that doesn't offer him many compelling fights -- that is, do one of those two things instead of focusing too much on welterweights like Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Miguel Cotto -- I felt compelled to really take a look at what Lou is saying here.
Now, listen, I'm not saying Sergio Martinez is a big middleweight. He isn't. But he's not some little fella battling the Goliath-like behemoths of the middleweight division, either.
Martinez has fought four legit fights in the middleweight division, and one years ago that doesn't really count, where he weighed in at 159. But let's forget that one. In these four fights, Martinez has weighed in at 159, 159½, 157¼, and 158¾. So is he really weighing in at "156, 157, 158"? No, not really.
Does Sergio Martinez really walk around at 168 pounds? He might. But late last year, before Martinez rematched Paul Williams in a fight that had a 157-pound catchweight, the WBC had their 30-day weigh-in for the fight to make sure everyone was on point. Paul Williams weighed 162 pounds. Sergio Martinez weighed 176 pounds.
Was he really smaller than Sergiy Dzinziruk? Dziniruk is a 154-pound fighter. Always has been. And sure, Martinez has himself come up to 160. But Dzinziruk is not a big middleweight, either; he's not even a big junior middleweight, really. He's average height for the weight, but he's got a short reach and just doesn't have a big frame at all. For the 30-day weigh-in prior to facing Dzinziruk, Sergio was at 173. On the HBO unofficial scales, Martinez was 170 against Dzinziruk.
Will Barker be bigger than Martinez? Yes, probably. Seeing them standing together, Barker does look like a bigger guy than Sergio.
I know why DiBella would say these things, because it serves his fighter well. This is the guy who said after Martinez beat Dzinziruk that Sergio had proven he was a Hall of Fame fighter. He's doing his job as a promoter to try to shut down any whiff of naysayer rebellion toward his fighter, and speaking only for myself, I say again that I don't think Martinez absolutely has to go to 168. He's fine staying at 160 and ruling the division, and maybe some guys come up from 154 or meet him in the middle from 147.
But is Martinez really that small? No, I don't think he is. Would he be giving up some size at super middleweight? Of course, but I don't think it would be an absurd amount. It's about talent, and I think Martinez has the talent to be successful at super middleweight, and to win meaningful fights there. It's not like I'm saying I want him to go up so he can get starched by someone. I'm confident he could hold his own and then some.
There would be good fights for him at the weight, and bad fights for him at the weight. And to be entirely fair, DiBella does say that they would entertain the idea of fighting Carl Froch, should Froch beat Andre Ward on October 29 to win the Super Six World Boxing Classic. That would be a good fight. But I'm just an idiot, and I'm OK with that.