The sand almost stops falling from the hourglass as Sergio Martinez inhales and looks for his second wind on his career. Nearly another year has passed and no new names have been added to the impressive record of wins he’s collected. A bum knee with a hand that breaks when he fights and a resolve his body can no longer withstand, Maravilla has already accomplished what most boxers dream and what the fans wait and watch for: a top 10 pound for pound and undisputed ranking who defends against the best.
His highlight reel includes one of the most memorable KO’s of the last decade with a brutal left hook that put stars around Paul Williams head. At the time a widely avoided opponent, Paul Williams never really recovered and went on to catch a beating from now one of the most ducked boxers, Erislandy Lara.
Successfully defeating the bruising middleweight trio from Great Britain and making an unforgettable night with the outrageous 12th round bonanza against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. his resume speaks volumes. Always seeking to fight the biggest names, Sergio embodies the heart of a champion and skills of a Hall of Famer. Sadly, his current opponent Father Time can’t be ducked and hasn’t lost to anyone except Bernard Hopkins.
While no one can be sure how many fights Sergio really has left, his current status suggests at most three but more likely two fights remain. All indications have Sergio Martinez in line to square up against legend Miguel Cotto next June at the famed Madison Square Garden.
Canelo Alvarez is another top-billing candidate and known target of Sergio’s that could have him riding off into the sunset with a win. Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin is another viable option and one of great interest to this writer. Kid Chocolate in my mind really hasn’t faced champion caliber guys from his division and is being brought up much like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was in that respect, but touts skills that make you want to see him tested.
Most boxing fans want to see Gennady Golovkin get the shot to take over the top spot from Sergio, but the fight isn’t as big of a draw as the Canelo and Cotto options as promoter Lou DiBella so eloquently puts it: "I want him in a PPV fight. He’s 38 years old, he’s earned the right to make money."
The recipe for blockbuster fights is the same as pasta parmigiana; it isn’t ready until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Gennady Golovkin needs to simmer with a couple more middleweight fights against top contenders (Geale, Murray) before real cheese can be made and a Martinez showdown can be happen. Ironically, Golovkin is in the same position Sergio was in: a victim of his own success, trying to get the biggest names to step-up.
Sergio didn’t have the luxury of time that Gennady Golovkin has. Turning pro at the age of 22, the race to the top has been just that, a sprint, with no time to wallow. Against the clock, age is showing its effects as the champion is literally on his last leg fighting the biggest names in boxing. Imagine for a second if Sergio was healthy and maybe three years younger. With his skill, he’d have a real shot to beat everyone mentioned earlier and be the biggest PPV draw outside of Floyd and Manny.
We don’t get to see the years of PPV fights that Sergio has sold us in advance that even Pope Francis want to watch him in but we do get to see at least two more main events where Sergio can cement his name as one of the greatest middleweights of not just our generation but of all time.