Sergio Martinez vs Matthew Macklin: Pre-Fight Report Card

by Cliff Rold

But for the judges, we might view this fight as the two best Middleweights in the world squaring off at the legendary Madison Square Garden.  Irish Matthew Macklin left his home in the U.K. to challenge German star Felix Sturm for the WBA 160 lb. belt in his last fight and looked to many observers to have deserved the decision.

He didn’t get it and the fight was close enough to leave Macklin’s setbacks relevant enough to deny him the leading contender slot.  That’s all paper garbage.  On Saturday night, he is the leading contender because he will be the one in the ring.

Standing across from him will be a capital “C” Champion in the best sense of the word.  Martinez has been a formidable force since rising from Jr. Middleweight, thrashing Kelly Pavlik for the crown and adding knockout wins of world-class battlers Paul Williams and Sergiy Dzinziruk.  At 37, he appears to be in his prime.

29-year olds likely to have the crowd on their side on St. Paddy’s Day in New York City can age a man. 

Let’s go to the report card.

The Ledgers

Sergio Martinez

Age: 37

Title: Lineal/Ring Middleweight (2010-Present, 3 Defenses)

Previous Titles: WBC Jr. Middleweight (2009-10); WBO Middleweight (2010); WBC Middleweight (2010, 1 Defense)
Height: 5’11 

Weight: 157.5 lbs.

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 158.5 lbs.

Hails from: Oxnard, California (Born in Argentina)

Record: 48-2-2, 27 KO, 1 KOBY
Record in Major Title Fights: 4-0, 3 KO (5-0-1, 4 KO
 including interim title fights)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 3 (Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams, Sergiy Dzinziruk)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat or Draw: 3 (Antonio Margarito, Kermit Cintron, Paul Williams)


Matthew Macklin


Title/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’10
Weight: 158 lbs.

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 159.8 lbs.

Hails from: Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Record: 28-3, 19 KO
, 1 KOBY
BoxingScene Rank: #4 at Middleweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 0-1
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 1 (Felix Sturm)

Pre-Fight: Speed – Martinez A; Macklin B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Martinez B+; Macklin B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Martinez B+; Macklin B-
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Martinez A; Macklin B

Macklin has two big disadvantages in the ring on Saturday.  While his knockout record is decent, he’s not a big puncher and is the lesser of the two in that regard.  He’s also considerably slower than Martinez.  With a pressuring, volume punching style, he could be open to Martinez’s quick counters.

The chance for Martinez to look the part of surgeon exists.  Martinez doesn’t throw from the same fundamental base as Sturm, who was able to land his share of straight punches when he wasn’t ear muffing.  Martinez makes up for it with greater volume, a more offensive mindset, and all sort of wild, hard to see angles. 

Where Macklin has a great chance is if he can get inside and stay there for healthy stretches.  Martinez isn’t easy to hit from the outside but he also isn’t unhittable.  If Macklin can stay close, he can force Martinez to take some off his fastball and deal with the stream of punches Macklin can let loose.  They don’t always land, but with the New York crowd looking to celebrate the Irish on Saturday, Macklin could steal rounds.

Both men have pretty good beards.  Macklin’s lone stoppage loss was in a war with Jamie Moore in 2006.  It took a lot to break him down.  Martinez hasn’t been stopped since 2000 and his lone loss since was hotly debated in the first Williams fight.  He’s been down twice, against Williams the first time and against Pavlik, but recovered easily and shown the ability to come on like the dickens.  

Even in his last fight, a presumed walkover against Darren Barker where Martinez won in more human, if still easy, fashion than the higher spots of his run, Martinez showed he knew how to close when it was time.

The Pick

Macklin is going to make for a crowd-pleasing night but victory just seems out of reach. Martinez's speed is a big edge.  This could turn into a fairly one-sided affair by the fifth or so if Martinez doiesn't catch Macklin coming in early.  I think the Irishman stays up and gets beat up in the last few rounds en route to a stoppage around nine.

Report Card Picks 2012: 9-3

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by mathed on 03-17-2012

Macklin hangs in there for a little while but he ultimately gets broken down over the long haul. By time the final stretch comes (rds 9-12), he will be a human punching bag and either the ref will stop it…

Comment by armand on 03-17-2012

I am wondering if Maclikn is going to bleed green today....

Comment by nycsmooth on 03-17-2012

@ the old , capacity-expanded Felt forum...Macklin was royally screwed vs Sturm, 1 of the judges Roberto Ramirez, who refed Salido/Lopez last wk was 1 of the blind judges who gave Sturm the WBA retention...he's as bad a judge as…

Comment by RlCKY on 03-17-2012

You mean the legendary Madison square garden theater. War Donnie George!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines David Haye: Fans Want Me To Smash Tony Bellew, Shut Him Up Joshua Taylor Tabbed To Become World Champion By McGuigan Tim Bradley: I Need To Retire A Winner, Capture One More Title Eric Molina: I'll Fight Anthony Joshua or David Price on Dec. 10 Canelo: It Would Be an Honor To Rematch Miguel Cotto Kevin Lerena Confident of Knocking Micki Nielsen Out Dejan Zlaticanin: I'm Fighting Mikey Garcia on January 28 Custio Clayton Stops Ramses Agaton in Eight Rounds in Montreal WBO Prez To Canelo Critics: Why Did Golovkin Reject Andre Ward! Terence Crawford Seeks Foe For 12/10, Antonio Orozco Next? Chavez Sr. Expects His Son To Return Stronger, Better Than Ever Jessie Magdaleno, Oscar Valdez Discuss Their PPV Fights Golovkin, Sanchez Frown at Golden Boy's Offer To Face Canelo Charlo-Williams, Cuellar-Mares, Promoted By Schaefer, on Dec. 10 Photos: LaRon Mitchell, Scott Alexander Ready For Battle Photos: Valdez, Magdaleno Putting in Work For PPV Fights Golovkin's Promoter Willing To Make Concessions To Get Canelo David Price: If I Land Joshua, I'm Going in There To Do Damage WBO Prez: No Doubt Canelo Knocks Mayweather Out in Rematch! Orlando Salido's Adviser Provides Update on Back Injury Abel Sanchez Has High Expectations For Alex Saucedo Photos: Gennady Golovkin is a Big Hit in Mexico City Parker-Ruiz Approved For WBO Belt, Winner Must Face David Haye Sam Soliman Over The Moon With Court Victory in Germany Coyle-Hibbert, Scarpa-Davies, Bellotti Set For Nov 26 at Wembley Hearn Frustrated: Klitschko-Browne is Huge Letdown For Fans! Carl Frampton Says Rematch Deal Finalized With Leo Santa Cruz Chilemba Training With Roy Jones Jr. For Oleksandr Gvozdyk Alberto Palmetta, Olympian, Inks With Sampson, Maravilla Photos: Frankie Gavin, Sam Eggington Square Up at FInal Presser Abel Sanchez: Golovkin Can Be Nice, Gassiev Wants To Hurt You! Tony Thompson: That ‘Fool’ Dillian Whyte Is C-Level, Easy Work Roberto Duran: Canelo Alvarez Will Beat Gennady Golovkin! Magdaleno: I Want To Send Nonito Donaire Into Retirement Hooker: 140 is a Tough Division, Terence Crawford is Top Dog David Price Willing To Replace Klitschko, Fight Anthony Joshua Hearn: I Think Klitschko Might Be Looking For Easier Fight Micki Nielsen-Kevin Lerena: Muller Breaks Down The Fight Jeff Horn, Rico Mueller on Weight - Both Promise To Win Big Canelo Says Saunders, Golovkin Both on The Agenda for 2017

Latest Active Forum Threads