by David P. Greisman
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – It is one thing to have razor jabs that can mark a face up. It is another thing to have perfect left hands that can knock a man down.
Sergiy Dzinziruk has one heckuva jab. But Sergio Martinez has one helluva left hand.
Martinez’s face was indeed marked up – he had bruising around his left eye, and a cut there as well. But he was still able to see his opening, and he was still able to exploit it, setting up and getting a big knockdown in the eighth round.
He then followed that knockdown up with two more, and referee Arthur Mercante stepped in after the third, saving Dzinziruk from further punishment and giving Martinez the victory.
Martinez made his second successful defense of the lineal middleweight championship, improving his record to 47-2-2 with 26 knockouts. Dzinziruk, a beltholder one division below at 154 pounds, suffered his first professional loss, falling to 37-1 with 23 knockouts.
BoxingScene was ringside for Martinez, live blogging the fights. Here’s how the main event and co-feature (Andy Lee vs. Craig McEwan) went down:
11:36 p.m. – Martinez is ducking low to begin with. He throws a right uppercut, comes forward with a left hand, but Dzinziruk backs away. Dzinziruk with a jab. Martinez with two jabs to the body.
Martinez already has his hands down. So dangerous to do against a good jabber in Dzinziruk. Dzinziruk misses a jab, Martinez lands one to the body and one to the head. Martinez throws two hooks up. Martinez with a jab to the body, a jab to the head. Dzinziruk with a few jabs up. Martinez is trying to duck down and to the left when Dzinziruk jabs, but Dzinziruk is fast enough that he’s landing as Martinez starts the movement.
Dzinziruk misses a jab and Martinez lands his. Dzinziruk lands a jab. Martinez throws a left hand. Martinez with the first round, 10-9.
11:39 p.m. – Interesting that the big screens are where the fighters can see them, and they’re carrying HBO’s broadcast. Wonder if they can see how Harold Lederman is scoring the fight. Wonder if they even care to look.
Dzinziruk misses a few jabs. Martinez is trying to compensate for the jab using distance and head movement. Martinez lands a jab down and a jab up. Another jab down, then three more jabs. Looks like Martinez is trying to set up a counter shot. He dips his head down and invites a Dzinziruk right uppercut, but Martinez pulls away, as if he was a rooster cockfighting.
Martinez with several jabs. Dzinziruk with a jab and Martinez with one of his own. Dzinziruk with a right hook, short. Martinez lands a left, then throws another. Dzinziruk with jabs, Martinez with a right hook. Martinez misses a right hook. Martinez with a jab. Martinez with two jabs, then a left cross that falls short. Martinez with a left. Dzinziruk with a jab. Martinez lands a left-hand lead. Martinez with more jabs and a left. Not much is landing with effect. Martinez 10-9, up 2-0.
11:43 p.m. – Dzinziruk with jabs. Martinez with a jab. This is a high-intensity boxing match, even if nothing big is landing. Martinez misses a left hand and gets hit with a right hook that catches his attention.
Dzinziruk with a jab. Martinez jabs down to the body, then up again. Dzinziruk with a right hook, though not much on it. Martinez is moving backward still, and Dzinziruk lands a rare left hand, then a stiff jab. Martinez with a couple of jabs. Martinez throws two right hooks, but Dzinziruk catches them on his gloves. Dzinziruk with a jab. Martinez with several jabs. Martinez with a jab. DZINZIRUKtakes round three with his effective jab. Martinez is up 2-1.
11:47 p.m. – Martinez with a left hand that seems to hurt Dzinziruk momentarily. His knee touches, and he protests, but Mercante calls it a knockdown. Dzinziruk doesn’t appear to have been effected, though I’m not sure exactly what happened. Martinez with a left hand. One-two from Martinez. Right hook to the body then a left hand up from Martinez.
Jabs from Martinez. He misses with a right hook, then throws a looping left. Dzinziruk responds with jabs, of course. Martinez with a left hand. Martinez with jabs. Dzinziruk with a good left hand that catches Martinez’s attention for a moment. Dzinziruk throws another left. Dzinziruk hits Martinez with a low blow.
Martinez with a left. He gets the third round, 10-8, on the technicality.
Looking at the replay of the knockdown: A left hand hits Dzinziruk, and then as he’s ducking down, a left hand catches him atop the head and knocks him down.
11:52 p.m. – Jabs from Martinez. Jab from Martinez, then a good left hand. Martinez with a jab, then Dzinziruk with a jab. Martinez with a 1-2, but Dzinziruk with a good jab. Martinez jabbing with his right while his left is down. Dzinziruk with a left. Martinez with a jab. Martinez misses two left hands. Dzinziruk with a very good left. Martinez’s left eye is pretty marked up.
Martinez with a left. Dzinziruk with a jab. Dzinziruk is hitting a rhythm now. Martinez with jabs. Dzinziruk with jabs. Martinez sends out several jabs and then, just before the round ends, floors Dzinziruk with a left hand. That took the round back for Martinez. 10-9 for Martinez, as Dzinziruk was winning that round before the knockdown.
11:56 p.m. – Martinez throws a lead left and gets countered with a jab. Martinez with a left. Martinez with another solid left. Martinez with a jab, then another jab. One-two from Martinez. Dzinziruk for all his boxing skill doesn’t have any head movement.
Martinez with a jab. Martinez’s mouth is wide open. Martinez with jabs. And more. Dzinziruk tries a jab and a right hook. Dzinziruk brings his right hand low at times. Martinez just got cut, a small one below his right eye. Martinez is timing the left when Dzinziruk’s jab is coming back.
Martinez 10-9 in a close round.
12:00 a.m. – Right hook from Martinez. Dzinziruk with a stiff jab. These knockdowns from earlier, by the way, are the first times Dzinziruk has ever tasted canvas, either as an amateur or as a pro. Martinez with a jab. Martinez has some bounce in his legs, but he’s still breathing through his mouth. Martinez jabs. Martinez with a left that falls just short. Dzinziruk with a right hook.
Dzinziruk with a good left. Martinez jabs and throws a left, all missing, and Dzinziruk hits him in return. Dzinziruk lands a left. Martinez jabs, Dzinziruk jabs. Martinez throws a one-two that lands, then a 1-2 that misses. Martinez is now cut over the left eye. Martinez is flicking at it.
Jab from Dzinziruk and it looks like Martinez is having trouble seeing. Good jabs from Martinez but this is Dzinziruk’s round.
12:02 a.m. – They checked on Martinez’s left eye between rounds. Dzinziruk with jabs. Martinez with a jab. Both send out jabs. Martinez with three straight landed jabs. He’s ducking his head down again to try to get away from the jab, then pounces forward with an amazing left hand that hurts Dzinziruk bad!
He’s wobbled. Another left puts Dzinziruk down. Dzinziruk s up again, and he’s taking the count. More left hands from Martinez, then a right hand from Martinez puts Dzinziruk down on the seat of his pants. Arthur Mercante steps in and stops the fight!
The time of the stoppage was 1:43 of the eighth round.
10:42 p.m. – Lee starts with a jab, misses a left hand but lands a good right hook. Lee lands another right hook that staggers McEwan momentarily. McEwan is dabbing at his nose, and his mouth is open. Lee is returning to his southpaw jab and right hook. McEwan with a good left hand. Lee with a counter right hook as McEwan comes forward. Round one goes to Lee, 10-9.
10:47 p.m. – McEwan starts off with two jabs to Lee’s torso, then lands a southpaw counter right hook of his own as Lee comes forward. Lee is jabbing as a timing device, but he’s bringing it back low. McEwan lands a good right hook, then tries another that misses. McEwarn is lunging forward with the left and needs to be careful not to be countered on that.
That’s exactly what just happened. McEwan tries a left, Lee tries a right hook counter, neither lands cleanly. Not much head movement from either guy, and that’s going to make this a fan-friendly fight. Lee with a left, McEwan with a right hook, and Lee is holding on for a little. McEwan with a right hook, then several body shots, then a left hand as the round ends. Definitely McEwan’s round in the second, 10-9.
10:51 p.m. – Slower start to the third, and McEwan is still leaning in with his left hand. Then when Lee winds up for a right hook to the body, McEwan hits him up top with a right hook. And soon he hits him with another. You don’t hook with a hooker, and McEwan, sir, is a hooker.
McEwan leads with a right hook, then sends out another right hook that is followed with a left cross. McEwan digs a few to the body. McEwan with a couple of jabs and a cross. Lee jabs to the body. McEwan sends out a jab and Lee retorts with a right hook. McEwan just misses a left hand. 10-9 McEwan. I have him up two rounds to one.
10:55 p.m. – McEwan with a jab and a left. Lee is being forced to fight going backwards, and while he has a decent counter right hook, he’s also got to be wary of the same thing from McEwarn. And McEwan is landing his left, too, with good effect. Lee is only fighting in spots, hitting McEwan with a good solid right hook after taking several from McEwan.
Lee is pulling back straight with his chin in the air. McEwan lands another left hand. And then a right hook when Lee winds up with one of his own. Lee is reeling this round. A right hook, left hand, right hook combo from McEwan. And another right hook from McEwan. McEwan easily takes this round, 10-9, and is up on my card, 3-1.
10:59 p.m. – Lee trying to create distance with a jab, but he’s still bringing that right arm back low. McEwan sends several to the body then comes back upstairs. Lee winds up with a right to the body that lands and goes un-countered. Lee lands a counter right on McEwan, with a little bit of distance established. Then McEwan lands a good shot, pins Lee on the ropes and lands three to his body.
Very disappointed that Lee doesn’t appear to have grown at all. He did just land a left hand, though. And a right hook. But McEwan is now walking through Lee’s punches. He lands a left hand and a right hook and has Lee badly hurt against the ropes. Lee holds on and makes it out of the round. McEwan 10-9, up 4-1.
11:03 p.m. – Lee with a jab and a left hand. McEwan with a left hand and a right hook. A couple jabs, and Lee lands an uppercut. Now McEwan is on the ropes, but he gets away unscathed. McEwan is definitely breathing heavily through his mouth thanks to the damage to his nose. But Lee looks like he’s just run a marathon through Scotland.
McEwan with a left, Lee has a right hook to the top of McEwan’s head. Lee hooks to the body. McEwan is back on the ropes again. This is Lee’s round so far, though it’s close. McEwan with a combination, and a little bit of bounce in his legs. Lee misses with a home run left (though one with little on it). McEwan with a four-punch combo.
If you’re looking for a round to give to Lee, this is it. I give it to him because he did better, but note it as a close round that could’ve gone the other way. McEwan is up 4-2.
11:07 p.m. – McEwan with a right hook. He looks fresh, as if he took the last round off. And then Lee lands a real good right hook, but McEwan returns fire. McEwan with a right hook. Andy Lee has head movement – when it gets punched.
Lee with a left hand. That hook from earlier has given him renewed confidence. He still looks like hell. McEwan has a cut on the side of his left eye, it appears. Lee to the body with a right hook, McEwan with a few upstairs. Lee with an uppercut, then McEwan with some body shots off Lee’s elbows. McEwan on the ropes, and then he gets away. Both guys are tired. Both land left hands toward the round’s end. Lee 10-9. 4-3 for McEwan, though I could see it 5-2.
11:11 p.m. – Lee with a right hook as he circles away from McEwan. Lee misses a left cross. McEwan with a good left to the body. He eats a couple jabs, then lands a glancing left. Lee lands a right hook, then a left cross counter. McEwan throws a good pair of left hands to the body.
Lee with a left to the body, then after a few blocked shots up, lands a left hand. He lands another left shortly thereafter. McEwan’s arms look tired now – his last right hook was firmly to Lee’s shoulder. Three-punch combo for Lee. 10-9 Lee, and he pulls even, 4-4. I’d be okay with 5-3 McEwan.
11:15 p.m. – Lee with a counter right. Both guys are falling into each other now a good bit to get some rest. Lee with some uppercuts in close, not much behind them. Lee with a left. McEwan with a right to the body. McEwan misses some shots up top and eats a right hook for the trouble. Lee lands a right hand low.
A right for McEwan. He’s digging punches down to the body yo try to slow down Lee’s comeback. McEwan lands a right hook up, but he’s very arm weary. Lee with a one-two. Another one-two from Lee sends McEwan staggering back and he falls into the ropes, which break his fall. Smoger issues a count. The 10-second warning goes off. The Irish fans get on their feet.
Lee with the ninth, 10-8!
11:18 p.m. – This is the 10th and final round. One-two for Lee. A good right hook for Lee. Right hook for Lee. And the Lee fans are on their feet as Lee pummels McEwan all over. McEwan’s knees buckle again and he’s out on his feet. A left hand sends McEwan timbering down as referee Steve Smoger is stepping in. Huge knockout win!
Time of the stoppage is 56 seconds.
Scorecards at the time of the stoppage were 85-85 (twice) and 86-84 for McEwan.