MASHANTUCKET, CT – The 2010 Fighter of the Year, world middleweight champion Sergio “Maraville” Martinez, destroyed previously undefeated Sergiy “Razor” Dzinziruk en route to an impressive win by eighth-round technical knockout to capture the World Boxing Council (“WBC”) Diamond Belt and retain his Ring Magazine belt, live on HBO World Championship Boxing at MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods.
Martinez (47-2-2, 25 KOs) outclassed Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KOs) from start to finish, using his superior hand and foot speed, as well as his power against the reigning World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) junior middleweight champion. Martinez lived up to his nickname (“Maravilla” means “Marvelous” in English), dropping Dzinziruk in the fourth, fifth and three times in the final round
The “Celtic War” was just that and more as two exciting middleweights, Ireland’s Andy Lee (25-1, 19 KOs) and Scotland’s Craig McEwan, turned in an early Fight of the Year candidate. A tactical match-up of southpaws quickly turned into a spirited bout with both fighters doing serious damage. McEwan was leading on all three judges’ scorecards after eight rounds (77-75 twice and 78-74, but the fight dramatically changed when Lee unleashed a terrific right-left combination that sent McEwan to the canvas with less than 30 seconds left in the ninth. Going into the final round, the fight was dead even on two cards with McEwan leading on the third, 86-84. Lee came out for the final round and finished the show, pounding the game McEwan into submission as referee Steve Smoger jumped in to end the fight 56-seconds into the 10th as McEwan was going down.
“Diamond Elite: Martinez vs. Dzinziruk” was presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Banner Promotions. “Celtic War: Lee vs. McEwan” was presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Golden Boy Promotions.
Hot prospect Javier Fortuna (14-0, 11 KOs) kept his undefeated record intact, knocked out upset specialist Derrick Wilson in the eighth round to capture the vacant WBC Youth featherweight title. Fortuna, a southpaw, decked Wilson in the third round and twice in the eighth, the last from a powerful, straight left that landed square on Wilson’s chin.
POST FIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Sergio Martinez: “I want no easy fights. They (Paul Williams and Dzinziruk) are two different fighters. Paul Williams and Dzinziruk have different tactics. Dzinziruk is a very smart fighter but I beat him at his own game – the jab. It was supposed to be a technical fight.”
“(He wasn’t hit with) nothing special. I wasn’t hurt. I felt one punch, behind my head, but that happens in fights.”
“There was no emergency (after he was cut). It was just the moment to finish.”
“(How low can he go to make a Manny Pacquiao fight) Probably 154.”
“(Head trainer filling in for his brother Gabriel) Pablo (Sarmiento) did a perfect job.”
“Cotto would be a good fight. I just want to fight the best. If Cotto is man enough, he will ask to fight Sergio Martinez.”
“I will not stop until I am recognized as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Lou DiBella, promoter of Martinez and Lee: “McEwan put on one of the gutsiest performances. He was leading after eight rounds and Lee had to do something dramatic.”
“I’m proud of Andy Lee’s performance. I’ll talk next week with Manny (Stewart, Lee’s manager/trainer). It won’t be Sergio (for Andy) the next fight. This made Andy an HBO fighter – the best thing he can do.”
“It was a terrific show. It turns out Dzinziruk was the right fight. This proved that he (Sergio) is a Hall of Fame fighter. Dzinziruk is an excellent fighter but Sergio may be the best fighter in the world.”
“Pound-for-pound, (Sergio) he is the best fighter in the world. Tonight you saw why he’s going to the Hall of Fame. He is the best middleweight from Argentina since Carlos Monzon.”
“We want the biggest fight out there.”
“That’s not up to me (making a Martinez-Miguel Cotto fight). It’s up to Bob (Arum). Maybe Cotto will be man enough to ask Bob to fight Sergio? Arum’s been lining up bum after bum after bum to fight Manny Pacquiao and Cotto. People should be lining up to fight him (Sergio), the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Gary Shaw, co-promoter of Dzinziruk: “Sergio Martinez not only is the best 160 pound fighter in the world but he may be the best fighter in the world. I’ve been in this business since 1961 and I’ve never seen anybody with more hand speed than Sergio Martinez. We still have the best 154-pound fighter in the world. There isn’t a 154-pound fighter in the world we wouldn’t fight.”
Artie Pellulo, co-promoter of Dzinziruk: “We have the best junior middleweight in the world; Lou has the best middleweight in the world and one of the best, if not the best fighter in the world. Dzinziruk got up and knew he was fighting the best in the world. The better man won tonight; he fought the best middleweight in the world.”
Andy Lee: “Overall, I wasn’t happy with my performance. I hurt him early in the fight and I think that worked against me. I loaded up too much. I got into that habit and it was tough to get out. In the middle rounds I thought I was losing the fight. It was a big opportunity so I said to myself if I’m going to lose he’s going to have to kill me.”
“Basically I was flat-footed until I switched it up. Eventually I caught him at the end. I was fortunate but I deserved it. I don’t know what round it was but something inside me said I was going to take it.”
“He boxed very good. It was hard; we’re friends. I respected him before the fight and more now.”
“Sergio has great speed. He’d be a tough challenge for me.”
“I won the ninth, 10-8, but knew I needed a big finish and not leave it to the judges. One, two - he was on the ground. It wasn’t my best performance but it was a great victory. It was a hard fought fight. I showed courage and heart. I will get better.”