T Nation

Maravilla Wins Again


Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez knocks out a surprisingly game and sturdy opponent this past weekend the tough undefeated Brit Darren Barker.

Barker was noticeably much bigger than Martinez, and the first 8 rounds looked like he would go the distance. He did not punch much, but just kept a high tight guard and walked forward and I suppose was trying to see if Sergio would punch himself out.

reinde me of the Pac-man Clotley fight.

but in the 10th, Sergio brough his guard down a little with body shots, and then hurt him with a left hook, which hurt him, but he made it through the round.

Sergio came out in the 11th and hit him with a right hook so hard, that even though most of the shot was caught on the gloves of Barker (he had his guard up) it knocked him cold.

afterwords, Barker said he did not remember the punch at all.

There was a nice segment on Martinez before the fight about how he befriended a little girl who had to quit school because of extreme bullying, and how he was bullied too as a youngster.

apparently he donates and supports an anti-bullying organization called "It gets Better"

and he has visited the girl a few times and trained with her (she has taken up boxing"

sweet guy outside the ring, and a monster inside it.


I really, really like Martinez, but he did have some difficulty there.

It's a shame there isn't better competition for him to fight. I think Lampley said it during the bout - and it's true - that he has some difficulty when fighting very technical fighters who seem to have a strong amateur background and are proficient.

He had a lot of problems with Kelly Pavlik in the middle rounds, and the way Barker moved and punched reminded me at times of him - tight guard, slow but consistent forward movement, etc. - unfortunately he didn't punch as much as Kelly does.

Martinez is just at the wrong weight. If he was 147 or 154 he could get some fights, if he was 168 there'd be fights, but he's right in the damned middle.

I do like him, and I also enjoyed that story.

One thing that made me laugh was when he was talking about bullying in his neighborhood - how in Argentina, the bad guys were "really bad guys" who robbed him at gunpoint haha.

Sometimes, with all this bullying shit, we forget that other countries are REALLY brutal, and instead of "bullying" they just call it "Tuesday."


i agree with most of what you said Irish. it is difficult to look good against a guy who just holds his hands up and moves forward. Like I said, this reminded me a lot of the pac man clotley fight. except Maravilla had the power to knock this guy out THROUGH his guard.

NOBODY wants to fight him. I think he can make 154, as he said he was only 165 before this fight, and he weighted in at 158.

but Cotto and Mayweather want NOTHING to do with him.

sad, but still one of the best active fighters out there right now.


one thing he and his managers are doing right though: is not putting him in bad situations, IE Bernard Hopkins says he will fight him at 170, and he and his people say NO WAY< that is just too much weight for him.

I say bravo, to many times good smaller fighters in trying to make a name for themselves try to go up in weight classes, way too much, and have mediocre performances when they fight to far out of their natural weight class.


I did not think that this fight was like the Pac-Clottey fight. Darren kept a high guard, ultilised a technical style that suited his height advantage and also TRIED TO WIN. He was landing clean shots and was very effective with the jab. He broke Martinez's nose. He won several rounds and turned what seemed to be a one sided matchup into a VERY close fight. He was keeping his offensive output low to minimise fatigue in the later rounds (which has been a big problem for him).

Now there are a couple of ways of approaching the outcome. One can say that Martinez was never any good. That he was lucky to beat an overrated Paul Williams and an over-boozed Kelly Pavlik. I think that much of the press (cough SKY cough) have been far to keen to jump on this option. Maravilla has looked simply fantastic in his previous few outings and should be given the benefit of the doubt for at least one more fight. The other way is to say that Darren Barker is just a whole lot better that anyone gave him credit for. And I think that is true. Barker is a big tall guy who is solid in every aspect of the fight game and will give any of the ranked middleweights heaps of trouble on his day. Sergio probably did not take the challenge seriously enough as well as having too much time off since his last fight. I still look forward to his next outing (probably against Andy Lee or Matthew Macklin) and from this day forth I'll be tuned in on Barker's career too.

Without taking anything away from the nastiness of bullying in any situation - this is really fucking true. I'm reading through 'Raging Bull' at the moment and man, I would not like to live in the Bronx.


seeme dto me duffy, that once Barker started opening up and "letting his hands go" as his corner instructed in the later rounds is when he got hurt and then eventually knocked out.


Are you referring to this comment heavy?

"He was keeping his offensive output low to minimise fatigue in the later rounds (which has been a big problem for him)."

If so I wasn't implying that, barring his stamina issues, Barker would have gone all Paul Williams on Sergio's ass. I think he would have just done some more pot-shotting and flicked out the jab a bit more.

I though his tactics were nigh-on perfect. He just wasn't good enough.


Yes. I believe he (as Manny Steward said many times during the fight) that he (Barker) was fighting a perfect fight,

I would say to you that it was not just a case that Barker was not good enough, but that Martinez was just too good for even a great game plan to win.


And I would agree with that.

But after last weekend, the middleweight division does not look nearly as flimsy as it once did. Andy Lee may not bring Darren Barker's stellar defense to the table, but he is otherwise similar in physical and athletic attributes. Gregorz Proska stromed onto the scene by beating the shit out of highly respected contender Sebastian Sylvester. Add to that Erislandy Lara and Molina at junior middle and, while Sergio may lack paydays, he does not lack challenges.


well, then I present this question to you Duffy, and Irish, because I respect your opinions as far as boxing goes:

Is it a mistake for Maravilla to try to find super-fights with guys out of his class (pac man, mayweather, too small< or Hopkins, Ward, too big)

or should he stay in the 158-160lb range and solidify his claim to be the best MIDDLEWEIGHT in history?


thanks for the link to that fight BTW, good stuff.

I get stereo-typed in this forum for being a Klitshcko brother's fanboy, but I just am a fan of the heavyweights, and they are the best heavyweights out their right now...and the fact that they are brothers, have PHD's, and each speak 4 languages, makes them interesting to me.

my two FAVORITE fighters are Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez.

so take THAT up the ass Irish...lol


Oh my. Those are huge words my man.

The short answer is that Martinez will NEVER be the best middleweight in history, hell he ain't even in the top 50 middleweights in history.

And even if he had the talent to - and he has neither that nor the amateur pedigree to do so - he's too old at this point to EVER be considered at that post. So first, you must scale back that type of rhetoric.

However, it's really up to him. He didn't fight at 154 long ago, so if he wanted to meet at that weight to fight Pac or May I wouldn't be judgmental, although I don't know how much of a good decision that would be at 36 years old.

Guys always score points from me for fighting outside of their weight class - guys like Duran and Hearns and SRL did it, as did a lot of the old time greats, so I give major props for that.

At this point though, Hopkins is far too large- he's fighting at LHW and couldn't come back down to 160 at his age.

Ward is MUCH bigger as well, and fights at near 168 most of the time and has speed and power and the pedigree that would decimate Martinez in my opinion.

But, it's wide open at this point. Just remember he doesn't have long left, especially with that fighting style of his that wastes a lot of energy.

Honestly if I was him, I'd do whatever the fuck I had to do to make 154 and challenge both of them to fight for the biggest payday I'd ever seen, then I'd retire and live in Argentina like a king.

So.... what you're saying is that your division sucks so much that your two favorite fighters are career 160 and 154 lbers.?



Yeah, beyond knocking out Ward, Hopkins AND Klitschko, Maravilla is simply too late to the game to stake his claim to the title of "Greatest Middleweight". Not when Hopkins, Monzon and Hagler were spending centuries taking everyone in the top ten and beating them. I think he's out of the top twenty unless he beats Ward and has some spectacular defenses otherwise. I do believe he'll be inside the top 50 by the time he finishes his career.

I think that Martinez is doing a pretty good job straddling two divisions (154 and 160). And if he believes that he can get down to 150 (which he says he does) then it's hardly right to be asking him to fight some of the modern-sized super middles stalking above him. Especially since a lot of those boys are borderline light-heavies.

The thing about middle and junior middleweight is that the big names will not fight him and are not the big talents. Cotto and Chavez would almost certainly get beat. Saul Avlarez probably would not fare a whole lot better. On the other hand I fully understand Sergio's trepidation about getting in the ring with guys like Molina and Erislandy. They simply aren't established enough to get him either the paydays or the credit he deserves. If Maritnez gives either of them a solid beatdown they'll go from 'talents' to 'overrated bums' before you can blink an eyelid.

If I was Martinez I'd be doing anything, and I mean ANYTHING to get Pacquiao or Mayweather into the ring. Even forgetting about the payday, just fighting one of boxing's two cash-cows will turn you into a household name overnight. Doing well will DOUBLE your fan base (And if you do well against Mayweather lots of people will say you won the fight and were robbed anyway). Actually WIN and you're boxing's new superstar. If I was Martinez, I'd get a nice schoolbus, paint it up with the words "Bear Huntin'" and get down to Floyd Mayweather's front lawn pronto.


for the record, I miss worded "greatest middleweight of all time"

What I meant was more like "best middle weight right now"

I feel sort of sorry for the guy, because I agree with you guys, the two big paydays and fighters who will (if he was to beat them) are Pac and Mayweather.

I don't think either one of them want ANYTHING to do with him.

Pac's people wont let him anywhere near him because I think he is just TOO big for him

and Mayweather wont touch him because he is too risky, and frankly at this stage, Mayweather just does not need Sergio. A fair amount of risk with a guy who is not enough of a name to risk losing.


Could Martinez even make the lower weight classes where the paydays are at, without killing himself to get there?

He's a really big guy, hell he's pretty big for a middleweight. I think he walks around at like 82kg/180lbs?

It sucks there aren't more names to fight at super middle these days.


I thought this was the case for a while, but after his last fight, Barker looked much much bigger than him, and he said in the post fight interview that he weighed only 165 going into this training camp.

which contraindicated some stuff I read about him that said he walks around at 180-185.


You guys are seriously overestimating this guy's size.

He's only 5'10, and he weighs in for his fights at middlweight ALWAYS a few pounds below 160, which tells me that he has absolutely no trouble making that weight.

Also, as I mentioned previously, the last time he fought at 154 was only 2009, and he was 34 at that time... which tells me that he's able to make that weight now but more importantly, that's pretty close to his walking around weight.

In comparison, Oscar De La Hoya fought most of his career at 147 before moving up to 154 later on. He fought at middlweight a couple times but was generally considered too small to fight in that division - and he was a half inch taller than Martinez.

Kelly Pavlik is 6'2", Jermain Taylor was 6'1", and Bernard Hopkins is 6'1" - and those were the three guys who were generally accepted as the middlweight champs for the years preceding Martinez's rise.

Martinez is most certainly not too big - he's actually kind of a fidget in that division, and it's the fact that 1) Hopkins is very old and 2) There's not much other competition in that division that is allowing Martinez to do what he's doing.

Not to take anything away from him - the guy is very good. But Pavlik gave him a lot of problems, and I believe fighters like Hopkins or Taylor from five years ago would have been too much for him in terms of both size and speed.

That all being said, he's not too big to fight Mayweather - the DLH fight was at 154 - but he's probably a little too big to fight Pac - I don't believe that Roach would agree to that fight unless it was at a catch-weight of 151 like the Margarito fight, and that would be far too light for Martinez.


I am glad to read this.

Originally, I was wondering if you were related to him. Putting him as Middleweight GOAT would put him above Ray Robinson, and that is not happening.

As noted earlier I think he is too big to fight Pac, but could face Mayweather at 154. The issue there is that he does not have the draw power. Not enough money to make Floyd show up. I would like to see it though.

Note: For anyone who did not see the fight.

Round 1: This channel appears to have all of the rounds

Last Round


Robert A


Yeah, I have also heard reports of Martinez weighing 170-180 in between fights. The thing is, I'm not quite sure how much weight the boys nowadays are cutting before fights but I hear it is A LOT. I heard that Chavez outweighed Zbik by several weight classes on the day of their fight.

What I can tell you is that a lot of middleweights thing they can take Martinez because "He's not a real middleweight". So that tells you an awful lot. Really, Sergio is about a junior middleweight.

The thing is though, he's also 36. And as any fighter will tell you, as the age goes up, taking off the pounds starts really taking a toll on your performance. Nobody, including Sergio, knows what will happen if he goes that low.