The curious case of Sergio Martinez in the Pound for Pound rankings

Sergio Martinez Paul Williams

ESPN

Is it just me, but since when does a two round blow-out against a cold Paul Williams and unanimous points win over a man with many problems in his life (Kelly Pavlik), make you one of the best fighters on the planet?

People seem to forget that Martinez had never ventured into world-class until 34 years old. To be a pound for pound fighter, you have to take on the best around. You have to prove it with longevity or keep your unified titles by making mandatory defenses.

In 2008, Martinez was still fighting four-rounders. In 2007, he fought a man with 34 losses on his record.

The year previously, Martinez fought Oliver Tchinda, who had one win in ten fights. He certainly wasn’t a worthy opponent.

For me, all this doesn’t help him in his quest to be recognized as a pound for pound best fighter in the world.

I struggled to even rank him in the top 20 until earlier this year. Some people in the sport had him ranked as one of the best in the world until Pacquiao beat Margarito, which is ridiculous.

He’s had two world title fights in thirteen years!

Sergio Martinez must steadily prove his worth over a far more significant length of time and maybe even win world titles at different weights.

Still, to knock someone out with a once in a lifetime shot doesn’t constitute greatness. A win over a blown-up light-middleweight won’t help that case.

In his first fight with Paul Williams, one judge had him losing by nine points. Another judge had it closer, but still in favor of Williams.

Therefore, if you take away the punch, then Martinez never out-boxed Williams over any length of rounds. He will undoubtedly have to do against the majority of other world-class middleweights if he can’t find that punch every time.

On a trip to the UK in 2003, Martinez was taken the distance by Richard Williams. A fighter who never made it past British-class.

Martinez also went into the twelfth round with Adrian Stone four months later. Stone himself lost every time he stepped up to world-class.

It seems to suggest that it could be another case of over-hyping a boxer because of an impressive one-off knockout punch.

Martinez has two great wins on his record.

I would always give him credit for that. But its the manor of the victories against the mind-set of the opponents that has me skeptical. That opposition prior and since that irks me.

A mass hysteria emerged that his breakthrough win was Paul Williams, but who knows where “The Punisher’s” head was at that moment.

I think it was a one in a million shot, and based on what I know, I can’t see Martinez staying champion for too long if he meets the best possible opposition out there, that’s just my opinion.

The middleweight division at the moment is probably one of the weakest around.

A domineering win over Felix Sturm may go some way to making me a believer or at least pick up two of the titles at 160lbs in the next few months.

With every option available to him, he chose to fight a light-middleweight in his latest contest that will not change Martinez’s view.

I would love to see a third meeting with Paul Williams to see if he could find that punch again.

SERGIO MARTINEZ P4P

Right now, Martinez takes number six in WBN pound for pound rankings.

I have to admit that placing him above sustained champions Wladimir Klitschko, Pongsaklek Wonjongakm, and Chris John would have been a callous decision.

Martinez and Floyd Mayweather are the only two fighters in the top thirteen without a title.

The tough Argentinian still has things to prove for me and, at 36, is running out of time to seal any legacy.

We will see if Sergio Martinez has time enough to prove me wrong.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.