MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION-PLETHORA OF TALENT & EXCESS OF TITLES!
Hollywood, CA– In what was a truly disgusting move to me, the World Boxing Council (WBC) has named linear and undisputed middleweight (160 lbs) king Sergio Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs) the “Emeritus champion” of their sanctioning mob. Get ready to puke, interim champion Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs) has been anointed the title of “Super champion”. When you consider that Martinez has only held the WBC belt for less than a year and hasn’t had a reasonable amount of time to make the mandatory defense against the unworthy interim guy, see this as yet another attempt by the WBC to generate more money for the struggling group.
DON’T FORGET THE WORLD OF BUNCO & ANARCHY!
The only thing worse than the WBC’s antics that put further scar the image of the sport of boxing, is the “trendsetting” World Boxing Association (WBA). Currently they have three world champions at middleweight. Their Super champion is Germany’s Felix Sturm (34-2-1, 14 KOs), regular champion is power puncher and 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Gennady Golovkin (20-0, 17 KOs) of Kazakstan, and interim champion is Hassan N’ Dam N’Jakim (25-0, 17 KOs) from Cameroon.
REALITY OF ANYBODY THAN SERGIO ABSURD!
When you consider all three have fought within the last six months the whole idea of champion should just be overlooked here. The only real champion at middleweight is Martinez who beat the man who, beat the man, thus Sergio is the man. However there are some talented challengers for the crown, and giving guys trinkets when they haven’t truly earned it gives them a sense of security and lets them continue to fight unworthy challengers and rack up meaningless title defenses. Also when you consider that sanctioning “mobs” won’t rank fighters who hold belts from other organizations keeps the best fighters from having to face one another.
THERE ARE LOTS OF GOOD MIDDLES
Can you imagine a middleweight tournament involving Golovkin, WBO champion Dimitry Pirog (17-0, 14 KOs) (who recently starched highly regarded American prospect Daniel Jacobs (21-1, 18 KOs), Martinez and Sturm? I think HBO needs to rethink things here. If there’s no solid American talent in the middleweight division so what? I believe there’s enough money to make a four man tournament here and I think the styles of the four combatants make for compelling and dramatic fights that fans would be interested in seeing. As Manny Pacquiao has proven, American fans will watch a fighter from any country as long as they bring excitement. This notion that you need an American as a headliner to generate interest is overrated. The number of fans who support American fighters at the gate has diminished in recent years which should be a sign that HBO needs to pay more attention to foreign fighters who can draw at the gate.
SOME THINK CANADIAN HAS THE TOOLS!
Another exciting middleweight of note is Canadian David Lemiuex (25-0, 24 KOs), a devastating puncher who also is creating a fan following. Hopefully he makes an HBO After Dark broadcast in the next 12 months against a credible opponent.
HBO DOESN’T UNDERSTAND BOXING/FIGHT FANS!
Instead of the aforementioned fights above, HBO is showcasing Martinez on March 12th against another southpaw in jab specialist and WBO junior middleweight (154) king Serhiy Dzinziruk (37-0, 23 KOs). Looks compelling on paper, but the Urkanian while effective isn’t known for being the most exciting fighter and was not too popular EVEN in his adopted home of Germany, thus has made his way to the states. While Martinez’s people are just looking now to extend his run as far and as profitable they can. Sort of like stalling in a basketball game. HBO is dropping the coins, they should call the shots, not allow almost all “exhibition” bouts in order to try and make each fight on the network as compelling as possible.
TWO SOUTHPAWS A RARITY EVEN IN BOXING
It’s rare that you get a good fight between two southpaws, and seeing the reluctance of HBO to show their subscribers and the current middleweight king the proper respect (had him announced first when he was the champion in his last fight against Paul Williams) this was to be expected. Hopefully this bout equates to more than a chess match. The reluctance of Sturm to fight the best and because of a void of any offers from HBO to pit him against Martinez, Sterm (big ticket seller in Germany) will next defend his title against unworthy challenger Ronald Hearns (26-1, 20 KOs). Hearns’ obvious claim to fame isn’t from any accomplishments of his own but those of his famous father Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns.
Kevin “KP” Perry